On Valentine’s Day, the idea is for people to finally stop to remember and recognize who they really love. Traditionally, this means someone you love romantically, like a boyfriend or girlfriend or spouse. But there is another kind of love, a memorable love. The kind of love that sticks around when the road turns ugly and treacherous.
It is the fierce love of caregivers. A love that hopefully every cancer patient knows.
Whether the caregiver comes in the form of a compassionate nurse, a loving friend or a dedicated family member, the caregiver’s job is simultaneously one of the most rewarding and overlooked roles imaginable. Why? Because caregivers are there during the difficult times, the embarrassing, and even just the mundane.
Here is what I mean:
- Holding your friend’s hair as she throws up from chemo.
- Bathing your spouse because they are too weak to do so themselves.
- Sharing a “nice meal” from the hospital cafeteria, atop a hospital bed, with one of those rolling trays as a table.
- And if you are really lucky, going for a walk outside in the fresh air and sunshine (just the two of you and an IV pole)
This Valentine’s Day is for the caregivers.
For the people who constantly give selflessly, for the purpose of making their loved one a little cozier in a permanently uncomfortable hospital bed. The ones who give up their social life for the hope of eking just a little more life out of a sterile environment. And the ones who are able to care so well that cancer is unable overcome a sense of home, wherever you may be at the time.
This Valentine’s Day, get flowers and chocolate for your loved one (PLEASE DO THIS!) because it is fun, but let’s also celebrate those who share their love with us in many different ways.
And let’s remember that every other day of the year is when acts of love truly count.
Happy Valentine’s Day, especially to all of you caregivers, ever faithful and unwavering. You are loved.
To find out how you can make a difference in the lives of young cancer survivors, please visit cancerforcollege.org