You do everything in your power and some times beyond what you think you can do, to give them another day.
And, believe it or not, you’ve probably given them MANY extra days, just because they see how strong your commitment is and how much care and love is pouring out of your heart. But when the cancer has made its move, there’s not much you can do to stop it.
Death stops the fight. It stops the pain and it stops everything that has changed your loved one, because of the cancer.
I never thought Leroy’s cancer really changed the way he looked. He never lost his hair, his skin color didn’t turn cancer gray and he didn’t drop a lot of weight. Then I saw some photos of him shortly before he died and I was shocked. I guess I hadn’t noticed the changes or didn’t want to admit to myself that the progress of the disease was, in fact, showing itself on the outside too.
And when all of that care was no longer necessary, I was in shock again. Where would the caregiver, in me, go now? I wasn’t ready to stop. That’s one of the hardest parts to separate from, after a loss. I know what Mo’s friend is feeling now. Kathie is going through it, still. Even now, there are days when I feel it too.
We’ve all learned so much about our specific cancer cases…what to do if this comes up, or what not to do if that happens. What foods work with what treatments and how to change a mood with a simple smile. We have so many ‘learned’ skills.
What do we do with them now?