Friday, October 01, 2004
Top Ten List for Caretakers
I am honored to contribute to this site. Today I share with you my very own top ten list for caretakers:

10. It's OK if they want to sleep on the couch, or even on the floor - don't feel this makes you a bad host. Just be grateful they can sleep.

9. Be sure your air conditioner is in top shape, and put an extra blanket on your bed, even in the heat of summer. The hot flashes can take over at any moment!

8. Don't worry about being a good cook - toast is a big hit. However, this isn't the time to try out your new curry recipe - beware the chemo-enhanced olfactory sense!

7. Throw out all of the old condiments in your refrigerator - you will need all the room you can to stock up on fluids. San Pelligrino is a favorite here.

6. Watch the mood-o-meter. Growing up in a house with 4 sisters was great preparation for this one!

5. Don't be surprised when the chemo nurses act so nonchalantly about all this stuff, as if it were a dental office. They are both tough and gentle people - to them, all of this is normal. For those of us who never stepped into this world before, it is shocking at first . . . and then all you see and feel is hope from these lovely people.

4. Take a massage lesson or two. This one is a must to handle those sudden aches and pains -- your friends will appreciate this skill later!

3. Lotion, lotion, lotion. The dry skin from chemo just drinks it up. Don't go crazy with the scented stuff, though.

2. If suddenly they develop a love for old Match Game reruns, don't worry. Actually, sit down and watch together - they are hysterical!

1. Be grateful for the special time together - although I'd give anything for Jeannette not to have to travel this journey, there is no other place I would be but right by her side.

Written by Joyce
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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    "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12