Most of us, at one time or another, have encountered tragedy.
If you find yourself reading the description of this book, I assume this is the case for you and I’d like to say I’m truly sorry. To be honest, I really wish everything in this book were tales of fiction and that my experiences were all a dream. But the stories I courageously share, are my own truthful encounters with life as a caregiver.
This book is an outline of my experiences while taking care of my dad, both physically and mentally, during his battle with cancer. It is a tool designed to help those in similar positions navigate coping, self-awareness, empathy, compassion, self-care, support, education, commitment, grief, love and embracing the day-to-day reality of caregiving.
Although very cancer-specific, these words can provide encouragement to all those questioning whether or not to take on the role of caregiver. I did my best to write the book I was looking for when my journey began in early 2013. I don’t have any ‘top 10’ pieces of advice to offer, and any advice I do give is solely based off what was found to work successfully for my dad. I’m not a doctor, and I don’t have any professional medical training whatsoever. At the time this story began I was just a son doing everything possible for my best friend – I educated myself on the run.
My dad was given a terminal diagnosis of nine months to a year to live. He ended up passing away two and a half years later, and although he fought hard for us, I want my dad’s fight to be worth more. I want his struggles to give inspiration, and I want to see a shy, humble man’s battle provide support and hope long after he’s gone. I share these stories about a man with an incurable disease to demonstrate how myself and my loved ones were able to extend his life beyond what doctors ever expected.
During my dad’s final year, I used social media as a positive platform to share the daily struggles and absolute joys I was constantly faced with. The outpouring of love and support I received is what made me realize this book needed to be written.
For obvious reasons, I hate the fact that this book has grounds to exist, but I will use it as a vehicle to share a journey that will hopefully help you with yours.
*Description taken from Chapter One: To The Reader