Thyroid Cancer Caregiver Looking for Input

Posted by Charlotte @cbayala, Nov 21, 2019

I am a caregiver for my husband who has thyroid cancer. When I first began navigating my life with new fears and responsibilities I would have liked to know that I was not alone in what I was going through. I would like to create a place where I can share my experiences with other caregivers and let them know they aren’t alone. I am working on making self care accesible for caregivers as we don’t usually have the time or energy to leave our homes or hospitals to find ways to take care of ourselves. Part of that is a podcast and I’d love it if you could answer a couple of questions so I can make it accesible for all of us. If you have just a few minutes to answer a few questions I’d love it.

@cbayala Hello and welcome to MayoClinicConnect. We’re a community of people who try to help each other thru shared health experiences. I’m going to ask @IndianaScott to join in as he is so knowledgeable about care-taking. Are your questions general or specific to thyroid cancer? Who do you hope to reach with the podcast? Can you tell us a little more?

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Hello @cbayala I add my hello to you here as well! I am Scott or @IndianaScott as my online persona who @becsbuddy mentioned.

I am sorry I did not see this post until now for some reason, but am glad I did now! I was my wife's caregiver for over 14 years while she battled brain cancer. Those experiences were what brought me to Mayo Connect and eventually work with them to begin the Caregiver discussion group. You are right that caregivers often are isolated, feel very alone, and we often believe we are the only ones going through the trials and tribulations that are caregiving. Our caregiving community here is full of folks who can share ideas, suggestions, hints, and tips that have worked (or sometimes not) for them as caregivers.

In response to your questions, are you seeking answers to questions specific to thyroid cancer, doing podcasts, or something else? I encourage you to ask away!

Strength, courage, and peace!

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HI @IndianaScott and @becsbuddy. I am so happy you saw this post. After helping my husband the past six years I got to a point where I felt the best way I can turn this around to bring good into the world was for me to offer help the way I can. I recently started giving classes and presenting at conferences for different types of caregivers to teach them how they do have to make taking care of themselves a priority and how they can turn habits, things they already do daily, and change them into small moments they remind them to take a deep breath.

What I found while I met people at these events is that they really just want to tell their stories to someone. They want to be heard and as I listened I realized that everyone at each event was going through the same things but felt like they were alone in it all. They didn't feel like they were part of a group of other humans also experiencing the same things.

I know that oftentimes I have felt that loneliness as I suspect all of us do at some point. I would have loved to hear from someone that the things that I was going through and the things that I was thinking we're normal. I have the energy to do that now. I want to tell my stories so that others can know they are not alone. Hopefully, they can laugh and cry and get angry with me. The best way I know how to do this is by simply saying them and a podcast is how I feel those words can best be heard.

I would like to make sure that I create something that speaks to caregivers and as I only know through my own experience. The best way for me to do that is to have a quick conversation with others who are or have been a caregiver for another person. Since I can only speak of what I know I've decided to try to speak to mostly caregivers for people who have cancer. It doesn't have to be specifically thyroid cancer.

I would love to talk to people and hear their stories and learn about the difficulties they face(d) as a caregiver. I can understand that might feel intimidating but the conversations won't be used as part of the podcast.

Hopefully, that explains things a little bit more. I really appreciate you reaching out.

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I am so glad you posted this. I strongly suggest anyone helping with the care of loved ones and even after their death's, attend support groups in their communities. They are there, but you may to search for them. Check with churches, care centers, community centers, etc. I am not always able to attend the several here that I have started going to, but when I do, it always gives me a lift to know that others are experiencing the same issues that I encounter. Ruth

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@rmftucker

I am so glad you posted this. I strongly suggest anyone helping with the care of loved ones and even after their death's, attend support groups in their communities. They are there, but you may to search for them. Check with churches, care centers, community centers, etc. I am not always able to attend the several here that I have started going to, but when I do, it always gives me a lift to know that others are experiencing the same issues that I encounter. Ruth

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Exactly @rmftucker. I hope to be able to offer something that can help people feel connected when they can’t leave to go to support meetings or don’t have options in their area, or when they don’t have the energy to embrace the vulnerability that is needed to meet people in person.

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@cbayala

Exactly @rmftucker. I hope to be able to offer something that can help people feel connected when they can’t leave to go to support meetings or don’t have options in their area, or when they don’t have the energy to embrace the vulnerability that is needed to meet people in person.

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@cbayala This certainly sounds good! Will you keep us posted? And please, pass along good information you receive

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