Wife, nurse, caregiver -- Cancer patient has 3-in-1
A: I was diagnosed in May 2012. As soon as the doctor told me, I just went to work with the doctors and nurses to fix the issue. I guess my training as an engineer and QA manager kicked in. I was always able to maintain an, "I'm going to fix this and be able to stick around for a long time (attitude)." I strongly believe this positive attitude paid off. It was harder for my family and loved ones.
Q: How has your wife, Laura, supported you during this time?
A: She has been my guardian angel. She drove me to my treatments and appointments because she wanted to. She helped with the treatments, listening to the doctors and nurses to make sure I understood the next steps, took my meds, forced/cajoled/encouraged/sweet-talked to me to make me eat when I didn't/couldn't. She was there to listen, encouraged me when I needed it. I could not have asked for a better more loving wife and best friend. Laura made a very difficult period easier through her care and love. Her support cannot be described in mere words. She is my angel here on earth.
Q: (Questions for Laura) How is taking care of your husband different than your job as a nurse?
A: I love being a nurse. I have been a nurse for as long as I have been married. But I have always worked at doctor’s offices. So my care for (the patients) was brief. The care that I needed to give my husband was ongoing for 24 hours, seven days a week. He is my best friend, and I had to make sure that I gave him the best care that I knew. I cared for him with extra love and patience.
Q: Why is it important that people be aware of the caregiver role?
A: They do and mean so much and take a back seat emotionally to the patient. They should be treasured for their love and support and told each day they matter and make a huge difference.
Q: What recommendations would you make to someone who is becoming a caregiver for someone with cancer?
A: Take care of yourself. Understand that there are so many others that have gone through this and talk to them. And understand that even though their loved one might not say it, all of their efforts are very much appreciated and mean so, so much.
Health Zone readers can find out more information about caregivers and tips at www.texasoncology.com/givingthanks.
NAME: Domingo Salcido
OCCUPATION: QA manager
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: Sugar Land resident; patient at Texas Oncology–Sugar Land
FAST FACT: The Salcidos have been married for 36 years; they enjoy hunting, camping, fishing, gardening and other outdoor activities.
Mark DeHaven is a freelance writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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