Its been a very rough week. I have absolutely no idea what happened during the first part of the week and I would bet all I own that tomorrow I wont really remember what i did today. I'm hoping that by next week this time I am back to thinking and seeing clearly.
This week I had a talk with a cancer care giver. It was strange to see it all from the other side. I have been the person with cancer for too long now. Actually, its hard to remember what it was like before I was the person with cancer. Now I am on the other side of the table, the person listening and giving advice. The person who doesn't know what to say and feels helpless. The conversation made me think a lot about my experience. What would I want to hear, what information would I want to get, what would have made a difference for me?
This conversation helped me understand how my loved ones must have felt. I have said it before but I think it should be said again, being a care giver is much harder than being a cancer fighter. The one piece of advice I think may have been helpful was to get your loved ones medical records and ask other cancer institutes to look them over. Even if you or your loved one is at a cancer institute maybe there is a better institute. Maybe there are new treatments or better specialists. It can't hurt to make some phone calls and ask doctors to check out medical records. You don't have to fly to the institute, drag your sick loved one or even make any type of commitment.
I know that if I hadn't gone to Dana Farber Cancer Institute where they had one of the only internal radiation machines I would not have lived! I had my medical records, CT scan etc...faxed to Dana Farber and they said they could help. If you don't know where to start you can call the American Cancer Institute and ask them. You don't have to be the one with cancer to call. They are very helpful and have lots of information so just pick up the phone and call, you never know it could be the call that saves a life!