Any body been watching “Shark Week” on The Discovery Channel this week? Remember that great line “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water….”
That’s the way caregiving too. Just when you think there’s a break in the intense caring and giving to a loved one, cancer figures out a way to change-up the game and you’re right back in the thick of it. There’s an article in my newspaper this morning that talks about the cost of caregiving. I’m not just talking about the financial cost of providing the best care to your loved one, but the emotional cost too.
Most caregivers I know put their heart and soul into it. A caregivers life changes just like the patients’ does….but we don’t care. We pour ourselves into our caregiver’s armor and go to work. In my case, and in the case of so many others, when the disease ends the need for the caregiving, we need a very long time to heal from the loss. It also takes a long time to change back into the real world, where caregiving isn’t the norm.
So when I see someone like Laurie Hirth stepping back into her caregiving clothes and facing another loss to cancer, I know she had the tools to do this and she certainly felt the need to help her friend Dom, but the emotional toll on her today is probably just settling in. It’s going to take a long time and a lot of lifting to help her through this time.
I hope she checks-in with us for a while, just so we can check on her. Regardless, keep her in your thoughts.
Our caregiving duties have just begun.