A Caregiver’s Testimonial

A Caregiver’s Testimonial

Are you caring for a loved one with cancer? If so, then Work Stride: Managing Cancer at Work is for you.

The comprehensive Work Stride website features a section dedicated to caregivers, with information on how to take care of yourself while you take care of your parent or partner or child including tips for managing stress (see the attached infographic.) And your workplace oncology nurse navigators can answer any questions you may have regarding caregiving and help you create a plan that can aid you in getting some control over what lies ahead.

Here is what one caregiver had to say about Work Stride.

“I remember seeing the poster for “Work Stride: Managing Cancer at Work,” and thinking to myself, “Luckily, I don’t have cancer in my family. Hmm, I wonder how many people here at JH need that?” I thought briefly about some colleagues who had struggled with cancers and had continued working. How brave they were. At the time, it all seemed remote and far away.

“Within four months of thinking these things, my fiancé was diagnosed with a 5-cm spinal tumor. I instantly reached out to Work Stride, and Nurse Rose answered my email. She advised me on how to complete the medical leave paperwork so I could attend my fiancé’s doctors’ appointments with him. She listened empathetically as I agonized over how long it was taking for a biopsy, and then the excruciating wait for the pathology report. Then came the waits for appointments and radiation.

“As my fiancé recovered from Cyberknife treatment, [Nurse Rose] advised that we take each day and find joy in that day. Take a vacation! Breathe! Be grateful! She asked about test results after his first PET scan and helped me to understand which values might be important markers of the tumor’s demise. I felt confident that she would have chased down test results if I had asked her to; it was nice to have an extra voice to define terms and test results, as it’s hard to remember everything during a doctor’s visit when you are anxious.

“Having a loved one with cancer is a crash course in biology with language and treatments that can be overwhelming and alien. When I wondered if a therapist might be helpful for my fiancé, she recommended one.

“Before and after his latest surgery, I reached out to her and she showed up. Thanks to Work Stride, Nurse Rose, and the combined skills of the doctors and the extra-ordinary nurses, my (now) husband and I consider ourselves cancer survivors. Throughout, we kept our jobs and our sanity.”

A Johns Hopkins University employee