Thursday, July 12, 2012

Neophyte Member of a Volunteer Care Team

I am beginning a journey I never expected, nor would have anticipated. I have chosen it.

Three weeks ago, a friend for many years learned her persistent cough probably had something to do with the one-inch growth in one lung. Two weeks ago she learned it was cancer. One week ago, on the Fourth of July, she started chemo and radiation.

She also had her first care team meeting.

I am one of 9 on it, in addition to her family. She lives alone. Her daughter lives an hour and a half away. She has worked professionally in hospice. She knew she needed a care team.

She's not going to get through five days a week radiation and once a week chemo without a care team. So far, cancer seems contained. She can beat this scorpion in her body. With help.

Three of us have a week at a time to divide up, to take her to therapy if she is weak, spend the night--as she needed yesterday after her port for medications was created, if she doesn't want to eat or needs meals prepared.

So far, so good. There are nine of us. Three each week. It will get rougher, and small families, especially those who don't live close, can't do it all. At least, not well.

It is a scary and wonderfully rewarding journey. Groups of people all over the world are doing it every day.

Have you been in one? I don't get feedback on my blog, because it is small. I would appreciate any tips, however, because many wonderful people are veterans.I've read, and I've volunteered, and I have been a professional social worker. This is different in many ways. It is a commitment of years, probably.

Gee, and no ring, even.
I'll blog from time to time on this, because it is an adventure. For you who have already made the trip, I yearn for your wisdom.

I am so honored to be on the team.

Now, with a little luck, to win the game.

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