Learning How to Deal with Cancer and Cancer Patients by Being a Caregiver to Loving Family Members

In 1996, my dear sweet Mother was diagnosed with CLL. The first person in our family to have Leukemia and only a few to have other cancers. When I say "Family" I am speaking of Mother's parents, all their children and grandchildren. I did my homework! All I can say was my Mother suffered. I moved her into my home because she was getting weak and I was afraid she would fall and break a hip.

I've heard many times that you will not die from the cancer, which is so true. Mother spent many days hospitalized, and during chemo she would be so sick. My heart would ache for her, trying to take her pain and nausea away was my prayer for her. All I could do was keep her comfortable, keep the family around, and make her laugh when possible.

In January 2004, she went under the care of Hospice in-house. She died in March 2004. She had CLL, but the COPD was the cause of death.

One month later, May 2004, my husband was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and died in 2008, on Flag Day, how appropriate, he was a WWII and Korean Veteran. Don't try to do the math, my husband was 20 years my senior.

Caring for my Mother and then my husband was the most rewarding thing I have ever done. This part of my life made me a better person. I went to the same Cancer Hospital for 12 years, eight with Mother, and four with my husband. Saw some of the same nurses and doctors, waited in some of the same waiting rooms, and prayed to the same God. I cried tears of sadness, tears of joy when we had good news, I comforted other patients many times when I was so tired I thought I would fall over from exhaustion. Still, that person needed a soft touch, a smiling face, a caring body and a sweet prayer.

In May 2015, I was diagnosed with CLL. I wasn't afraid, I had prayed and did more and more research, but the diagnosis still came a somewhat of a shock. I am back in those same waiting rooms, same doctors and nurses. But I know how good they are! I've been there before! I am still not afraid because I know I have a loving God to lean on and depend on. One thing I will always remember is that you won't die from the cancer, perhaps the illnesses that come along with the cancer may be too much for you.

I have a wonderful family left to help me when I need help, I still miss my Mother and husband, but I will kick this CLL or go down trying.

Moral to my story is~reach out and touch someone who needs a touch, a smile, a prayer, or just a sweet note that everything's going to be okay. Be a caregiver to someone or just be a caring friend. God blessed me when He allowed me to be a Caregiver and I will be forever grateful for it.

If you are too sick to be a Caregiver, just be kind and thoughtful to your Caregivers. It's a precious world we live in and a tender touch makes it a better world!

7 Replies

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  • Hi fayeander,

    As I read your painful but humbling and inspiring story, I'm reminded of this very apt quote by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

    'The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.'

    I'm so pleased you have loving family, your strong faith and your confidence in the care staff who tended devotedly to your mum and husband before you.

    There's no fairness in the allocation of suffering as your experience demonstrates but the strength you're bringing to your own CLL will serve you well. I have CLL and I'm a caregiver for two family members (who don't have cancer but due their disabilities, can't support me or understand mine). It's tough but it's rewarding at times.

    I wish you well with your condition and thank you for sharing your very poignant experience with us.

    Warm best wishes,

    Newdawn

  • Thank you Newdawn, Yes! Very rewarding is what my experience was. I wish you well and I wish I could help you and your family. I will through prayer! Good luck and keep that positive attitude!

    Best Wishes to you,

    fayeander

  • Great words to live by...Thank you. I am still in the acceptance stage.

  • God will give you strength to carry on and good luck

  • Good morning my friends. I feel for all of you having to deal with all that comes with CLL. We have a great deal of ups and downs to deal with on our individual journeys, but some of you certainly have more to deal with than others. I am ten years since diagnosis, and have had a few CLL related issues to contend with. However when I see and hear how some are suffering, I am inspired by the attitude that demonstrates the depth of determination of you all. We are blessed on this site with some great, and very knowledgeable individuals who are able to impart a marvellous amount of relevant information. This helps so much, as oftimes the medical professionals don't know. Thanks to you all for being part of this association. You drive me onwards and upwards. Be safe, and keep as well as you can guys

  • Thanks for your post Fayeander. Hearing what others have been through reminds us to be grateful for what we have.

    Wishing you the very best.

    Netty

  • Hi Fayeander

    Your way of seeing the world will help you through your journey.

    I agree about there being something beautiful about being a caregiver and being allowed that space, I remember the beauty amongst the sadness when I lost my Dad to cancer. That experience has touched me forever.

    All the best with the journey you are now taking

    Seven6

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