World Cancer Day: Every Cancer Caregiver

Change and cancer is inter-twined. A cancer diagnosis changes a person. Roles and responsibilities change. Challenges and opportunities change. Marriage and family life change. Friendships and relationships change. Stress levels change. Emotions change. Anxiety and anger levels change. Multitude changes all around.

For the care giver, breathing changes. Surely the surrounding air has not changed. Or has it? Why shouldn’t things change? Loved one being rushed to the ICU certainly changes the caregivers heartbeat. All alone and near midnight your whole frame of mind changes. Watching your loved one in the ICU hooked on tubes and machines, amid oxygen, doctors and nurses in and out of the ICU cubicle does change the caregiver too. Breath too changes as it comes in gasps, chest feels heavy and heartbeat changes. Outlook on everything changes. While praying to Allah SWT for his Mercy and asking for patience, nonstop, your tears change too. YES an enormous change as your eyes are shedding dry tears. Yes lightning can and does strike twice (I now believe) and that is a life changing CHANGE!

This time around the long and welcoming arms of Cancer Society of Maldives’ Cancer Support Group (CSG) is an enormous change. The CSG helps you change yourself. The empowerment is within you. Change for the better. Change to accept the changes necessary. The caring, friendship and love of this special group and its impact will be a long lasting change in your life. While navigating through so many worries: physical, emotional, financial and may be even existential due to these and other complicated complications, the support of this group is a major change. Whichever member available being with you in so many ways, when away from home. The phone calls individually and at times a group call and the text messages changes you too. The caring changes you. We care that they care and that changes us too. The biweekly and now weekly zoom meetings help change our perspective.

Felt like running away from it all! A deep breath! Yes you can run. Not away! Rather to the zoom meetings on Tuesday. Run with it. That changes you too. As a result of the zoom meetings, I am running to celebrate CSG. Change happens with a cancer diagnosis Change and cancer is intertwined and inevitable. You can change. With CSG help. A work in progress!

On this world cancer day, thank you CSG for being there, for providing an ear to listen, a joke to eke out a smile which ultimately changes to laughter which is therapeutic!

Through it all, my conviction that all will be ok and things will fall into place never changed for Allah SWT never burdens a soul with more than he can bear.

This piece is written by a caregiver and provided by Cancer Society of Maldives (CSM)