A person who has someone by his side when a cancer diagnosis is relayed can count himself lucky. It is not always evident but when a thunderbolt hits from out of the blue, one needs all the support one can get. Some cancer patients try to outwardly show calm and courage even when they are petrified with fear and immobilized by worry. That dauntless façade has its limits, however, and there is always that inevitable breakdown at the end of the emotional tether. A partner, spouse, friend, or family member who can hold one’s hand when everything seems lost and in disarray is heaven-sent and may become the source of hope that extends a person’s will to live.
There is no set guide to help someone come out of the shadows of cancer. For Lauren Postyn, whose mother Susan Schultz survived a battle with pancreatic cancer, it meant leaving her job to take care of her mom’s needs full time. She provided help the best way she knew how, like driving her mom to a doctor’s, laboratory, and therapy appointment and back, cooking and preparing meals for her, and, managing her schedule of medication and treatment. Lauren declared that the job of a cancer caregiver was most difficult. The shower of love, profusion of gratitude, outpouring of admiration for her dedication, and, more importantly, the second chance at life that she gave her mom were more than enough compensation.
A loving partner gives a cancer patient more chances to survive.