Thursday, September 10, 2015

The caretaker

Rick facebooked a man today whose wife has cancer offering encouragement.

Those who never have dealt with an on-going medical problem may not realise that the caretaker is affected as the person with whatever disease is being treated.

First, I'm extremely lucky that I have the partner (and housemate) that I do. They know what to do and what to say.

However, part of my responsibility to them is to make sure they are taken care of as well.

Rick has accompanied me on all my appointments, although most are in French. Almost in every meeting, they ask if he has questions and also if he is all right. When the sessions are all in French, I don't try to translate each thing, but limit to the ones I assume will be important. Because he can voice his concerns, I can ask the questions for him and tell him the answers.

We are given masses of written information that he can put thru a translator if he wants.

Still they show concern for him as much as they care about my white blood cell count. 

There are support groups. Only one is in English. This is not the time for him to be working on his French.

He and I have a no pussyfooting rule very useful when one of us does something dumb. Confession is good for the soul.

I can tell him that independent me is frustrated that I lack energy. I can say my mouth is sore. I can say I want better veins not to whine but as statements so he knows I'm hiding nothing. My housemate has been thru it she already knows.

We also know that when I feel good, I want our lives to go as normal as possible and they can be. I am blessed to be surrounded by people who know how to carpe diem so there is so much in the day that is not illness related. Thus a duck lunch at Marro, a DVD night, chats over tea add to the day.

However, the caretakers need taking care of too. Please remember them if you talk with a family going thru medical turmoil not just cancer but any illness.

1 comment:

  1. I suffered through my mother's decline, illness, and death. She suffered and my father suffered but I think no one realized how I suffered. I tried to give the appearance of normality as much as possible, because our daughter at the time was eight and she needed a normal life at home. I fell into a depression out of which I gradually escaped for about a year and a half after her death. The person who is ill suffers the illness physically and mentally, and his loved ones suffer it mentally. And it's not nice.