When one person gets diagnosed with cancer many are impacted. A community comes forth to travel the journey alongside the person diagnosed. In my view there are two groups of people who take care of, and are impacted by, a loved one's cancer diagnosis: friends /family and the health care providers, who not only guide and treat the patient and their village but, who are also themselves, affected.
Cindy Finch, in I am With You; Love Letters to Cancer Patients writes “a cancer diagnosis for one member of the family really means the whole family gets sick.” Cindy is right. The whole family gets what she calls “secondhand cancer.” Family and close friends are the ones who pick the patient up off the metaphorical floor over, and over again. They are there when everyone else has gone home. They are impacted as much, if not more than the patient and often, unlike the patient, have to deal with the illness on their own. Here, in Cancer Care Takers I will look at what it’s like to have secondhand cancer.
Heath care providers, not only guide and treat the patient and their village but, are also themselves, affected. We, the Cancer Care Takers, are not untouchable, not without feeling and are not insulated from the effects of cancer. In Cancer Care Takers we’ll look at what it means to have a front row seat into the world of Cancer; the good, the bad and, the often, very treacherous terrain.