Seeing a negative side of yourself when caregiving for a long time (Kathleen’s story)

In this video, Kathleen talks about caregiving for her husband, Ian, who passed away from tongue cancer five years ago

Watch as Kathleen talks about her husband receiving treatment for tongue cancer but then it reoccurred after two and a half years. She talks about how he couldn’t speak well after surgery, chemo and radiation but then couldn’t speak at all near the end of his life. She shares how important social and emotional considerations were along with medical ones.

Kathleen discusses the three things she needed to feel connected with Ian. She also talks about the emotional toll and needing support. She found she became very focused on preparing food and Ian’s eating. Also, she shares how caregiving brought out another side of her at times that she didn’t like.

I was Nurse Nightingale and they say ‘Oh you’re so patient Kathleen’ and then I’d swallow all this guilt again because I know I’m a patient person but this… I say it brings out the worst in you when the journey becomes too long and it brings out feelings that maybe lie dormant.

Watch the video of Kathleen talking about caregiving for her husband for a long time

The Partnership’s Person-Centred Perspective initiative is committed to improving the patient experience. We are working with partners across Canada to find the best ways to offer a person-centred perspective throughout a person’s cancer journey and to help information flow throughout. The impact of a cancer diagnosis goes far beyond the physical disease. It affects every aspect of a person’s life. The initiative has focused on reporting about the patient experience, and giving health-care providers patient-centred tools and resources, which have been validated and standardized.

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