There are a lot of things they don’t tell you about being a cancer caregiver. And while we love featuring the stories of cancer survivors here at SurvivorNet, it’s important to also share the stories of those who are there every step along the way — the husbands/wives/brothers/sisters/parents/etc. who become cancer caregivers when a loved one gets diagnosed. It’s not an easy job, but it’s a really, really important one.
When his wife of 25 years was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Doug Wendt became one of those caregivers. The couple was fortunate in that they owned a business together, so they could adjust their schedules to fit Doug’s wife Alice’s medical needs.READ MORE
“I was able to be there for pretty much every stage of the journey,” Doug said. Tragically, Alice passed away from the disease after two years. But, given their experience, Doug has some advice for other people who may be playing the role of caregiver to a loved one going through cancer.
“Medical professionals love having you involved, and aren’t quite sure if they want you involved,” Doug said. “It’s just the nature of the medical system — it’s focused on the professionals and the patient. You get a lot of emotional support and positivity for being a caregiver, until you question something. So, it’s important to know that you’re not always going to be on the same side as the care team, even when they’re great people.”
Doug urges other caregivers to speak up if they think something is amiss with their loved one’s medical care. After all, doctors are only human.