According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, an estimated 65.7 million Americans serve as family caregivers for an ill or disabled relative. Caregivers play an essential role in cancer patients’ care. They provide invaluable physical and emotional support for their loved ones throughout treatment.
Board Member Teresa Delcorso-Ellman said, "Caregiving is one of the most rewarding and challenging jobs a person will do. The reality is that the work of the caregiver often goes unrecorded and unrecognized outside of the home. My approach to caregiving was to give my husband, Steve, the love and support that he needed to thrive as we approached his care as a team, united in the goal for him to have the best quality of life for as long as possible."
The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation (CCF) recognizes November as National Family Caregivers Month (NFCM) - a time to celebrate the contributions of caregivers. In its observation, the Foundation is providing resources and debuting “Caregiver Stories,” two newly produced videos.
Laura Lee and Ambuj Srivastava share their caregiver journey, hope, and important advice to other caregivers in these videos.
Meet Laura Lee
Laura Lee is a caregiver to her father, David Lee, diagnosed with stage IV cholangiocarcinoma in 2019 after finding a softball-sized tumor in his liver. She is a Journalist and enjoys spending time with her family, including “the world’s best” nieces and nephews.
Meet Ambuj Srivastava
Ambuj is a caregiver to his father, diagnosed with stage IV intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma after the doctors discovered a blockage in his bile duct. He lives in Canada with his wife and daughter and works as a project manager for a financial institution.
If you're a caregiver, please check out these additional resources of support that the Foundation offers.
Thank you to all the caregivers who support patients living with cholangiocarcinoma. Being a caregiver is a challenging job that may be taken for granted and undervalued but is highly respected in the cholangiocarcinoma community. You are valued and what you do matters. Please take advantage of the resources provided.
You may also find these additional resources helpful. Remember that you're not alone.
Caring for a Loved One with Cancer
The Caregiver Support Video Series - American Cancer Society
These videos provide training for caregivers managing day-to-day cancer patient needs, including medication and pain management, dealing with side effects, self-care, advocacy, and sharing caregiver stories.
Caregiver Resource Guide - American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society Caregiver Resource Guide is a valuable tool for cancer caregivers. This guide provides essential information on caring for your loved one and yourself during this challenging time.
What a Cancer Caregiver Does - American Cancer Society
This webpage from ACS provides an overview of what it means to be a cancer giver, including tips for making health decisions, empathizing with the patient with cancer, and understanding financial considerations.
Tips for Caregivers - Cancer Treatment Centers of America
The webpage, "Tips for caregivers," discusses how to balance your role as a caregiver with other demands, managing burnout, advice for staying organized, and more.
AARP has a database to connect caregivers with services and assistance programs organized by state.
Cancer.net hosts various pages about caregiving basics, taking care of oneself, hiring home care services, caring for a parent as a young adult, and much more.
Support for Caregivers of Cancer Patients - National Cancer Institute
Support for Caregivers of Cancer Patients includes advice on assisting loved ones with advanced cancer, offering long-distance caregiving support, and including family members.
For Caregivers: Practical Tips to Cope - CancerCare
This workshop recording covers essential caregiving tips, advice for self-care, managing family and holidays, etc.