Cancer: Repercussions on a Caregiver’s life

Original publishing date:  January 29, 2020
Publisher: Thrive Global
Author: Elaine Lipworth

“All my priorities have changed. What’s important now boils down to an appreciation for the blessings in my life, from moment to moment.” 

Elaine, a caregiver to her husband, shares how her life changed, after her husband was diagnosed with Brainstem Cancer. Cancer being a chronic disease, has its own effects on the family of the care-receiver. The everyday routine of the family changes according to their loved one’s schedule. Elaine explains how her journey of being a caregiver made her realize, how important it is to appreciate every little blessing in her life. She also mentions how mindfulness has helped her maintain her mental peace.

“I have an inner knowing that everything is meant to be, for a higher purpose, that somehow this journey is unfolding perfectly… I’ve learned is to prioritize today — now… it’s all we’ve got, and I am making the most of it.”  

She points out six things that she has prioritized in her life and which gave a new perspective to her journey. Being grateful – focuses on appreciating every (however little) positive part of your day. Maybe it is having helpful neighbors or recognizing every point of progress for your loved one.  She also conveys how being humorous, can make a  positive impact on your daily life. Working as a journalist, helps her to retain her identity by doing what keeps her positively engaged. Realizing how self-care not only benefits her, but also her husband’s health was a turning point in her life. A balance of good sleep, nutrition and exercise made her feel more patient and calm.

Two other things that helped her find peace were music and spiritual healing. Music helps her begin the day on a positive note. Having a spiritual perspective helps to have a positive outlook towards the challenges and hurdles. Elaine also mentions that, the journey is all about healing, even though at times it feels like exactly the opposite!

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