Your Life is About to Change
Author: Shannon Miller
Article provided by SML guest blogger Tammy Badida
I remember that day standing in the emergency room waiting on the doctor’s to come back with the results from the MRI. The minute he showed us the tumor on the spine, we (myself, my husband Nick, and my then 16-year old son Aaron) knew that my husband’s cancer had come back, and we knew that we would be facing a whole new battle as a family.
The moment he delivered the news, I was flooded with thoughts about how this would affect jobs, finances, children…life as we knew it. It was without a moment’s hesitation that I realized my role as a wife and a mother was about to be transformed as my husband became a cancer patient.
I had no idea how exhausting, painful, and transformational this experience was ultimately going to be.
But for the caretaker, these feelings and considerations are certainly not unfamiliar. The very first thing you face is having to understand what this means for you, your family, and your loved one as you take the first step down this walk that will test your physical, mental, and spiritual endurance.
I cannot express the importance of faith in a moment like this. My conversations with God about the changes to come were pretty much the only thing I held on to in those first hours, days, and weeks. I threw myself into this walk 150%. There was no consideration of my own physical and emotional well-being, because I was riding on love, fear, and adrenaline at 100 miles-an-hour.
Looking back, however, I think during this time I gave up my right to take care of me because of an immense devotion to taking care of the man I loved. Yes, this is our call as caretakers, but this does not need to be what defines the caretaker’s journey.
After your prayers, after your tears, and after your first good rest, take the time to figure out how you’re going to keep your life as normal as possible. I quickly realized that my husband was not being diagnosed with cancer every day. The devastation was not going to rule. Life was going to go on, and the only thing I could do was live it.
I hope to be able to share how I learned the importance of taking care of yourself as the caretaker, so that you can be there when you’re needed most. My heart is to be honest about each physical toll and mental struggle throughout this journey, and help others through the many changes you face alongside your loved one.
“When you see obstacles in your path and it seems you are unqualified for the task at hand, know that you will not really be doing the work. God will. He will give you the slingshot to slay your giants or the power to part the seas.” -Kozar and Woody, Babes with a Beatitude
Article by Tammy Badida
Tammy’s story of “Learning to Live” during a life-changing battle has encouraged and reached so many already and can be found at: www.thebadidas.blogspot.com.