I Am Not Fine: The Heavy Toll Cancer Takes

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Most caregivers of patients with cancer feel they have no choice but to take on the intense role — one for which they have little or no training or preparation. OncTwitter MedTwitter

PARIS —"I thought I was as exhausted, and isolated, and neglected as I could get, and then he came home."

A few months later, he started coughing up blood. After being rushed to the emergency department, doctors found that a slow-growing lung tumor had ruptured. "He spent 1½ months in the hospital...in isolation, not seeing our daughters," Washington said. He lost his vision and developed grade 4 graft-vs-host disease, among other problems."As you might imagine, I was pulled between the hospital and the home, taking care of our daughters, who were not seeing him during that time," she recalled."A total lie," she admitted.

Her husband could not be left alone, his doctor had said. And with two young children, Washington did not know how she would manage.


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