If you have been following our blog, you’ll remember a powerful, deeply moving caregiver story told by Kevin Hendricks last February. If you didn’t, read it here.
Kevin is a retired U.S. army colonel, father of three, husband and caregiver. As a military man, Kevin was ready to protect his wife from an “enemy” when they received her cancer diagnosis. He took on the role of cheerleader, and being the always positive influence in their lives, saying “It wasn’t her fighting cancer, it was us fighting cancer.”
Kevin’s story is from the unique perspective of being a male caregiver, as oftentimes that role falls to women. Caregivers can often feel isolated in their thoughts and actions when dealing with their loved ones, and that is a feeling that can be reinforced in someone who traditionally doesn’t take on that role, like Kevin. So one of the greatest lessons Kevin said he learned was to allow himself to talk with others and let them know what he was going through. In our culture, especially being a male or military member, there is a stigma associated with expressing emotions. Most men are taught not to act weak and instead they bury their emotions. Kevin learned that was the wrong approach in handling his wife’s cancer and now encourages all caregivers to talk and listen to each other. He now knows, like so many caregivers, that once you start sharing, you will realize you are not alone in this journey. Just because you are the support system for your loved one doesn’t mean you don’t need support yourself!
For Kevin’s full story click here.