Sometimes It’s Okay to Hide

Caregiver Encouragement

Hiding from CancerWhen the sight of the red-blood-cell bag would become too much, or the pokes too many, or the smell of the chemotherapy would overwhelm my nose—I wanted to escape. To hide. With my whole being I wanted to run.

Run far and run fast.

But he was four. How could I run? So I stayed.

But sometimes, when he drifted off to sleep, his lashless, blue-veined eyelids closed, I would take a walk. Just around the corner from, but on the same floor as the children’s cancer ward, was a “Meditation Room.”

I can still see it.

Carefully constructed to not cater to any specific religion or belief, it was a small room with soft lighting glowing out from behind non-descript wooden cutouts.

I can still feel it.

The benches were hard, as if to remind one that staying long was not an option, but they were wide, in case someone needed to curl up and cry.

I can still smell it.

Some sort of citrusy scent that did not allow a hint of chemotherapy, blood or medications. Someone had made an effort to make the room smell fresh, but somehow a touch of “hospital” remained.

I can still hear it.

Thickened walls meant you couldn’t hear the hospital noises but the soft lighting was still fluorescent because the buzz never stopped. Hospital announcements would still intrude on the silence, because they were too important to screen out.

Meditation RoomIf someone was already in there unspoken rules were observed. No talking. Pay no attention to red-rimmed eyes. Do not use cell phones. Acknowledgement was fine, but do not talk about your ill child. Nod and move to your own isolated spot.

Hiding from reality. Hiding from fear and from the cancer ward – that place where joyful and optimistic children were dying.

Sometimes I felt guilty. Hiding like that. Was I running? Avoiding? Selfish?
Oh I don’t think so. I searched for my Creator, my Physician, my Savior and my Friend. I needed those moments on those hard benches with the soft lighting and the soft buzzing and the soft silence in order to face the hard days ahead.

Sometimes we need our soft and loving God to face whatever is ahead.

Sometimes we need our soft and loving God to face whatever is ahead. #cancer #caregiving #cancerencouragement Click To Tweet

Don’t forget that, my friends! Hide away, even if just for a moment, and renew yourself in Him!

Psalm 91:

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say[a] to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge[b]—
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Community Spotlight

Today’s spotlight shines on Barbara and her post about caring for the elderly.  Check in out over at Stray Thoughts: Click here!  

Guidelines

In order to make this link up user friendly AND pertinent to caregivers and their needs, please make sure that what you link up follows the guidelines for the week. This week is for ENCOURAGEMENT FOR CAREGIVERS.  Share a link that will encourage a caregiver. If you aren’t sure if your link is appropriate, feel free to email me at anita at blessedbutstressed dot com and ask!

We will delete links that aren’t on topic in order to keep the link up a true community resource. We WILL contact you first and let you know that we will remove your link.

For non-caregiving related links, we invite you to participate in the Inspire Me Monday link up over at www.anitaojeda.com.

By linking up, you agree to receive weekly reminders about the link up.

Do look for the caregiver boards on Pinterest.

Do link up more than one post!

Join our Facebook community, too! It’s easy, just click that button over on the right! —->

The whole point of the link up is to make connections and form community with other caregivers, so don’t forget to visit the person who linked up before you as well as the person who linked up after you.

If you read something that moves you, share! Tweet, pin, share on Facebook, whatever it takes to draw others into to our caregiver stories. All too often, caregivers suffer in silence because they don’t think anyone cares to hear their voice. We care! If you’d like to join the Caregiver Connections Pinterest Board (so you can pin your caregiver-related posts), just drop me an email at anita at blessedbutstressed dot com.

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Sleep for Caregivers

More than a far-off dream!

Sleep can be something caregivers dream about. Let’s make it a reality!

Sleep.

Lying in bed, afraid to let go.

Visions of blood consuming the house (diagnosis of Leukemia).

Listening for breaths, restlessness or stirring.

Worry of fevers and rush trips to the ER.

Sleep.

Heart pumping fiercely instead of relaxing.

Memories of fighting for life in those mid-night hours.

Rummaging through to-do lists and appointments for tomorrow.

Wonder if a person can really take one more day of this.

Sleep.

Craving…Demanding…Eluding caregivers.

It’s a caregivers nightmare – that constant loss of sleep.  Sometimes the lack of sleep is demanded by schedule and other times ordered by anxiety.  Caregivers live on high alert when things are catastrophic and worry when things have slowed to a waiting crawl.

Here’s the deal: in order to get sleep, caregivers have to let go.

In order to sleep, #caregivers have to let go! #cancercaregiving #caregiving Click To Tweet

A few moments of time or an entire night.  Our brains and our bodies require rest and we must let go.  Our own systems won’t be able to handle prolonged loss of sleep.  So how will we care for our patient?

Sleep was my biggest dilemna as a mom to a four-year-old with leukemia.  How do I choose sleep?  Ten years after chemotherapy, I still do not completely have the answer to that question – because I would never give up the time I spent helping my son.  So how do I let go during something catastrophic?  Yeah, I don’t have all the answers, but I do have a few suggestions:

  1.  Accept help with menial things so your time goes more where you want it.  Let someone mow your lawn or wash some dishes instead of staying up late to finish those jobs.  Most people are happy to help while you’re taking care of your loved one.
  2. Choose what to fight for and maintain, and what to let go.  It’s so hard to let things go when living in denial.  But really, who really cares whether or not you send out those Christmas cards anymore?  Let it go…
  3. Exercise.  No matter how tired.  Do SOMETHING to work off that excess adrenaline that stockpiles in our bodies when we love the person whose life is on-the-line.
  4. GO TO BED.  As ridiculous as that sounds, I found it astonishingly hard to do.  Just one more task, just a few more minutes, avoid the nightmares.  Keep going.  Refer here to numbers one through three.  GO TO BED

Seriously.  Grab moments and let your brain relax.

 

Community Spotlight:

This week’s spotlight shines on us from Jill at MemoryMinders  She shares with us:  Refill Your Leaky Bucket – some ways to take care of yourself and get refilled a bit! Click here to read some great suggestions.

Link up below to get your blog highlighted!

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Truth and Grace: the Cornerstones of Surviving as a Caregiver

Caregiver Connections: Encouragement for Caregivers

graceCornerstones of Caregiving: Truth and Grace

They say God provides grace for every moment of a
caregiver’s journey.

True.

But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Moments of doubt and frustration;
Tired of wearing a happy-face-state-of-grace and tired of
acting like the strong one who could
shoulder the chemo and the radiation and the
tender hearts and cuts and bruises and hurt feelings of
children facing too much too young.grace

And God did provide
Grace for the journey. I knew an
invisible, yet warm and loving hand rested on my
shoulder when I gazed into the future and didn’t know
if Pedro had a next hour, a next minute or a next breath.

Grace looks like casseroles on the front porch, and
money left in books, and early-morning
rides to the airport, and
selfless giving in times of utter darkness.

Nonetheless,
Caregiving creates a loneliness inside, an
utter exhaustion that clouds the picture of grace once the
race for life is won.

True.
God provides grace for the
recovering caregiver’s journey, too. Through
found friends in similar circumstance, a
sympathetic listener who ‘gets’ the term ‘recovering cancer caregiver.’
God provides community to part the clouds so I once again see His
Grace.

How have you discovered God’s grace in your caregiving journey? We’d love to have you share your stories in the comments (or link up if you have a blog!).

Find stories of encouragment (or leave a story of encouragement) at the Caregiver Connections link up today! #caregiver #caregivers Click To Tweet

Caregiver Spotlight

Today’s spotlight shines on Barbara Harper, who blogs over at Stray Thoughts. She compiled a beautiful list of encouraging Bible verses for caregivers. Pop on over to Barabara’s today for some awesome encouragement!

Link-Up!

Guidelines

In order to make this link up user friendly AND pertinent to caregivers and their needs, please make sure that what you link up follows the guidelines for the week. This week is for ENCOURAGEMENT FOR CAREGIVERS.  Share a link that will encourage a caregiver. If you aren’t sure if your link is appropriate, feel free to email me at anita at blessedbutstressed dot com and ask!

We will delete links that aren’t on topic in order to keep the link up a true community resource. We WILL contact you first and let you know that we will remove your link.

For non-caregiving related links, we invite you to participate in the Inspire Me Monday link up over at www.anitaojeda.com.

By linking up, you agree to receive weekly reminders about the link up.

Do look for the caregiver boards on Pinterest.

Do link up more than one post!

Join our Facebook community, too! It’s easy, just click that button over on the right! —->

The whole point of the link up is to make connections and form community with other caregivers, so don’t forget to visit the person who linked up before you as well as the person who linked up after you.

If you read something that moves you, share! Tweet, pin, share on Facebook, whatever it takes to draw others into to our caregiver stories. All too often, caregivers suffer in silence because they don’t think anyone cares to hear their voice. We care! If you’d like to join the Caregiver Connections Pinterest Board (so you can pin your caregiver-related posts), just drop me an email at anita at blessedbutstressed dot com.

 

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