My darling wife, Lynn, has been sick with metastatic breast cancer since 2013. My role as her caregiver is to be supportive and present all the time.
She has not gone to one doctor’s appointment or treatment without me. Every time she goes for any scans, I take her, to hold her hand, to be there. To love her. I would never not be there for Lynn.
I’ve been better off emotionally a lot of the time when I’ve been in caregiver mode.
I also do pretty much everything at home when Lynn isn’t feeling well—the cooking, the cleaning, the washing, the drying, the shopping. It all comes very naturally to me, and I feel best when I’m doing it. Probably because I love her so much.
The most challenging part of caregiving is just seeing Lynn really, really ill.
I don’t let her see my fear though. The doctors told us from the get-go that attitude has as much to do with your quality of life as treatment.
Sometimes I do give myself that time to feel sorry for myself and say, “You know, I’m miserable.” I know that the feeling will pass by the next day.
The other challenge has to do with not getting any support. When Lynn first got sick, everyone rallied around us. After a while that just didn’t happen anymore. I have a lot of guy friends, but I think women are more compassionate, so I don’t really have anyone to talk to about all of this or anyone who can relate.
I’d really like to be of some assistance to others in the community who need support because I’m not afraid to reach out or open up, and I know that the best support comes from someone who’s walked in your shoes. And that’s something I think a lot of men are scared to do— just lay themselves out there and let their own stories be told.
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Photography by Saul Palomo, Link9 Studio.