Ronni - My Wife & Caregiver

My wife Ronni was my primary caregiver. She was awesome. A true rock star.  Ronni provided me with the love and support I needed to make it through each day, while at the same time, shielding our three kids from the scary thought that their father had cancer and may not survive. She took care of me, while keeping our three kid's lives as normal as possible. For that, I will forever be grateful. 

Survivor Stories Honoring Their Caregivers

Kent K. - Michigan: 

When we spoke I told you I was not particularly optimistic or strong.   I am fortunate to be married to a remarkable woman who gave me strength. I give credit to Maggie, who attended every consult, test and treatment.  

My advice to those starting out is to be mindful of the caregiver. They too have limits of endurance and need to know they are loved and appreciated. They need time off from caregiving. I would give Maggie breaks so she could go out with friends or family and put cancer aside for a few hours. As she was renewed she could continue to support me.   

It was not necessary to sit through a four hour chemo drip when I was asleep most of the time.  She could use that time to go visits a friend. Similarly, as I would nap mid day or fall asleep early evening, she could take a few hours and have  a respite.  

Maggie needed such breaks so she could keep up her own physical and mental health. She needed time when the world did not revolve around my cancer treatment.   


Caregiver's PerspectiveS

Julie B. - Michigan

Watching someone you love battle cancer is scary and heartbreaking. Dealing with it from 3,000 miles away is awful. My best friend was diagnosed with stage IV oral cancer in Nov 2015. He lives in Las Vegas and I live in Detroit. Not being able to see him or talk to him while he was going thru treatment was excruciating. 

His wife works out of town and he couldn't be left alone during treatment. It was my honor and privilege to fly out to Vegas and care for him during four weeks of his treatment. While there, I was his primary caregiver. I drove him to chemo and radiation. I sat with him and held his hand during treatments. I fed him thru his gastric feeding tube. I went to his oncologist and radiation oncologist and acupuncture appointments with him. But more importantly, I was just there for him. I crawled into bed and watched tv with him. I let him vent. I hugged him and told him everything would be ok. I was his advocate at the hospital when he had no voice. I was strong for him when he wasn't feeling strong. I was just there to love him and support him however I could. 

While it is horrible to watch someone you love in so much pain, it was much easier for me to be there with him than to be 3,000 miles away worrying. I thought I was going out there to take care of him, but he actually took care of me. He comforted me. He made me smile. He gave me strength. I guess that's just what best friends do for one another. Today he is in remission and I am grateful for every day that we have together!