“Caregiving is an invisible art .. developed through experience, and experience matters ..”
Dr. Pranab was the primary caregiver to his wife who was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer. After retiring from an Assistant Headmaster’s post, he devoted all his time to looking after his wife. The treatment went on for 2 and a half years, with many challenges to be faced.
Throughout this stressful phase, he did his best to stay strong and take care of his own emotional and mental well-being. When the trauma and grief that followed the loss of his wife was too much to take, he sought help for himself. He went on to volunteer for counseling terminal cancer patients undergoing palliative care.
“[A] Caregiver must be aware of [one’s] level of compassion fatigue .. make self-care a priority ..”
Looking back at fond memories of his wife, the joyous moments cherished, gives him strength in the absence of his wife. He shares from his experience that it is important that a caregiver puts effort into taking care of themselves.
If you can identify with this story, please share it with others who care for someone and help them share too. The feeling of understanding, not being alone and access to support is what keeps caregivers going.
Sharing your story helps understand yourself — feelings, passions, hopes. It lightens the load and offers relief from loneliness, anxiety, anger or guilt. Our experiences and hopes can benefit others – to know that the challenges are the same, learn new ways to cope and care… they aren’t alone but part of a team.
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