Caregiving When Your Husband Has Cancer
In stories of successful people, you often hear them reflect back on their lives and talk about a time that made a big difference in the course of their life. They had some moment that was crucial in the development of themselves and thus impacted the course of their life. Often it was a struggle they were facing and at the time they didn’t know how they would get through it. They took a risk, or made a difficult decision, or persevered instead of giving up and that one act changed everything.
My Pivotal Moment
When I reflect back now, there was a pivotal moment shortly after we learned that my husband’s cancer had metastasized. The decision we made then set me on a course to where I am today.
It was Fall and we had stayed a few nights in a friend’s cabin up in Tahoe. Our daughter was staying with a friend. We had both started listening to a coaching podcast which was making a huge difference in our ability to mentally and emotionally cope with my husband’s health challenges. We wanted to join the coaching program so we could take our learning deeper, but we were worried about the cost and if we had the time to devote to it. We wondered if it was worth the investment. It was a big decision for us and we discussed it while at the cabin that weekend.
On the drive home, we decided to take the risk and join the coaching program. The easy and comfortable way would have been for us to just keep listening to the podcast, not spend the money and continue as we had been.
But we stepped out of our comfort zone and took a risk.
When I look back now, that single decision set me on the path to creating my dream career and doing what I love every day.
How Do We Know?
How do we know if we are in a defining moment… a time in our lives that will influence the course our life will take?
When I think about my own story, that decision didn’t feel like a profound, pivotal moment. It felt like just another decision among many. But it was a decision to invest in our own mental health. We did step out of our own comfort zone.
The truth is, we don’t know the impact of our decisions or actions. We can’t know because none of us knows how our lives will go.
What We Do Know
The decisions we make, consciously or not, determine our course in life. Often, when we are facing our biggest challenges, is when these decisions have the greatest impact. When we take a risk, try something new, or step out of our comfort zone, is usually when we learn the most and experience the most growth.
We don’t think about our decisions this way, but what if we did? What if we looked to our future self who was looking back at her life and could clearly see the actions that made the biggest difference. She would see that the risk she took, or the investment she made, or the decision to try something different made a big difference in the course her life took.
Investing In Ourselves
There are people who become caregivers and give so much of themselves that they end up depleted. They don’t do this consciously of course. Many simply do not have the tools to cope nor have they been taught how to take care of themselves while caregiving. They act based on their own expectations of what they should do. They make sacrifice upon sacrifice, because they think they should. And then years later, they are empty and sometimes even bitter, angry, resentful over what they gave up.
I think we each can make a difference by being conscious and deliberate in how we respond to the challenge upon us. We grow by learning to process what we are going through while we are in it, versus stuffing or avoiding our emotions. We can be deliberate by learning to not just react to the crisis of the moment, but taking time to remember who we are, what we value and how we want to show up.
This is why I love coaching so much. It helps us to be deliberate during life’s challenges. It helps us to remember our values and show up as our best self when we are in a difficult spot. It helps us to grow and learn, not just survive.
How you deal with this time now, how well you take care of yourself and the relationship you have with yourself will impact your future. This very well could be your defining moment. How are you going to respond?
Imagine your life if you take just one action today to take control of your mental health. If you do nothing, then nothing will change. Take just one step to get back in control of your life again by scheduling a free consult. This one phone call could be the pivotal moment in your life.