Behind every cancer patient is a caregiver that is supporting them throughout the entire journey. To me, this role is just as challenging as going through cancer! The caregiver has several responsibilities ranging from medical, financial, legal and household.
My caregiver is my husband, Roberto. For those that know Roberto, he is more reserved and doesn’t like to be in the spotlight. He would probably not even want me writing a post entirely dedicated to him! He is one of the reasons why I’m able to remain strong through all this. He cheers me up when I’m feeling sad and reminds me of all the progress I have made.
Roberto came to the US by himself from El Salvador when he was 16 years old, not knowing any English. He learned English, got a job, got his own car and place to live, put himself through college with no student loans while working full-time, and constantly works hard to achieve his dreams for a better life for him and our family.
Roberto and I have been together for 9 years, married for 4 years. When we made our marriage vows, I never thought just a few years later I would witness him by my side living up to those vows, caring for me while I fight a serious health condition. He has selflessly put his needs aside to make sure Camila and I are his priorities.
Being Mom and Dad
Roberto has shouldered much of the parenting since my diagnosis. He has taken on a lot of the parenting responsibilities I used to do because I temporarily cannot do them. He does every diaper change, day care drop off and pickup, and bath time, and chases after her. I know there are days he’s physically tired and mentally overloaded, but he doesn’t complain. In turn, Camila is deeply attached to her papá. She loves him so much and enjoys all the time they spend together.
The Other Unsung Heroes
Roberto isn’t doing it all alone. We have several friends and family members who have stepped in to help Roberto and I during this time. We’ve had countless delicious meals sent to us so we don’t have to worry about cooking, offers to babysit Camila, and just an outpouring of love and prayers.
My parents have, without hesitation, continuously helped us with Camila. They take care of her when I’m getting my treatment so Roberto can stay with me in the hospital. They watch her if I’m not feeling well or if she’s sick and we need to isolate her from me. They’ve made sacrifices in their lives to accommodate Camila and I. I’m so grateful to have them nearby. Camila loves to spend time with her grandparents too.
My Caregiver, My Hero
People tell me I’m strong and positive. I feel weird accepting that compliment because I’m able to be strong and positive because of all the people that surround me with love and support. Roberto is by my side everyday, reassuring me that everything will be okay, telling me I’m beautiful while I stare at my patchy hair in the mirror, and helping make sure Camila is happy. I owe him big time and have promised him he can get recessed lighting installed and we can go on a cruise when this is all over! 😉