The year started out with my Aunt’s diagnosis of bladder cancer which lead over the course of this year to several surgeries, chemo and the removal of her bladder only to find out that the cancer had spread into her lymph nodes and there was nothing more they could really do. She passed away September 26th. Adding to the stress of caregiving was the reoccurrence of my Mom’s breast cancer.
My year was filled with doctor appointments, hospital waiting rooms, hospital patient rooms (waiting hours trying to catch the numerous doctors who were overseeing my Aunt’s care), rehab centers, coordinating caregivers and sadly assisting in funeral planning and cleaning out her home to put on the market for sale.
I have to admit that as much as I try to believe that, as the New Year approaches, next year will be better, the last few years have greatly challenged my positive attitude.
The good news is – my attitude is my choice!
As tough as it is to look back over the year and recognize the loss of a loved one, I have to acknowledge what I gained because of these experiences.
- I got to spend time with my Aunt that, if she had been healthy I may have missed out on.
- I encountered situations that can assist me in my mission to support family caregivers find the information and resources they need.
- I gained a new appreciation for the people around me and no longer take for granted their importance in my life.
So as much as I am happy to put 2013 behind me, I choose to be hopeful that this New Year will bring health for my family, new opportunities to support family caregivers with an enhanced perspective and quality time spent with those I love.
I wish each of you a New Year filled with the same hopeful spirit.