Being a caregiver to a patient you love is hard. There is the physical and time stress of doing all that needs to be done. Even more overwhelming, there is the emotional stress of seeing someone you love go through such a challenging ordeal. Often, these stresses are accompanied by fear and grief at a time of great uncertainty. This stress makes it hard to separate concern for the patient from concern for oneself. Some caregivers even experience guilt that their own psychological response interferes with their ability to be more supportive, and frustration that the patient continues to need so much.
The stories below show how some caregivers have coped with the challenge. In addition, you can read Caregivers Get Cancer Too to learn what the research shows about the emotional response of caregivers and how you can help yourself through the ordeal.
And if you would like to share your own story of being a caregiver, please reach out here.