What’s harder – being the patient or the caregiver?

My 5 year old daughter is sick today – fever and a tummy ache.  As a mother, I just want to hold her and make her feel all better. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for my mother when I was diagnosed with cancer and going through my treatments.  I couldn’t let myself imagine that at the time, because I needed to focus on myself and getting better.  Now, I’m realizing that it must have been just as hard, if not harder, for her – and everyone else who cared about me – than it was for me.  I know that when my partner was going through treatment for thyroid cancer, which included three surgeries and being quarantined in the hospital for radioactive iodine treatment, it was hell.  I was worried about her and her physical and emotional well-being, and worried about our kids, and determined to put on a brave face so none of them knew how terrrified I really was.  It was draining and difficult.  I think, for me at least, it’s easier being the patient.  Even though my own health was at risk and it was a nightmare to go through, it was easier than watching someone I love suffer and having no control over the outcome.  So, today I’m saying a prayer to thank God for all of my wonderful caregivers and all the caregivers in the world – and a special prayer that my daughters will never have to suffer with anything more serious than a fever and a tummy ache.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Valarie Kinney
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 16:16:29

    I recently lost my sister to cancer. In her last days, our mother was a flurry of fixing her favorite foods (though she couldn’t eat much), and spoon feeding her 49-year-old baby girl and kissing her head and fixing her blankets.
    And I thought, “My God, mothering is the most awful thing in the world.”
    And I thought, “My God, mothering is the most wonderful thing in the world.”


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