Caregivers of Lung Cancer…Decisions

The experience varies, but in most cases, the flow of events are usually similar, and that is FAST! I grew up real quick with my mom’s lung cancer, and though I was a grown woman when she was diagnosed...well a lot of things were thrown my way that I never dealt with before. You know being thrown in health decision dilemmas, pivotal situations open the door for a mature conversation. I’ve made it to the big league, and I didn’t feel great about it; who would handle these kinds of decisions? The time for putting your big girl panties (if you will) was evident and right now.

Treatments and directions

Okay, our beautiful loved ones have been diagnosed, and the prognosis is not good. What do we do? How do we move forward? Well, in my story mommy made her decisions until she couldn’t make them anymore. She made the decision to go with chemo treatment; it may have been more, what the heck. Now not to make light of this, making that decision on how you want to move forward is a big deal. I recall how my grandmother went through a horrible bout with breast cancer treatment, so I’m sure a lot of that played in everyone’s head. The words chemo, unfortunately, have a negative connotation especially if you have experience through someone else journey. However, I know firsthand like so many, you have to do what you have to do, and those decisions of which direction is not easy. You either go all in or you don’t and the final score is HOPE.

Deciding on hospice care

I volunteered as a youth to a few elderly facilities, but when I was presented with the words of placing my mother into hospice; I really didn’t understand. I mean the two are different to some degree, but not really. I had to decide if placing my mother, a viable strong, prideful woman in a facility where she would stay until she passed. This process can be passed along for the family to make this decision. However many want to be home not in a place with strangers and a strange bed. The discussion and act of making that call are huge!

Power of attorney

What the...Okay, my mom was clear and understood this process. This is where I suppose she handed me the baton to oversee her situation. She signed, I signed, and my husband was the witness as I recall, along with hospital officials overseeing the process. To be mentally prepared for this is an understatement, to say the least. I remember looking at my mother and asking her "Are you sure?" In my mind, she was going to get over this hump, but it was clear in her expression, she was tired. The fatigue was setting in, as well as just not feeling like herself.

Strength and faith

Are you in it for the long haul? As mentioned it is not easy, but wouldn’t you rather be involved by showing support in these areas than a stranger? I can’t tell you how I even planned for so many things that took place in this time. Good ole strength and faith always show its face in the true time of need. A caregiver's stroll is not easy, but if you've been through the beginning with your loved one, you learn to be strong, especially when it calls for you to make urgent decisions. Strength to all!

The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile….when you feel like it 

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