If you are married to, the parent of, or living with a brain tumor patient, then you are a caregiver. You may not even realize that you are a caregiver, because 100% of your focus is on your loved one, the brain tumor patient.
You may be on what we call “the brain tumor treadmill,” a cycle of repetitive stress, worry, work, cook, clean, grocery shop, worry, find the cure for brain tumors, worry, visit doctors, search for treatments, worry, feel guilty, worry. You might not have anyone to talk to about YOUR fears. You might not be sleeping well, which causes more mental and physical stress. Maybe you think it will upset your loved one to discuss your worries and your fears. You might have an unsympathetic boss or workplace, maybe your extended family or your spouse’s extended family just does not understand, or they are so worried and upset about their son or daughter that they can’t see that you need help too.
As caregivers, it’s very hard to admit we need help. But, continuing on the “treadmill” can have devastating and life-long effects on your physical and emotional health. You alone as the caregiver cannot find the cure for cancer, and you cannot take care of everything and fix everything yourself. Unfortunately, most people will not realize that you need help. We caregivers are very good at playing super-mom, dad, wife, husband, partner, brother, sister. We think we can handle it all by ourselves, and don’t realize the damage we are actually causing to our own health. In order to be a better caregiver, we must also take care of ourselves. If you are a caregiver, YOU NEED TO ASK FOR HELP!!