Melissa explains to Michelle King Robson when she decided to have caregivers at her side and what they do to help her through lung cancer treatment.
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Michelle: So Melissa, you have caregivers that help you. How did this happen and what are these caregivers doing to really help you with your health? Melissa: The caregivers have been absolutely phenomenal and I don’t think that I would have made it this far and been able to stay positive without that. They handle everything from making sure that I am getting to appointments on time, helping me to drive to the appointments because I can’t drive on certain medication, making sure that I am taking my pills on time because I will forget sometimes when to take them, making sure that I have a shoulder to cry on if I need it. They really are almost like a personal assistant. Michelle: With your health. Melissa: With my health, yeah. And I’ve had everybody from family members to friends to relatives, all help out. And everybody is different in their own unique way. We had talked about the blog before. Every caregiver that comes to stay with me writes a journal about what they see and it’s different seeing through their eyes what the process is and what they are feeling. And I, I think that being a caregiver is almost as difficult, if not even more difficult, than actually having the cancer because, you know, from their point of view there’s not a lot that they can do. They can be there to support you and help you manage your day-to-day life but, you know, they want to take the pain away and want to help you as much as they can but there’s a limit to that. So I almost feel like they have it, they have it worse than I do. Michelle: But they, but it’s a way for them to help you in a way that’s really useful to you as the patient and also makes them feel really good. Melissa: Absolutely. Michelle: That they can support you and what a great way to support you. So they do everything. I understand that you have your sister who does the scheduling. Melissa: Yes, my sister, she is in charge of scheduling caregivers from when they come down here because I would have tons of people calling me, saying, “Hey, when can I come down?” And it’s just, it’s too much for me to handle or even think about. So, she would draw up a schedule every month and say, “Okay, we have somebody this week to this week. Why don’t you come in August,” and that was a huge help, just coordinating that. I have another sister who, she was in charge of coordinating all of the medical documents and making, talking with hospice or home healthcare, or talking with the doctor and making sure that I was getting all my medical records. I had, you know, my parents had their particular job and then I would have friends that their job is to drive me places or just being there for support, so. Michelle: Such a great way, that’s such a great way to help you and such a great gift. Melissa: Absolutely, yeah. Michelle: Thank you for sharing that.