A Day in the Life of a Caregiver by Michaela B. Rosen

I was faced with a decision for this summer: to return home or to remain in D.C. (where I attend school). I had a list of pros and cons, and the glaring con to staying in DC was mom was home. The day I received an amazing internship offer back home, I also received a phone call from my mom following a doctor’s appointment with scan results. My mom told me the cancer was getting worse, so in a heartbeat I told her I would be home this summer.
When I returned home I could tell my mom lost weight (no, not in the “summer is coming” way). My mom has been gagging, her stomach has been hurting, she has been minimally eating, and she has been sleeping most of the day. While at school, I could tell from her voice on the phone she was not herself, but seeing her in person…she just looked depleted.

Exactly two months ago my mom and I were in Las Vegas for Spring Break losing at the Black Jack tables. My mom walked the entire Vegas strip, walked to different hotels and casinos, and stayed up until the early morning with me. In these past two months, cancer decided to be a dumbass (pardon the language). Now my mom and I are at home relaxing on the couch watching TV (until I start working). My mom moves from her bed to the couch, I get her whatever food and drink she can stomach for the day, and I take care of Wally. (Max of course helps out and my dad is truly SuperDad and SuperHusband.) 
An unknown piece to metastatic cancer is the effects of constant changing of treatments. My mom has educated everyone on how once a treatment stops working, you move onto the next, and the next, and the next… until there are no more. However, once she starts a new treatment, we as caregivers must adjust as well. Is her fatigue from the cancer or the treatment? Is the treatment working? Is her nausea and lack of appetite from the chemo or is the cancer up to something? We try to get her to try this smoothie or this type of mashed potato, anything to make her feel better and more comfortable.

 

Caregivers put someone else before himself or herself and understand the fragility of life and time. In doing so, I have learned…

· There are trivial things in life and important things in life.

· You should never put things off. (You want that pair of shoes? Go buy them before your size is gone…okay that is a bit trivial…maybe more important things like traveling, saying I love you, going after your dreams, carpe diem).

· Always be honest (my mom has always).

· Never do anything that dulls your uniqueness or prohibits you from being yourself or doing what you love.

 

One of the beautiful pieces to being a caregiver is I am always there for my mom. No matter how far away I am she will always get a phone call or text asking how she is. I have always been her sidekick, but now that I am home and really taking care of her, I am sort of like her pit bull or attack baby bear. Would I cut someone off for the closest parking spot if my mom was too tired to walk far? Obviously. Would I fight someone in the supermarket if there were only one bottle left of her favorite smoothie? Definitely.

It is just a day in the life of a caregiver.

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12 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of a Caregiver by Michaela B. Rosen

    • Michaela, this is beautifully written. May G-d bless your mom with much strength to overcome this horrible challenge and you should cherish all the special moments that you share together.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I think we can all see and appreciate how much you are like your Mom. Your brother also must have inherited the strength and character that it takes to support your Mom while she tackles this challenge, complete with all of the down sides. Carry on Michaela, with all the strength that you can muster. This is what your Mom has been showing us all how to do….and she is very much appreciated and loved. You too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michaela, Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience. You know you can always count on us if we can be of support to you, your mom, dad, and Max. Love to all of you, Susan and David

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful, yes treasure every moment! You are all brave, strong and surrounded by much love. If I can do anything, please let me know. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. corine

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Michaela,

    I graduated high school with your mom in 1983. She was a wonderful person back then, and I can see from her Facebook posts that she is an amazing person today. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Don’t think for a moment that your thoughts and your actions can not inspire those many years your senior. You are obviously an awesome daughter and a person who understands clearly the bigger picture. Keep “teaching” all of us through your powerful example. You made my day today!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Weekly Round Up: In Memory of Jodi Schoger | Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

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