“This unbelievably difficult journey has been a reminder that life truly is short, to value each day and to cherish the important people in my life.” – Sara Schulz
I am a breast cancer patient and survivor. When I was diagnosed with stage-3 triple negative breast cancer in November 2011, my family and my “village” were crucial to getting through this difficult time. My son was 2 years old at the time and he and my family were my light as I went through treatment.
The Love of Parents
As a single parent by choice, I relied on family and friends for caregiving assistance and support. My parents were at every doctor’s appointment, every procedure, every test and every chemotherapy. They spent one to two nights with us after each chemotherapy treatment to help with my son and assist me as needed. After every surgery, my son and I lived with my parents since I was unable to drive, unable to physically lift my son or care for him. My parents took my son to and from preschool every day when we lived with them to keep his world as familiar as possible.
It extended beyond my immediate circle. Neighbors, aunts and uncles rallied around my parents. My dad’s brothers and cousins were always in the waiting room during any surgery I had. My mom’s good friend kept in touch with her. People sometimes forget about the caregiver in these situations. The fact that people remembered them as well was really touching and helpful.
Friends and Family Pitch In
During my journey, CaringBridge has been a wonderful communication tool. It has allowed me to keep people updated and allowed others to provide updates on my behalf when needed. I receive such encouragement from reading guestbook messages from family and friends.
My family, friends and colleagues provided meals and meal services, offered assistance with errands, house cleaning, play dates for my son, and stayed in touch via visits, phone, email, text and cards. One friend sent special things just for my son, including homemade treats and small toys.
During my journey, CaringBridge has been a wonderful communication tool.
My sister came from out of town to be with me during my cancer surgery. My brother, also out of town, stayed in close touch.
Someone in my village signed me up for Give a Touch of Hope. So I started getting cards and little gifts in the mail from an anonymous volunteer who was also a breast cancer survivor and knew just what I needed at just the right time. Truly amazing.
My Turn to Give Back
A fellow survivor friend mentored me during my cancer journey. My support group wrapped their arms around me. I’m part of a fantastic breast cancer support group that meets monthly, and I’ve had the opportunity to mentor a breast cancer patient through this group.
This unbelievably difficult journey has been a reminder that life truly is short, to value each day and to cherish the important people in my life.
Are You or a Loved One Facing a Health Journey?
Start a CaringBridge website today to connect your own village of family and friends.