Tonight is the night before our 13th wedding anniversary. 15 years together as the ‘home team’. Just days ago was Jeff’s birthday, another first I’ve experienced since he’s been gone. I am no longer a wife and partner. No longer am I a cancer caregiver. As I reflect on our marriage and the cancer experience…
It has taken some time to figure out what feels right in acknowledging and honoring Jeff’s life on this blog. He’s been gone just over 2 months. We created Secondhand Cancer while visiting one of our favorite spots in WA – the San Juan Islands. We broke away in between chemotherapy cycles to get a bit […]
Last two weeks have been tough. We didn’t get good news from the latest scan results. Add to that, an unanticipated surgery to resolve new vascular issues and painful lymphedema in the leg – a gift from radiation we cannot return. Whether it’s side effects from treatment, abnormal blood work – whatever – there’s always something […]
In my professional life, I lean on a strategy I call “test, measure and adjust”. What I like about it is that it encourages experimentation, it creates space to identify what’s working and not working, and it invites creative alternatives. The more I’m exposed to caregiving, the more I believe “test, measure and adjust” is a […]
Create a system that works for you where medical information is easily and quickly accessible. To every appointment or test, I carry a shoulder bag that includes: 1) a list of active medications, 2) a list of the latest scan and test dates, 3) summaries of the test results, and 4) if relevant, MRI or […]
You know your body. You know your loved one’s body. You know their medical history, how they respond to treatments, how they feel about a procedure, and what it means when they say ‘quality of life’. You and your loved one want a doctor and medical team who is open to exploring ideas and opinions […]
A cancer diagnosis creates emotional and psychological turmoil for the entire family. Life is drastically altered – it becomes immersed in all-that-is-cancer. Having the right type of respite care is a life jacket that provides temporary support. Whether in-home, outside, informal or formal, respite care is the “extra lift” that keeps your head above water. […]
We didn’t invite it – it just showed up. It’s inserted itself into every aspect of our life. It’s dominating our thoughts, feelings, family life, hobbies, emotions, and beliefs. We really didn’t want it and now that it’s here, we want to get rid of it.