A woman and her daughter standing in front of their house

You Must Have Patience!

Last updated: April 2019

Being a caregiver is always a challenge. Many things in your life will change. You want to be there for your family member, but it can get hard sometimes. Some things you used to do have to stop or change. Being diagnosed with a disease puts stress on everyone involved especially when it’s a close family member. When my daughter Crystal was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at age 25, we made arrangements for her to come home so we could help her emotionally and financially.

Becoming a mom again

At home, we could help her get to treatments and just be there for her. It’s a scary thing to hear you have cancer, and she heard it all by herself in a new area where she moved to start her new job, without any close friends or family nearby. We wanted to make sure she wouldn’t have to go through the rest of it by herself.

Getting ready for her move meant getting her old room ready and making sure she had the foods she liked to eat. It seemed like a pretty easy thing, to become mom again, but it was different. I didn’t realize all the extra things I would have to do. My little girl was a woman and she was sick.

General care

Crystal became very sick from her treatments and was not able to do anything for herself. She was barely able to eat. This always lasted for about a week. Of course, as the week went on she started to feel better. But during that week, I needed to make sure she had the food she could eat, something to drink, and anything else she needed. She also needed to have her sheets changed and her clothes washed and folded.

I didn’t mind doing any of this, but I also had to work. Additionally, because Crystal wasn’t feeling well, she sometimes got moody and a bit cranky. I understood, but it wasn’t always easy to deal with. There were a few times I had to bite my tongue, and this is not something I’m used to doing. Through all of this, I was still so happy that I was able to be there for Crystal through what I knew would be the hardest time in her life.

Handling the rough times

Crystal went through a lot of rough times. It was overwhelming because I didn't know what to do for her. Many days, especially after treatments, she couldn't get out of bed and had to be taken care of. It was really hard watching your child go through so much. It was also hard taking on the extra work that came with a sick child. I wouldn't have had it any other way and would have felt hurt if Crystal didn't come home, but there was a lot to do. I needed to keep my patience with my family because I did get tired and overwhelmed some days. My poor husband had to put up with Crystal and me, too!

Finding patience and understanding as a caregiver

I dealt with all the changes by knowing it was going to come to an end. The doctor assured us Crystal would get better. Believing that helped me to get through the rough times. I also knew when Crystal got better she would be leaving. This helped me to try and enjoy her good days while she was still home. I knew I would miss her when she left - and I did. I also tried to understand when she got cranky, after all, she was going through a lot. Keeping this in mind helped me to be understanding.

Some days will be hard but it's worth it

I just want all of you caregivers to know that it will be tough some days, but most of the days you will be glad to be there for your loved one and feel grateful you were able to help them in some way. Having some rough days is just that. Most days are just like any other. You get by and do what you have to do. Of course, getting to the endmark will make it all worth it. For me, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

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