Caring for caregivers.

All things considered I had it pretty good. My wonderful parents were near-by and at my side at every turn. My husband kept steady and calmed me down when I needed calming. My brother performed healing rituals on me that involved an abalone shell, chimes and feathers. My dog kept me walking and laughing. My friends let me vent and talk about my feelings even more than I usually do. My co-workers brought me good company and meals (twice a week!). And oh yea my doctors and nurses cured me of cancer!

I also was able to plug into support groups through Sibley and a great yoga class for cancer survivors. But what about support and care for the caregivers? I think that aspect of dealing with a serious illness is overlooked.

Transition after treatment is hard for the patient and it’s also hard for the caregivers. When you are battling the disease, everyone rallies around that. You sink all your energy into the fight. After it’s all over you are left feeling kind of lost and without a sense of purpose. I know my feelings are still evolving and changing from week-to-week.

All that said, I don’t think anyone exerted more energy than my mom. She was really entrenched and I can only imagine it’s terrible to see your daughter go through something like this. I worried that she wasn’t getting the support that she needed and I still worry about it.

This past weekend my mom took a trip to Stowe to visit her sister (my awesome aunt Lisa) and some other great women in my family. Lisa hooked my mom up with a makeover and some needed pampering. Then they attended a fund-raising event for Obama and my mom was actually able to meet the President! Knowing my mom had a great weekend brought me a great sense of peace and joy. Care for the caregivers! They deserve it! Thanks Lis.

In my mom's words- "A definite highpoint in life - March 31, 2012 - Burlington VT - My sister, Lisa Hagerty and I are savoring our moment with President Obama. The Three Smiling from Ear to Ear Amigos." I love it.

Me and my beautiful Ma. Always best friends.





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2 Responses to Caring for caregivers.

  1. Al's ever-so-proud Mom says:

    For me, my beautiful through and through daughter, I just have to say, it’s all about always being your mom. When you were little, of course, that role was entirely different. You were completely dependent on me and on your Dad to protect you in every way from anything and everything – sounds daunting, but in looking back, that’s such a wonderful innocent blossoming time of life for both child and parent. It was such a total joy to me to see the world unfold for you as you grew up, and to guide you to look at situations from all angles, weigh all the options, and then trust your instincts and follow your heart in making life’s choices. I just marvel at and am so proud of the strong, independent, wise, intelligent, kind, courageous, funny, creative, compassionate (those are just a few “Al adjectives” that pop into my mind at this moment, but that just skims the surface) woman you are.

    Well, that brings me to this breast cancer experience. Caregiver? I never really thought of myself as that. I’m still and forever your Mom, and will always do anything and everything I can to help you wherever and whenever you need me. I just will because I love you. Now here you are today, having bounded with grace and style over all those hurdles, standing tall (as possible that is when you’re 5’3” – sorry, there’s nothing I can do to help you there), and living life!!! And me too…Today Dad and I are taking the kayaks out on the Bay on this gorgeous 80 degree Annapolis day for our first Spring paddle! Let’s enjoy some smooth waters!

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