Cancer makes most of us needy!! Some of us more then others... but definitly needy!!
I was one of the ones that was REALLY needy. This was very out of character for me!! Maybe one of the most difficult things in dealing with cancer. And I owe so much to all of them...my caretakers!
My husband, Len, has and still does take care of so many of my daily needs. Since I began chemo he has taken on ALL the household responsibilities and the responsibility for our son. After I developed a blood clot and was limited to the use of my right arm, suffered from extreme fatigue and weakness he has had to assist in my daily routines of showers and dressing... even walking down the stairs required his help!
Our daughter, Deana, helped pick up the slack with Christian and my needs. Hospital stays for me meant a live in room mate... Deana! She became a fixture the nurses looked forward to. She spent every night with me on a chair that laid open! If I moved, she was up! She was up and waiting for Bruno Fang every morning at 6 am with a list of questions and challenges for answers. She made runs any where she could to try and find something I could or would eat...When I was home it was a regular event for me to call her cell phone from my bedroom to her in another room and ask for raw celery (a craving during my chemo!!) or some thing completely random. She stood and watched as Judi shaved the last strands of hair from my head... bought me scarves and hats to help me cover my baldness! She was my cheering section every day through all of it...the pain, the sickness, the degradation... all the things this unfair opponent brings to us!
My youngest, Christian, only 12 at the time this all began... was never uncomfortable with my baldness or the way my body seemed to be wasting. He came home from school everyday and came to my bedside and held my hand and comforted me. He would bring me anything I wanted or would just lay with me and watch a movie. He lost some of his innocence!
My oldest son, Rob, living and working in Las Vegas and California made daily calls to me just to check up and make sure now wasn't the time to come home! Then drove several times cross country to spend weeks with me as I healed. He planned a family trip for all of us to Key West for Christmas & New Year holiday.
Several friends and patients were there for us. Francine ran to pick up perscriptions, "babysat" me when Len had to be away, spent time sitting with me after surgeries. Sue & Carleigh brought meals and their famous banana bread! Carol planted flowers in the rain because she knew how important they were to me! Debbie brought meals regularly and made my daughter a fan of the best chicken pot pie ever! My sister in law Sue brought dinner from Connecticut and one of THE BEST nieces ever, Jodi, would drive from Connecticut to just spend the day! Marianne would make dinner and bring it to the house. Our Psuedo-daughter Cynthia came on several chemo weeks to make dinner and spend time with Deana. I could never forget the wonderful chicken dinner Stacy brought the day after a chemo treatment! My other BEST niece ever, actually my NIL (niece in law) traveled from Virgina enroute to Ct and would spend the day so I could have my beautiful Great niece "CRAM" to cheer me up! She managed to bring my nephew with her too! So many people really did reach out and help during some of the most trying times.
When I think of these people I can't help but think of brother who passed away October 7th... he called me every week to make sure I was okay and to tell me I would be fine! I miss his calls and his reassurance... I was sick but we lost him!
Now I am seemingly on the mend however, my needs continue! I still can't shave under my own arms or completely dress myself. I can't take a shower alone in the house, can't drive, still can't use both my arms! Somedays I can't get out of bed or off the couch! I am still on daily injections in my abdomen that Barbara comes daily Monday through Friday to give me so I can get a break from doing it myself!
I am back to working limited hours... Thank God the office is right off the kitchen! I try to cook meals and occasionally I am able to get up occasionally and make breakfast for Christian! But most days the full wieght falls to Len... my care, house/yard care, Christian's needs, patients, office... all of it!
So, where would a cancer patient be if they had NO ONE!! If their partner had to travel to the city to work... couldn't be there for their small children?? To help them make it through the day, take them for treatment, shop... the list goes on! This is the reason this foundation is so important! Not just for the cancer patient... but the FAMILY! Cancer effects the WHOLE family... friends included! Caretakers need a break... families need help! They need support... emotional and financial. They need it for a LONG time! Cancer isn't a SHORT illness. It hangs... reoccurs... effects the rest of your life!
Help us help the families cancer is effecting. Help us make their lives just a little easier, a little more tolerable. This foundation is needed! Help us fill a need...day by day!
Be sure to support a CAREGIVER! Ask how they feel...give them a hug too!