As I shared in my opening message, we as Caregivers play many roles and wear “many hats”….each one as critical as the next. Each week in my “Caregivers Corner” blog, I will put on another hat and talk about my story. Though my experience is centered around the diagnosis of cancer, the hats we wear and roles we play unite us regardless of the illness. The same strategies will work for all of us who are providing support for those we love.
This week I am wearing my first hat, ”Researcher”. My mission was to learn as much information about Mantle Cell Lymphoma as possible. We must be brave as researchers because often the details of the disease and the articles that we read can be so frightening that we don’t want to continue. I began typing “Mantle Cell Lymphoma”, Lymphoma, non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, and cancer into the search engine and read every article that I could find. Yes, there was repetition, but that was fine, as I tried to digest the information with a feeling of an empty pit in my stomach. As I read the articles I learned that the prognosis for Mantle Cell was bleak for life expectancy, but I vowed that I would keep searching with optimism in order to find any new treatments that were having positive results. My search engine must have been exhausted over the course of months and several years as I looked for cancer treatment centers; the latest on doctors who were treating this specific disease; alternative methods to avoid chemotherapy; nutritional recommendations…”Cancer fighting foods” and so much more. Every time that I found something positive, such as the article that spoke of the advantages of drinking red wine in fighting cancer…being that Larry and I enjoy red wine…that was perfect!!!
The greatest discovery was prompted by an article that I read in the AARP magazine that was beautifully written by a cancer survivor who had participated in several clinical trials for the various cancers that she was fighting. Her words were so inspirational and proactive that my search took a turn. My research led me to the clinical trial for Mantle Cell Lymphoma at Stanford University Cancer Center. This discovery has changed our life!!!! More of my story next week.
Please feel free to comment and/ or share your story so that as a community of caregivers we can gain strength from one another.
Have a beautiful week,