Today is National Bow Tie Day. Have you ever seen someone who was wearing a bow tie who was not…smiling! Wearing a bow tie is like wearing a second smile!
What ever you choose to wear today, make sure it comes with a smile!
Join us on Tuesday November 6th at 1:00 pm for ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ on ‘Blog Talk Radio‘ with our special guest Michael Norfeet, Program Director of the Noble A. McArtor Adult Day Care Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Respite care is essential in the equation on how to Be a Healthy Caregiver. Participation in Adult Day Care often prevents re-hospitalization and and may delay admission to residential long term care. For participants who would otherwise stay at home alone, the social stimulation and recreational activities may improve or maintain physical or cognitive functions. For Caregivers, Adutl Day Care Center provides respite care, enabling caregivers to work or have a break from their Caregiving responsibilities.
Join us on Tuesday November 6th at 1:00 pm for ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ on Blog Talk Radio by clicking here
Join me this morning at 10:00 am EST on Blog Talk Radio, host be Denise Brown as we discuss LGBT Caregiving
We have all seen those gadget that they sell on TV… It seems that all those gadgets sell for just $19.99 and better yet, all these gadgets are a must need for every household!
As I was preparing waffles for breakfast this morning I came across a new product called ‘The Tumor Extractor’
‘The Little One’ and I enjoyed a great laugh when I presented him with our new ‘Tumor Extractor’ for just $19.99 and just think…we only spent $10,000 on chemo and radiation! (Of course Monty Python’s Spamalot is playing in the background.) Every cancer patient and caregiver wishes there was something as quick and simple as ‘The Tumor Extractor’ to remove cancer from the body. But what is available to every cancer patient and caregiver is hope, love, support and humor. That is the true Cancer Extractor!
While Each one of us deals with the realty of cancer in a different way, we want to look on the bright side of life!
Yesterday is gone, today is here, not sure about tomorrow. Today we are enjoying our new ‘Tumor Extractor’ even if it will only help us make waffles.
It is hope that let us stand problems…but our beliefs let us finds solutions.
Happy Sunday! And remember… ‘Always look on the bright side of life!’
The phone rang and there was a trembling voice on the other end…”They are admitting me to the hospital” The Little One said. It was not difficult to hear the fear and anxiety in his voice; the psychological aspects of going through chemo and radiation are often overshadowed while in the mist of the treatments. Even more unbelievable…his doctor wheeled him to the hospital emergency room herself!
While no one really relishes a trip to the hospital, this was the best way for ‘The Little One’ to help regain his strength and take a break from the cancer treatments. The chemotherapy and radiation has zapped his strength; low white blood cell count and low potassium levels seem to be the culprit in this sordid mess. All fixable items on the health dept chart when recognized early and treated properly. We are thankful for the chemo-therapist for his swift action and recognizing that was something amiss.
Try as we might, we just can no longer do these treatments apart. Independent as he is, these treatments are just not something that you can do on your own. The issues are enormous; house and doctors in Florida, job and family in St. Louis. Yet one thing is certain…home is always where you are when you are with the one you love.
Last Saturday I met with a wonderful geriatric social worker in St. Louis by the name of Jeanette. The hour I spent with Jeanette was worth its weight in gold. One of the great lessons that I was reminded of during my visit last week with Jeanette is the need to network and explore expertise other than your own. (Now is not the time to be a legend in your own mind.) There are more options available than meets the eye, it’s just getting to the right resources in time to make the proper decisions. I am thankful for her knowledge and thankful to Sherrill Wayland from Metro SAGE St. Louis for the great referral.
As I have previoiusly mentioned, being a caregiver is a privileged…Yet in order to be a good caregiver you have to sometimes detach your emotions and explore knowledge and resources outside your area of expertise. There is no need for the caregiver to go solo! My visit with Jeannette reminded me that in order to think outside the box, I have to get out of my own world.
As we move into the final stages of the chemotherapy and radiation treatments, we are doing this together…side by side, one by one. Now that I am in Florida, one decision is firm…’The Little One’ will no longer be ‘physically’ alone to go through these daunting treatments. We look ahead with hope, with anticipation and most of all…with all your love, prayers and support!
Earlier this week I posted about ‘mixed messages’ that we were receiving from the radiologist and chemotherapy in relation to the amount of protein drink that the little one should be drinking on a daily basis while going through his cancer treatments. I am happy to report that we are now all are on the same page, it was just a minor philosophical difference in their treatment plan that needed to be tweaked. Treatment plans are just that… plans; sometimes the game plan has to be changed in the middle of the game. The key to any change in game plan is to have the proper data at hand so that intelligent adjustments can be made. It is not unusual for professionals that have diverse opinions on how treatment plans should be administered. What is equally as important is for those professionals is to have the ability to communicate and change the game plan in order to have a winning formula. Every game is different, as is every patient. Sometimes you just can’t go by the book, you have to make an adjustment in the middle the game. Earlier this week I had not intended to be critical positions as not meant to be critical of physicians, but rather to demonstrate the need for communication and consistency within the team. The physicians are the “managers,’… the caregiver is the ‘coach,’… the ‘patient’ is the player in the field; if all three components of the team are not communicating properly, then the team is in chaos. The coach is often the advocate between the manager and player. Advocacy is the main role of a caregiver: I am happy to say that we are now all on the same page!
The news continues to get better for ‘The Little One’ as we have had a number of good days in a row. Lots of energy, eating well and good conversations with the staff at both the radiologist and the chemo-therapist this week. We believe that the tumor has shrunk as food is going down the esophagus with a little more ease. One of ‘ The Little One’s” favorite food is baked chicken and until this week, ‘The Little One’ not been able to enjoy baked chicken because of the tumor in the esophagus, it was just to difficult to get through the esophagus path: Quite a relief to enjoy something so delicious as your favorite meal without the worry of pain as the food travels down the esophagus. How often we take things for granted like eating a moist juicy piece of chicken, until that delight is taken away from you by this insidious tumor.
We have now completed three weeks of the five week program. While it’s been an uphill battle, we are pleased with the progress that has been made. The unknown causes fear and trepidation, we certainly experience that during these past few weeks. We know more than we did three weeks ago, and I am sure that we will learn more over the next two weeks leading up to the completion of the treatments. The treatment plan calls for a 30 day reprieve from chemotherapy and radiation after the completion of the treatments in two weeks. Once we are past 30 days from the last radiation treatment, ‘The Little One’ will have to go through the same set of tests that revealed the tumor in August. These tests will reveal what the aftercare plan will be; we are hoping for the best!
As we move forward trying to cure the physical aspects of this disease, we are keenly aware of what this disease does to the psyche. While cancer affects all of us, the emotional roller coaster of having cancer can only be realized by the person who has the disease. While we hope and pray that the chemotherapy and radiation destroys and obliterates the tumor, we are mindful that in order to successfully complete these treatments, there has to be a holistic component to the treatment plan. That is where our faith our family and our friends come in because it is through your love and compassion that we are able to make it through these treatment days.