Caregivers deserve a standing ovation. They are the quiet heroes for cancer patients, by willingly doing anything and everything to help make the patient comfortable and meet their needs.
When Cynthia Newsome was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2011, her husband, Ed Newsome, immediately jumped into action.
For eight months, Ed was there for Cynthia, taking her to chemotherapy, cooking the meals, cleaning the house and making sure Cynthia had everything she needed.
Ed called his system "The A-B-C-D Rules of Being a Caretaker."
“First, be Available,” Ed explained. “Maintain as normal schedule as possible, but let go of things that don’t mean too much and be flexible."
B is for Buy-IN.
“Don’t just be on the sideline or a casual observer; self-educate, read, research, talk to a professional and ask questions,” Ed said.
Circle is the C component. Ed said it’s helpful for caregivers to expand their circle and find support for themselves through family, friends, church and professionals.
Finally, Ed believes D stands for Do.
“Don’t ask what can I do. Don’t say call me if you need me. Do whatever you see, or whatever comes to your mind, that would be helpful,” Ed concluded.
Joan Charbonneau, interviewed Ed and Cynthia about caregiving. Her promotional products company is owned by women and its mission is to raise awareness about women’s health issues. The Newsome’s story is featured on the Verite website http://womensbreasthealth.com/.
For cancer patients who do not have help from friends or family, Cancer Action is the organization cancer patients can call. Karla Nichols is Executive Director of Cancer Action.
“We’re here to help anyone diagnosed with any type of cancer,” Karla explained. “We have programs to help people with transportation to get to and from their medical appointments, we also have some medical products cancer patients need and we offer free wigs to patients in need."