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In honor of National Family Caregiver Month, a caregiver shares what it means to be a caregiver to her husband who is living with NET.


"Someone you love is ill and is in need

It’s a journey of mostly necessity not choice

It’s walking beside, behind and ahead and changing directions frequently

It’s keeping a smile while hiding a tear

Holding your fear in check

Giving patience when frustration rises

Being a receiver of their frustration

Finding ways to direct my anger and theirs

Taking on chores that were once theirs or shared

Advocating for them even when they don’t think they need an advocate

Making plans, changing plans, and changing plans

Having difficult conversations about the future, including end-of-life

Finding the balance between gentle reminders and nagging

Looking for the bright side in all of this and rejoicing when you find the light even if only for a brief time

Reminding yourself this is not the journey they chose to be on either

Watching your loved one be so vulnerable

Realizing there will be times when we are sharing a view from the mountain top, but somedays we will be in the valley and other days we might be coasting down the calm waters. Somedays our views will not be the same and that will be okay too

I do not have to do this alone

It’s knowing when the caregiving ends, I will have lost the one I love"


Written by Beth Voyles

A NET Caregiver & NETCONNECT Mentor

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