When referring to cancer, it’s important you be intentional and inclusive. For instance, you may say “patient” when referring to someone in active treatment and “survivor” when someone who has been diagnosed is declared free of cancer and considers themselves as such. You also need to include the caregivers who play an active role in fighting cancer just as the person diagnosed does.
Cancer caregivers make sacrifices for the sake of their person. Caregivers may compromise on their work, miss meetings, forego their hobbies, and spend weekends caring for the patient rather than participating in other activities. Although caregivers are equally affected by cancer, they tend to remain in the background as the patient receives the majority of attention. As the patient fights for their life, the caregiver has to face the fact that the time may come when they have to live without them.
Although the patient may deal with the physical pain and misery, caregivers experience other types of pain knowing that they cannot make their person better. While the patient sleeps, is in surgery, or is on medication to ease pain and nausea, the caregiver is there to remember or write down conversations for the patient and endure long periods of solitude.
When you come across a cancer caregiver, talk with them about their experiences. Thank them for what they do. Caregivers deserve as much recognition as the patient does for what they go through.
If you or someone you know is fighting cancer, contact Chix 4 a Cause. Learn more about our Gifts of Love program at chix4acause.org today.