A friend who has just come through breast cancer treatment and is doing well, was venting the other day about the side effects of the medication she is on, as a preventative step against the disease returning. She wasn’t complaining, just venting about how lousy the meds make her feel, all the while, understanding it’s a small price to pay. Surviving far out-weighs the alternative, is close to the way she put it.
Robin blogged that she will be a full time care giver for her husband for a long time to come. He’s come through some difficult cancer care, but late effects of the treatments have taken a toll on him. She’s the ‘warrior care giver’ now.
My care giving days are over. They were the most intense days (years) of my life. I learned a lot about myself during that time. I found some strengths I didn’t know I had and I found some cracks in my armor that I didn’t like discovering too. And I’m still finding pieces of me that didn’t quite get back to where they belong.
I guess what I’m saying is, cancer leaves all of us with remnants of scar tissue. Patients have the physical scars, side effects of treatment and late effects of surgeries and procedures.
But care givers have scar tissue too. It’s left behind in memories, in dreams and in the deep chambers of the heart, long after those long care-giving days are over.