Lately I’ve spent a lot of time giving information to cancer patients and their caregivers. I started a few months ago when my aunt’s breast cancer returned after a brief remission. I wanted to help her and her young daughters.
Recently I was asked to help more people by starting this blog for mesothelioma patients and their caregivers. I haven’t thought about cancer this much since my mom battled stomach cancer a few years ago.
It wasn’t easy then, and it’s not easy now.
Knowing what information to share isn’t the hard part. Between my own experiences and the Peterson Firm’s resources, I have a lot of information to share. So why have I written and discarded so many blog entries before writing this one? I didn’t want you to know that my family’s own story had a sad ending.
Five years ago, I sat by mom’s side and watched her die.
My aunt also died a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t see her in the end because I stayed away from my family for the same reason I initially didn’t want to tell you that my mom died: I feared that no matter how useful my information was, the fact that it came from me — a caregiver whose loved one had died — would just sadden you and take away your hope.
In reality, though, our cancer story was full of hope. It has taken a lot of soul searching to remember that how our story ended isn’t as important as what happened after it began.
Soon after my mom was diagnosed, she started getting her affairs in order. She didn’t know how the story would end 18 months later, but she knew she wanted to be as comfortable as possible and spend whatever time she had left with her loved ones. We may not have realized it at the moment, but that decision would help her enjoy more time with us instead of worrying about what would happen to us after she was gone.
Continue Reading on: Creating Stories of Hope