How can we care for a person with cancer or other serious illnesses?
I was overwhelmed with having to do this by myself.
Grace Butler is a colon cancer survivor. She says that one of the most difficult issues in her cancer journey is because she is alone and feels lonely. She shares, “There were many, many times of going to labs, going to screens, going to scans, MRIs, and etcetera. Initially, I had a driver—someone from my church who would take me to appointments and drop me off. When the appointment was over, I would call, and that person would come back to pick me up. That’s sort of the way I have lived my life.
” I realized I was alone, and I wept. I cried. I cried. Then I went for my scan.”
I can recall the most difficult time for me which was when I needed to have a bone scan. I was overwhelmed with having to do this by myself. I’m looking at people as they would come [to their appointment] and as they would go. You could always tell who the patient was and who the caregiver was. But in almost every instance, I saw a patient with somebody. And while I sat there, I realized I was alone, and I wept. I cried. I cried. Then I went for my scan.”
My advice for caregivers is, tell someone like Grace, “I will go with you.” It may mean that you have to make changes in your schedule and tear up your to-do list for the day, but know that you are doing the most important thing – the very thing that Jesus would do: ….caring for someone who is alone and caring for someone who is struggling.
To download a free e-book on simple ways to care for the people in your life go to our post titled 122+ Ways to Care Well.