Jimmy and Eileen were approaching their 24th anniversary when Jimmy was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia during a routine physical examination. Having gone through several rounds of chemotherapy over the course of seven years, Jimmy was declared to be in remission. Things were good.
Then, nearly ten years after Jimmy’s diagnosis, Eileen found out she had breast cancer. Soon after her diagnosis Eileen faced surgery, chemotherapy, followed by radiation.
In addition to having to endure their own cancer, Eileen and Jimmy had to endure each others. If you asked them which was harder - watching your spouse go through cancer treatment or going through it yourself- you wouldn’t get a definitive answer but both would agree that being a caregiver is not an easy task.
Their story is instructive to patient and caregiver alike as they each live in both capacities.
When you first get that diagnosis or when a loved one reveals her diagnosis, your world changes immediately. How do you react? What do you do first? Who do you tell and how do you tell them?
Take nothing for granted. Enjoy your life as best you can. Instead of sweating the small stuff revel in it. It's the little moments that add so much to our lives. Step back and really take in the moment. Be present. Be happy. Very often they are the most effective treatments.