Caretakers are an important part of a cancer patient's life! The cancer patient becomes the main focus of the caretaker's life! That being said...people often forget how all encompassing this can be. Trying to care for yourself, children, home, finances, work and a cancer patient is MUCH more then a full time job!
Before I was diagnosed with cancer my husband and I were always doing something for someone!! It is just who we are! Sometimes it was temporary boarders, meals, health care with out charge for people who couldn't afford it, food/clothes drives, watching other's children during off school hours... you name it, we did it!
When I became ill it was surprising to me the people that DID NOT come out to help. I heard all kinds of things... "we didn't want to BOTHER you", "I don't like to see you sick", "we figured you had lots of help". Some of the reasons were astounding! I wasn't upset that they weren't helping me....I was concerned for my husband and family! I know how hard it was for them to do it ALL!
But then there were those that DID come out to help!! I felt blessed to have them! Patients that came for their appointments and brought dinner or lunch. Friends that came and stayed with me when Len had commitments away from the house. Friends/Family that brought weekly meals, planted flowers, called just to keep in touch or visited me during my long hospital stays. To those people we will always be indebted.
Please understand, Caretakers need care too!! If the opportunity comes, please don't forget them. Ask HOW THEY ARE!! People think to ask a cancer patient how they feel but forget that those around them may truly be on the edge! Pushing the mark to care for your loved one with cancer can wear on family members but they feel guilty saying so because their loved one is SO SICK!
The lesson I would like people to take away from this is, never underestimate how difficult someone else's life may be. Reach out as you would want some one to reach out to you or your family. It doesn't mean you have to cook or clean someone's house. It may just be that phone call or visit to make someone's day. Relieving a caretaker can be a priceless thing! Running an errand, picking up something from the store, driving a child to a class. There is something ANY one can do with out really going out of our own way. Something small may mean the world to a family battling cancer!
This was another reason we decided to develop DAY BY DAY HOPE FOUNDATION
Living with cancer is a trial all in of itself... tackling day to day things at the same time is a true challenge. Day By Day Hope Foundation wants to assist families through this time... with the help of so many others willing to give of themselves... we will do so.... Day by Day!
Please consider reaching out to a family battling an illness or donating sometime to Day By Day Hope Foundation! Check out our website and see what you can do to help! www.daybydayhopefoundation.org