3.27.2014

Caregivers


Last night I spent the better part of 6 hours helping to sort, organize, fold and package t-shirts for Relay for Life. This is something this Relay does every year, and even though I helped with it last year, it was definitely one of those things where time away from it makes you forget just how excruciating the task is. The horrendous feat was made infinitely better by the company, my Relay family as we call it, and as the clock rolled past 11pm, the sound of the bachata music, laughter of my friends, and small encouragements of "we're almost there!" and "just a little bit more!" made what seemed like an otherwise insurmountable task just a little bit easier to deal with (especially considering I was running on 4 hours of sleep and hadn't eaten dinner yet).

So when I got home around midnight, reliving the conversation from the night, I got to thinking about how much that experience parallels the experience of cancer patients and caregivers. Obviously, I'm not saying that having to fold some 500 tshirts in one night is anything close to the diagnosis of cancer for a loved one, but bear with me. Cancer affects everyone, directly or indirectly, and the people who have it and the people they love who care for them help each other in unimaginable ways, much like our little T-shirt group did, to get through the ordeal, which affects the peers just as much as the diagnosee. I've seen it firsthand a number of times. My mom was part of a group of ladies that helped a neighborhood family where the mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer by organizing 3-4 meals a day for weeks for the family during her chemo, and me and some of the older neighbor kids often babysat their 4 and 6 year old. That is called being a caregiver; it's not just the people who sit at a patient's hospital bedside (though they are supremely important as well), it's everyone, the entire community that helps a cancer patient (or anyone with serious illness really) and their loved ones with gracious support. The fight against cancer and support of those affected is a community effort, and a much needed one at that. Please consider joining a Relay for Life event near you or you can donate to me, if you'd like, HERE.

If you read all that, thank you very much. I appreciate it a lot.

1 comment:

  1. Great site! Hi, do you have an email address I can contact you on? Thanks and have a great day!

    ReplyDelete

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