Caregiving During the Pandemic: One Day at a Time
By Alana Vanater, Caregiver
My husband was diagnosed with advanced metastatic prostate cancer on April 13, 2020. He received his diagnosis during a time when everything was shutting down due to the pandemic.
All our consultations, including his initial diagnosis, were done via Zoom so we don’t know what it would have been like to get this news during normal times.
The pandemic makes everything more difficult because I can’t go with him for any tests or office visits. More importantly, I can’t be with him when he has his chemotherapy and immunotherapy infusions.
I have never been inside Moffitt other than recently going to the family waiting room in the adjacent building. Besides not being with my husband to support him when he goes for treatment, we can’t see our family and friends like we used to or travel which would help take our minds off things.
What does help during this pandemic are things we can do together like taking walks, swimming and playing bean bag toss. Things I do by myself is read, work jigsaw puzzles and most importantly, attend Zoom support groups.
I attend a call every two weeks with women whose husbands have prostate cancer. It’s sponsored by UsToo, a prostate cancer support organization. It’s very helpful talking with other women going through the same thing.
I’ve also been on caregiver support calls with Moffitt. From the Moffitt support calls, I learned of integrated medicine options for patients and caregivers and recently attended my first meditation class.
It was a great class and I think will be very beneficial for me. I plan to attend again and my husband plans to join too.
One sentiment I heard recently which helps me keep perspective is, "Things don’t necessarily happen for the best, but you can choose to make the best of things that happen." That is how we are both trying to handle this as well as taking it one day at a time.
Content for this story is from PARTNERS winter 2020; a newsletter of the Patient and Family Advisory Program.