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A Caregiver’s Commitment / by Jeanine Goldsmith

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A Caregiver’s Commitment

March 19th, 2012 - by admin

by Jeanine Goldsmith

http://blog.lungevity.org/2012/03/19/a- ... ommitment/

My cousin Stephanie Jenkins defines an incredible caregiver.

She participated in the Breath Deep DC walk this past November with her mother Lydia who is a lung cancer survivor.

As a caregiver, Stephanie’s unconditional support, love, and commitment is to the well-being of her family. When Stephanie’s mother was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in November 2010, she didn’t think twice and moved her family, which includes three children between the age of 5 and 11 from Georgia to Maryland to be by her mother’s side.

Due to her mother’s illness, Stephanie also had to assume the caregiver role for her father who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. For over a year, Stephanie has had to sacrifice her personal life to serve has primary caregiver. She had to sell her home in Atlanta and quit her job, all while raising her children by herself and caring for her parents. Because Stephanie is a full time caregiver for both her parents, there is a major financial strain on the family. All of these factors would put a strain even on the strongest of individuals. Despite these obstacles, Stephanie continues to be determined to find ways to make things work somehow, someway.

Even though she knows why these sacrifices were necessary, I know it must be hard to deal with the fact that the independence you once had has been stripped from you and the life you once had is put on hold indefinitely. I do the best I can to constantly remind Stephanie that her sacrifices are not done in vain but of course it is hard to look beyond the present chaos and see the bigger picture.

Currently, her mother is beginning a new treatment plan and is still trying to get her strength back. I can only image how hard this whole situation has been on Stephanie and it breaks my heart to see her struggle to make ends meet. Regardless, she continues to do what is necessary for her family and has never lost sight of the importance of that.

I admire my cousin for living up to what it truly means to love selflessly and unconditionally.

Thank you, Stephanie, for being an incredible caregiver!

If you are a lung cancer caregiver in need of resources or support, please visit LUNGevity’s online lung cancer Caregiver Resource Center.

Because of the lack of resources available specifically to lung cancer caregivers, many feel isolated and lack supportive people around them. Here at the CRC, caregivers can gain knowledge, learn care giving tips, get support from others and obtain hope.

The CRC is a dedicated place where caregivers can access an online community 24 hours a day with peer to peer support and advice from others who have been in their shoes. Caregivers can find information, tools and resources to effectively carry out the caregiver role.

The CRC will arm caregivers with information on what to expect after a lung cancer diagnosis; what questions to ask; how to help the patient; ways to take care of themselves and resources available.

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