Q. How did you become a caregiver?
A. My wife was diagnosed with a meningioma, so after 20 years of marriage, it was time to honor the “in sickness or in health” portion of my marriage vows.
Q. Did you have any training? From what source?
A. I didn’t have any training, although after Cyndi became acquainted with Meningioma Mommas, I learned a lot through her.
Q. What resources (or lack of resources) helped or hindered you / your patient?
A. Lack of knowledge about meningiomas definitely hindered both of us. For instance, if we would have realized the benign nature of the tumor, we would have taken more time to research hospitals/doctors/treatments etc. Instead, we did not know one brain tumor from another and we thought we had to act within a few weeks.
Q. What are some challenges you faced?
A. The biggest challenge was understanding the disease and figuring out what to do. After my wife had surgery, the recovery was long and my life had to change considerably during that time. Thankfully, she recovered fully and my life is back to normal, and we are enjoying each other very much.
Q. How did you interact with your patient?
A. I just tried to do everything I could to take care of her. She made steady progress and before long we were back to normal.
Q. What was the most difficult part to being a caregiver?
A. The most difficult part was the first few weeks, when I wasn’t sure to what extent my wife would regain her normal functions. With time it became obvious she would heal and be as good as before, of which I am very thankful.
Q. How was your life changed by this experience?
A. It gave both of us a greater appreciation for life and for each other. My wife appreciates the dedicated way I took care of her, and I appreciate all the things she does even more than before the surgery. The best part is that my wife is more free spirited and less fearful now, so we enjoy things we never could before.
Q. Do you have any advice for people who are about to take on this role?
A. Seek all the information you can before you make decisions. The Internet has made information readily accessible, and groups like Meningioma Mommas are an invaluable resource. So don’t panic, get all the facts and first. second and third opinions, and be confident you can beat the disease.
Q. Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently, if anything?
A. The main thing we would have done differently was to not panic, seek information that is available and to take our time in making a decision about a hospital and doctors.
Q. What helped you the most during your caregiving role?
A. We had help from many friends and family, and our faith in God was the cornerstone that got us through the crisis. As powerful as modern medicine and science is, it is no match for divine intervention.