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Who is the Cancer Caregiver? The Unsung Hero

Who is the Cancer Caregiver? The Unsung Hero

The cancer caregiver serves a critical role on the journey to recovery. Often times it's a family member who takes care of the patient. Read how Jacqueline helped her father through Stage 3 Prostate Cancer. 

“First thing I want to do is get the right steps and know the best options to treat my father,” she said. 

But her caregiver duties had an even more difficult task. She needed to maintain a cool composure despite deep worries. 

“The second thing going through my mind was…how to calm my father down in order to decrease his stress and anxiety.” 

As the cancer patient, Baba became depressed. He faced a double layer of confusion because of the language barrier. He needed more time to comprehend his diagnosis. 

“So my role was to calm him down,” Jacqueline said. “Decrease the effect of the news and just keep him positive.”

 The cancer caregiver tried to paint a more upbeat picture.

”Prostate cancer is not as deadly as pancreatic cancer,” Jacqueline explained to Baba. “And prostate cancer grows slow. And we will operate the next day. And the recovery is better unlike other cancers.” 

Under the grave situation, Jacqueline became a fortress against emotional turmoil. She needed to tone down the fear and sadness expressed by family members. 

“Sometimes the stress of the family members is higher than the patient,” said Jacqueline. 

“They don’t understand the situation and how it should be handled. So sometimes the family members cause the patient to be stressed, because they become overreactive.” 

Patient caught the doctor's error

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A prostate cancer survivor said he caught a mistake during diagnosis. Ken Cavellier explained he had to react quickly. 

"The problem I had was that my doctor had misread the path report. And so when I left the office, I made the decision that I needed to find a new doctor." 

Cavellier spoke with SmartBridge Health at the #ZEROSummit2018 in Washington, DC. As a prostate cancer survivor, he tells others to always get a second opinion on the cancer diagnosis. 

Cavellier also emphasized his luck when his next-door neighbor was a physician. The access to the medical expert was critical when researching his cancer.

"Because any time you’re told you have cancer, that’s a life changing conversation that you have. And no one wants to have it but people do every day," he said. 

"And it’s a matter of how do you deal with it. And so I was trying to deal with it as professionally as I could and as quickly as I could...and to gather as much information. And honestly, it was from the internet, it was from my neighbor who is not involved in prostate cancer but just happened to be a physician. So it’s very good that you go get that second opinion."