A Partner's Support
- Robin Roberts, 61, and partner Amber Laign, 47, are taking some time to chill in “their happy place” now that Amber is finishing her radiation treatment for breast cancer.
- The GMA anchor has been the primary caregiver for Amber as she has battled the disease since December.
- Caregiver burnout—the stress, anger, fatigue, and illness that can come from putting another person’s needs ahead of your own—is real. It can sneak up on you if you don’t take care of yourself.
The GMA anchor, who has now taken off work for her longtime love, has been the primary caregiver for Amber as she has battled the disease since December.Read More
“This is going to be our last morning with you for just a little bit …” Robin teased with an exuberant, sly smile on her face, “that’s because Amber is completing radiation, and once she rings that bell, we’re heading to our happy place,” she said as her “Glam Fam” cheered along with her.
The NYC-based couple also have a home in Connecticut that Robin frequently raves about, so they are presumably retreating there, but that is not confirmed.
For all the other cancer warriors out there celebrating similar milestones, if you don’t have a second home or the budget to vacation right now, book a “staycation” at a local hotel or treat yourself to a spa day. Get your house cleaned. Go out and buy yourself a new dress or special piece of jewelry to commemorate the special day. Whatever it is that feels like a special splurge for you, do it! You deserve it.
Appropriately, the journalist had started out talking about things you go through that may make you “bitter and frustrated,” but reminds her viewers that you need to trust and have faith. “Father, thank you. Thank you that no matter what I go through, you are good and you love me.” For the believers … indeed!
Robin Roberts & Amber Laign’s Cancer Battles
Robin Roberts has been open in saying that her faith got her through both of her cancer battles, and now she is grateful that her faith continues to serve her as Amber makes concludes her chemotherapy and radiation.
It is unclear what further treatment Amber will be needing, but many patients, depending on what type of breast cancer you have, will have to take a pill for a number of years. It is also unknown whether Amber already had surgery or not.
Regardless, it sounds like the toughest part of it is hopefully over, and hopefully the couple can back to some sort of normalcy soon as they heal from this intense first leg of the journey. Starting out with a vacay certainly doesn’t hurt! It’s important to celebrate those milestones. It’s a lot of stress on a person and on a relationship—on both ends. And thankfully, Robin, as a survivor, understands that.
Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 after discovering a lump. Ironically, she made this discovery while prepping for a news segment on performing self-checks, which shows just how important they are to perform at home.
“At first I thought, ‘This can’t be. I am a young, healthy woman,’” Roberts said, which tends to echo through many women’s heads following a diagnosis.
The journalist’s early detection was a critical factor in her survival. She treated her breast cancer with surgery, one of several treatment options for this disease, which can also be treated with radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and immunotherapy.
The Brighter By The Day author recently celebrated 20 years with GMA, and also addressed Amber’s battle.
“When you’re the patient you know what you’re doing—by your treatment, you have your doctors, you have people watching over you that are helping you,” Robin began, addressing how her own battle was much different than what she is experiencing now. “When you’re on the other end as a caregiver, you feel helpless,” she admits. “And that’s what’s been so difficult.”
An Important Message for Caregivers
While it is undeniably difficult to be diagnosed with and treated for cancer, the family members and friends who care for cancer patients also face their own set of challenges.
“Caregiving is the most important job in the universe, because you are there through the highs and lows,” Julie Bulger, manager of patient and family-centered care at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, TN, tells SurvivorNet. “You are there to support your loved one, to manage all of the daily tasks as everything is changing in your life.”
Caregiver burnout—the stress, anger, fatigue, and illness that can come from putting another person’s needs ahead of your own—is real. It can sneak up on you if you don’t take care of yourself. “It is important to have some things that you can do outside of the focus of caring for somebody that you love with cancer,” Bulger says.
She suggests that you take a walk. Get a massage. Visit a support group for cancer caregivers, either online or in person. And see a therapist if you’re struggling to cope with all of your new responsibilities. Joining a support group and building your support team is often a very important strategy and can help prevent or reduce the risk of caregiver burnout.
Know that you are doing truly important work, and appreciate yourself for it. “There’s so much evidence that outcomes are better when somebody has an incredible caregiver by their side,” Bulger says. Research also finds that caregivers who take good care of themselves provide the best quality of care. “So you are helping your loved one in more ways than you know.”