I follow another blog for kidney cancer caregivers. I get so much information, as well as inspiration there. Debbie Andrews, the web host, posted this poem she wrote. I thought it was beautiful! Can*er has touched each one of us in a different way, and often the caregivers go unnoticed. Thanks Deb, for your words of encouragement!
Voice for Caregivers
I am a voice, though only small for all who hold the reins
As they watch their loved ones battle with the stresses and the strains
of a plague that lends no favors to gender or to race
That silently invades the sacred body without grace
Cancer" is that dreaded curse that changes lives forever
For not only the affected, but also their caregiver.
I am a voice, who through my words will bless you with some hope
For caregivers putting lives on hold and thinking they can't cope
Please take a moment now as I relay what I've been through
And at the end you'll soon find out that it's not only you
Who feels your life is overwhelmed, altered and distressed
As emotions overtake you through a phase of utmost tests.
I am a voice, to tell you, I know exactly how you feel
The constant aching in your heart is oh, so very real.
Sure, you've heard of others out there, maybe friends who've walked this path
But now it's you and this time you directly feel it's wrath.
Every person has suggestions, and you're burdened from the bulk
Heck, at times you even hate them, but you know it's not their fault!
I am a voice, who's traveled through the stages cancer brings
Although I'm not the patient, the diagnosis gave me things
Like emotions that I'd never think were possible for me
To have in my entire life, but continue on and see
That cancer changes everyone, right from the very start
It affects your disposition, your temperament and heart.
I am a voice, who knows that "disbelief" is the first wave
Of emotions that sweep over you when diagnosis has been made.
How could this be? What did we do? There must be some mistake
For surely it cannot be us, who now are tempting fate.
Then follows "fear" for us as well, as we feel we've lost control
The panic, sleepless nights ahead, no one will ever know.
I am a voice, I know first hand when "anger" takes it's toll
It's a devastating feeling of 'why me,' emotions roll
I'm enraged, bitter, exhausted, at the situation that I'm in
I can strike out at a stranger as my temper's wearing thin.
I trust that those around me will forgive me for my acts
I pray that they will never carry what I'm faced with on their backs!
I am a voice, though sometimes haunted by the things I've felt inside
When that telephone starts ringing, I just want to run and hide.
Or maybe someone's come to visit, ooohhhhhh, why don't they stay away
Can't they understand I'm busy, I don't have time for tea or play.
Their suggestions drive me crazy, constant questions and advice
You'll just have to take the lead dear, tell them "back off," but be nice.
I am a voice, who knows our friends and families always there
They really only mean well, they intrude because they care.
But they need to take a step back if they venture on our sod
For only we can understand, they need to walk where we have trod.
We are the ones who anxiously await each doctor's visit, scans and tests
While our loved ones look for courage, we still must smile and do our best.
I am a voice, "frustration" haunts me more and more each day
I slash out at my loved ones and I know that's not the way.
I took my freedom once for granted, now life's different for I feel
Constant waves of guilt, resentment, my life's not mine, it's all too real.
You need time for YOU, so make it, ask someone to take your place
Don't feel like you've abandoned those you love, that's not the case!
I am a voice, as mother, father, sister, brother, kin or friend
As caregiver I am challenged to do my best right to the end.
Even though I've never learned this, the way to care under such stress
And I'm sure to have misgivings, but I know I'll do my best.
For in life we all are challenged, faced with unknowns as we grow
My position as caregiver, is a treasure this I know.
For I've been given talents that I never would have guessed
That will serve to do God's bidding and I know I'm truly blessed.
For He's given me the honor to help my loved ones in their need
And to bring them hope and courage and for me to plant a seed
That will grow a field of memories, I could have run, I had the choice
We're all revered to be CAREGIVERs, now pass the torch and be a voice!