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Managing life as a prostate cancer caregiver

As a caregiver, I found myself in roles I never imagined. I found myself changing dressings, administering medications, cleaning incisions, watching for infections and deciding when we needed to head to the emergency room.

I learned early on that if I was going to be good for anyone else, I needed to take care of myself. I started walking 50 miles a week, would play classical music on my keyboard, made quilts. I think taking time for myself made me a better at everything I did, including being a wife and caregiver. Caregivers, what do you do for yourselves that helps keep you grounded?

  1. This is such an important topic. While I am not in a position to care for a family member right now, I am a physical therapist who has worked for 23 years taking care of others.

    In the past, I didn't engage in enough self-care. But one year ago, I required a lumbar fusion surgery to correct an unstable spine. I have no doubt that my spinal condition was caused by putting others first without considering my own needs.

    I have had a great recovery from surgery and now live without pain. The most valuable lesson I have learned was that I am useless to others if I am not well. For grounding, I go on long walks, get plenty of sleep and cry when I need to. They are the most cleansing tears I have ever known.

    Becca Ironside, Moderator

    1. Yes, I think we learn the hard way that we need to make sure we include ourselves when being a caregiver. So glad you recovered from surgery and are without pain. I'm with you on the long walks therapy. I'm afraid I haven't learned how to conquer the no sleep problem yet. Please continue to take care of yourself.

      Sue Franke, Moderator

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