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Juggling Appointments As a Caregiver

Life is busy. Work of course takes up a lot of time, but so do the responsibilities at home like cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc.

Finding time for all the appointments that come with cancer

But what about when a health issue, such as blood cancer/basics, comes up? In addition to everything else you do, you also have to make time for doctors and doing all the things to help you or your family member get well. What do you do? It’s a tough question for sure, because something has to give. Unfortunately, I had to find a way to balance life when my daughter got cancer.

Life as we had come to know it changed when Crystal came back home with Hodgkin lymphoma. She had doctor visits as well as appointments for treatment. Those treatments made her so sick for at least week and after a treatment she needed care. We tried to cook when she liked, made sure she always had something to drink, and took her to the hospital when she got extremely ill. It didn’t feel like a lot at the time - you do what you have to do, but looking back, it was a lot.

I was a caregiver with a full-time job

At that time, I had a full time job, I tutored, and I DJed. I was busy. Some of that had to change. I cut back on my two extra jobs and luckily I was able to take days off from my full time job for Crystal’s appointments and treatments. I considered myself fortunate that my jobs allowed me the ability to be there for Crystal, at least most of the time.

What would I have done if my responsibilities weren’t flexible? I’m not exactly sure, but I have few ideas.

A few options that might have helped

Taking people up on their offers

One thing I would have taken advantage of is the offer a coworker gave me. She told me if Crystal needed a ride to her appointments, her wife would be glad to take her. I didn’t take her up on it because I wanted to be there for my daughter and I didn’t think Crystal would be comfortable with a stranger. However, accepting help from others is an option. I was grateful for the offer and will always be thankful for the kindness that was offered to me and my daughter.

The bus/public transportation

Crystal had to travel an hour to her treatments and then an hour home, and that was in the car. There was a bus she could have taken, but it would have been an even longer ride. I’m very glad she didn’t have to because those treatments really knocked her out, but the bus alternative was there if we had to use it. It was a long ride and I’m not sure she would have been strong enough after her treatment to make it back to the bus safely. And then of course, she would have had to be alone.

What does the hospital or health system offer?

One last thing I could have looked into was any type of help the hospital could have offered. Many times hospitals have or know of programs that people can take advantage of. All they have to do is ask. Looking back, I wish I called, because you don’t know what you don’t know. They may have offered a program that Crystal could have taken advantage of. I would suggest all people with cancer look into this option.

Having cancer is tough. I lived through it with my daughter and luckily she made it through and is living an awesome life. Cancer takes way more of your life than it should, but unfortunately it is a burden that many have had to bear.

Wishing you health and happiness

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