Caregivers Need Kindness – Episode 129

Caregivers Need Kindness

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Featuring: Bernice Colvin

Published: September 15, 2018

In the second part of a special two-part episode, the hosts of Health, Hope & Inspiration once again sit down with cancer survivor Bernice Colvin to discuss the importance of caregiving for those on a cancer journey, and to help bring awareness and understanding for patients and families about the needs of caregivers who undertake that calling.

Show Notes:

Breast cancer survivor Bernice Colvin shares with the hosts her experience as a cancer patient with a caregiver and outlines several points and principles about the importance of showing kindness and empathy to those who care for others. “Patients need to understand that we need to be kind to our caregivers because they’re going through that journey, also, with you. You’re taking them with you,” she says. Colvin stresses that empathy goes both ways between patient and caregiver, particularly in those “human moments” when she wasn’t at her best: “I realized that I need to humble myself to them just as well as God wants us to be humble. It wasn’t fair to that person. It did make me realize, and I apologized.”

While Colvin says every person in her support system was vital to her recovery, she emphasized how caregiving gave her a sense of peace and freedom: “My caregiver was one that, when we came upon the facility, we prayed together. She kept my notes. She was my memory at that time. She was able to convey things to my doctor, things that I might have forgotten. And the doctors got to know her, and they built a rapport with her, and they just knew who she was. She was very much celebrated.”

Quotes:

  • “You want to support [caregivers] as well as they support you. I find that some caregivers become depressed because they don’t really understand what that patient is going through, and you need to communicate to them, let them know how you’re feeling, because that’s the only way that they’re going to understand what you’re going through.”
  • “Cancer is a community disease. It’s not just an individual disease. People who are surrounding that patient—family members, friends, church members—they all are impacted by the dynamics of what happens to cancer patients, and so we should not forget about the caregivers.”
  • “When they cleared me from cancer, I jumped off the table, and I yelled out, ‘Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus!’ I ran out in the hall. And even my doctor ran out. Everybody was saying, ‘What’s going on?’ And my caregiver came out. She said, ‘She’s cancer-clear. They cleared her.’”
  • “I always say, just have patience. Pray with the person that you’re caregiving if you can. Communicate with them, and please be patient and understand that it’s not them. They’re not lashing out at you. That’s the disease process. Just be consistent and be reliable.”

Resources:

Click here to download this week’s resource: “Caring for Caregivers

Blogs:

Read 5 signs of breast cancer that aren’t a lump

Read Metastatic breast cancer drugs may help patients delay chemotherapy

Learn More:

CTCA | Philadelphia, PA