This week on the blog, we honor those who are caregivers during National Caregiver Awareness Month. JR, the husband of Cervivor Ambassador Erica, shares his thoughts and feelings about his wife and their life living with cancer. Please leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts and if you have an awesome caregiver you want to give a shout-out to or the type of support you wish you had during your diagnosis.
My wife has cancer.
How I felt when I heard that my wife had cancer… Which time? The first time I wasn’t surprised as I knew something was wrong and recommended she go to the gynecologist. The second time? I was upset, raised my voice to the nurse practitioner and wanted answers. The third time? Helpless. I have watched the love of my life go through surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and more surgeries while knowing that a cure isn’t in her immediate future and people do die of this disease.
What I did to support her, and what I do now are not enough. I could build her a million bridges or take her around the world one thousand times and not be able to cure her disease. In an attempt to support her, I simply care for house and home, I ask her how her day was, allow her to vent and let her know that I love her with all my heart.
What was the most difficult for you… What isn’t difficult? Only one time have I felt like the situation was bigger than us: Leaving the hospital after my wife had been hospitalized and my 6-year-old son looking at me with tears in his eyes. “Daddy, is mommy going to die?” His realization to the subject is something that I hadn’t prepared for.
To help someone, loved ones, go through a diagnosis… Its easy, people will ask if they can help, say YES!! At no time while you are being a “Caregiver” should you go without someone coming over and making dinner, cleaning the kitchen/bathroom, or doing laundry. It doesn’t have to be once a week but twice a month is needed.
What I have learned about my loved one… She has only shocked me in each facet of our relationship. I knew that she was strong, motivated, stubborn, tenacious, courageous, bold and beautiful. What I didn’t know was the extent of her qualities. She gets up and goes to work everyday working with special needs children. She comes home and is mommy, then goes to bed as wife. She finds time to juggle other labels — patient, friend, sister and daughter. Her ability to manipulate cancer and live life without regrets, impacting those around her with a positive attitude after years of treatment still amazes me every day.