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Published on February 13, 2014

Caring for the Caregivers

February 13, 2014

holding handsWhen I thought about what I wanted to write about for this month’s eNewsletter the first thing that came to my mind was CAREGIVERS. Lately, it seems I have spent a lot of time with families of cancer patients. I have often called the caregiver the “silent patient” of the one who has been diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness. Why? Well, for one thing the caregiver(s) often sit in the background as the patient receives the necessary and required attention from the doctors, nurse practitioner, nurse navigator, dietitian, physical therapist, social worker and the chemo/radiation team. 

Understandably, the caregiver is grateful for all the intense care on behalf of their loved one and would not have it any other way; however, it is the caregiver who often gets lost in the mix. Being a “silent patient” is someone I have deemed who has symptoms of grief from watching their loved one go through the battle of a cancer diagnosis and this often leads to physical symptoms of their own. The caregiver needs a place to unwind and vent and cry if need be. A place to sort out their emotions and practical concerns of all the things they are balancing every single day. If you are a caregiver, please let me invite you to call me, drop by, or make an appointment. I not only care about your loved one; but I care about YOU. I will give you a safe place to be yourself without judgment. A place where you can find direction in YOUR journey within your loved ones journey with cancer. Allow yourself the gift of attention, support and care. I am just a phone call away.

 

Vickie Peyton MSW, LCSW
Oncology Social Worker

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