Eileen Z. Fuentes | Dear Caregivers-We Salute You!
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02 Jul Dear Caregivers-We Salute You!

Caregivers www.thespeach.com

My Grandfather and I

Yesterday, like most Sundays, I came home after listening to a spiritual lesson on ‘understanding’ and I was really inspired. As I walked into the house, the memory of one of the most intense moments while undergoing treatment just entered into my thoughts. For the most part, I have tucked away some of the painful memories in my emotional/physical ordeal as I feel that it is important to live in the present and not in the past. I turned to my husband and mentioned that event and both of us seemed to drift to a painful place we both had forgotten.

After losing my health, my home and 2 family members, I remembered a day when we were so filled with pain that we all (my mother, 3 kids, my husband and I) laid in my mother’s bed and allowed the television to watch us. It was on but I know no one was really watching it. At some point we all fell asleep and woke up several hours later. I had just come from one of my chemotherapy sessions and I imagine we must have been extremely exhausted after all we had endured. It was at that moment that I realized how vital my caregivers were. Without them, I’m not sure I’d be here today. To have support is the greatest gift of all. I often get questions from friends and family about what to do when a loved one gets diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and every time I tell them the same thing. If possible, be there in physical form. Cooking, attending doctors appointments, taking walks together, helping with chores is invaluable… for both parties. A couple years later when my grandfather got sick, I was able to spend quality time feeding him, reflecting on the many good times we shared, massaging his aching body and for me that was incredibly healing as I dealt with the pain of his impending demise.

I just wanted to take a moment to honor our caregivers, who many times suffer more than the sick do. How hard must it be to watch helplessly as those we love suffer. There are so many caregivers who end up becoming patients themselves and so it is absolutely mandatory that they also seek support to avoid two potential tragedies. Illness can often lead to an opportunity to overcome fear, self-discovery, and for healing on many levels. For me it allowed for spiritual growth and to ‘understand’ the true meaning of love (not on the giving end but rather on the receiving end). It was something that I will forever cherish.

Dear caregivers, whoever you are and wherever you may be, I know the focus may not be on you right now but I wanted you to know that we salute you for all you do. While I know it is easier said than done, check out some survival tips to keep you on the path to good health as you work to heal others.

Caregiver Survival Tips www.thespeach.com

Photo: mylot

For additional caregiver support, check out robcares.com.

Related Post: Papa Ricardo’s Longevity Plan

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Eileen Z. Fuentes

After a breast cancer diagnosis in 2008, Eileen became her own Self-Healthcare Activist. She is an Integrative Cancer Coach and works full-time helping patients do more than just survive at Columbia University’s Cancer Center in New York City.

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