Caregivers—sacrifice and joy

When my daughter was diagnosed with cancer, my husband and I immediately moved her into our house and I became her caretaker.

Today, we are grateful that she is alive, and she has been clear of cancer for two years. However, she continues to fight the ravages of chemotherapy and radiation.

I am happy to be her caretaker. So, why do I sometimes feel overwhelmed, guilty, impatient and sad when I struggle to find time to take care of myself? When I need time for business or my friends?

My daughter is the one who is sick. Not me. So, why do I need time to replenish my soul with quiet, prayer and meditation? Because time, for me, is a precious commodity. I never have enough time to get everything done. I try to find a good balance with time for caretaking and time for me, but that balance always seems fleeting. I have not found smooth sailing.

When I talk to other people who are caretakers, I am in awe. I know what a difficult job they are doing. Some caretakers make the job look simple. It is not a simple job. It is a job that demands sacrifice, but it also is a job that often brings joy.

I am going to write more about ways I have found to cope with the difficulties of being a caretaker—and also about ways I have found to create joy in the midst of the difficulties. I hope you’ll share your suggestions and your experiences with these difficulties and joys with me. You can write to us at

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