If there’s a recipe for surviving the cancer journey as a care giver or loved one, strength and love in heaping cups would be my choice as the most important ingredients on the list.

Strength, because every day is a challenge.  Even when a loved one is having a good day, because cancer is still in the room.

A care giver can take a breath, but there’s no exhaling.  Conditions can change in a heart beat. A care giver knows this and can’t take anything for granted; not even on a good day.

Strength comes in many flavors.  There’s physical strength; knowing how to transfer a patient from chair to bed, or from sitting to standing, even just a gentle push up to the top of the bed where a friendly pillow is waiting.  A generous cup of muscle comes in real handy.

“Lifting” is another kind of strength we talk about in this community all the time.  Sasha, our old friend, made “lifting” an important piece of care giving.  She always said we “lifted” her when she needed it most.  Care givers are “lifters” by trade.  A smile, a kiss, a hug, a hand, all are a part of this recipe.

Standing tall when it would be so much easier to curl-up and cry; that’s the hidden strength we don’t know we have until we face a cancer crisis.  That’s when the disease has moved to a place where medicine can’t help, except to ease the pain.  Storing “hidden strength” in unknown quantities make this recipe, for sure.

And then there’s love; no cancer recipe is complete without it.  Care givers spoon it out from morning until night for as long as they can.  It is the one ingredient in this recipe that comes in limitless supply.

Strength and Love

 

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