Now that I was the latest victim to the on growing cancer attacks, I have to say I have learned a lot of what needs exist. My dear husband has taken on the responsibility of my full time care provider. This is not a light duty task. This is a 24 hour task that should never be taken for granted.
He loves me more than I can ever comprehend or possibly ever repay. He took time off work to help in my care process. This process involves, well everything and then some (remember shots in the abs). The husband is already the head provider of our little family. He is also the dish washer and laundry doer. Then he took on meals, medicating in the middle of the night, mother-in-law, chauffeur, and so much more. Trying to fit in a few days of work so to keep being the primary provider. Meanwhile continuing his online schooling a particularly challenging class this semester.
I am going to share what needs there may actually be if you have a friend or loved going through something that has them bed ridden for some time and their spouse is the primary care giver.
#1: Food is great, but people are picky eaters. My husband for example eats no fruit and veggies, ever. I think it would be more helpful for my husband if someone would come babysit while he runs to the store to pick up foods we will eat.
#2 Visits are lovely moments of cheer. But too long is exhausting. Come visit for a short while, do a chore, then leave.
#3 So many people say ‘just ask and I will do anything to help’ HA! If you’ve met me you would know I am the doer not the receiver! It is so hard to ask. And, well how many men do you know that will ask for help? Just make a plan to come, do the dishes, take out the trash or run an errand for the care giver. Just do it. Don’t wait to be asked. It may never happen.
#4 Communication. This is tricky but huge. I don’t know if you will ever understand this but cancer makes you feel alone. It is a state of being where you do not want to be alone but you really want to be left alone. It messes with your brain like that. Getting a text or an email or even a private IM on Facebook from those who know what is going on is, well HUGE. It honestly is. Just a quick text to say Good Morning! or Happy February! anything is very thoughtful and enough to bring your heart to a cheery mood again. This is something I am learning to do in general with the people in my life that I care about. Checking in on them with something uplifting or positive. On a fairly regular basis. It is just a nice feeling in sickness and health.
These are just some of the things I am learning. Going through this will help me be a better friend when someone I know is going through something and has a loved one as their care provider. Just thought I would share.