Caregiver Lessons: Introduction


There are few events that can throw your life off track like a loved-one’s cancer diagnosis. Nilima Bhat, a caregiver herself shares important caregiver lessons that will help you in the difficult journey.       

Message from Nilima Bhat

If you are the closest or ‘most able’ relative that person has, you will suddenly find yourself catapulted into a role called ‘primary care-giver’ that no one has trained you for. There are no courses for facing such contingencies in life. It is purely on-the-job training, with no boss or mentor who can show you the ropes.

I have the benefit of my ‘rear-view’ mirror, because I have travelled this road before. Through this series of articles – and with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight – I hope to help ease parts of this difficult journey ahead. If you know what to expect, you can get some things out of the way and focus your precious, limited energy and resources on the important stuff.

Fasten your seat-belts … even though it will be a rocky ride, it can also be a terrific growth opportunity for you and for the entire family.

More from this series

Title About the article
Lesson 1: Wear Your Oxygen Mask First The cancer diagnosis blows a big, unexpected hole in your energy supply. It’s like being on an aircraft which was flying smoothly, all under control, and suddenly the cabin pressure drops due to some unexpected turbulence.
Lesson 2: Eat to Live, Not Live to Eat Cooking for a cancer patient can be far more challenging than many books indicate. Sometimes it can take over your life and make you wonder if this is all you are now going to do.
Lesson 3: Acknowledge and Accept the Struggle Another unexpected aspect of the cancer journey is when you come up against your own, not-so-heroic side, and that of the loved one you are taking care of.
Lesson 4: From Pain to Transformation Pain can serve you, if you can only stop long enough and pay attention to the incredible learning and growth that you are experiencing.
Lesson 5: Co-dependence – Don’t Slide Into It Most times the loved one who gets cancer and for whom you are the primary care-giver is already in a deep relationship with you.
Lesson 6: Relationship as a Path to Wholeness Looking back, the very struggle of having to reclaim my power from Vijay after having spent over five years of not just being his wife and the mother of his children but also his primary care-giver and chief source of emotional support, did deliver something extra-ordinarily beautiful for me.



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