“I am a caregiver and I want to share this cCARE story for anyone making healthcare decisions for a loved one.”
I am one of the over 80 percent of women who make healthcare decisions every day as a caregiver. For myself, my family and now my parents.
Here is my cCARE story, coming after a series of transitions – a home sale, senior lifestyle, and then while in assisted living my mother suffered a fall and was hospitalized. While in care there, it was discovered that she had cancer.
The phone call from the doctor is etched indelibly in my memory. “Are you sitting down?” he asked. “Are you ready?” So over the phone I learned that my mother had large B-cell lymphoma. Stage 4. Get your affairs in order.
A bit of a blur after that, but most notably, the inability to get scheduled for the chemo/radiation that the doctor recommended. The lack of concern and cavalier attitude of the staff. No eye contact. Take a number.
At the time, my marketing office was situated next to cCARE on Fir Ave. [Fresno location]. Out of the blue, I received a phone call asking for some help with a print project. I walked over and even as a non-patient was impressed by the friendliness of the front desk, in spite of a very full waiting area. Long story short, in my heart I knew this was where my mom should be treated.
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Our care for a caregiver’s mother: patience, dignity & kindness
She was seen the next day and given a different recommendation. In fact, the doctor at cCARE said while the chemo would work, she was weak and likely would not tolerate the treatment well. His comment was that if it were his mom, he would use Rituxan. Not a cure, but some quality of life.
That doctor has since moved on, and her care under Dr. Haseeb has been thorough, kind and what I will call “the extra mile” attitude with a senior patient. From the front desk to the nursing staff, she is treated with patience, dignity and kindness. Age has not been kind. She is overweight, hair is thinning and she’s losing her teeth.
But inside, she is still the little girl, teen, wife, mother and grandmother who also was a CAREGIVER. The cCARE team did not know this woman prior to their care, but somehow, they’ve touched all those people that my mother used to be.
Mom is currently in remission with the last few PET scans completely clear!
Thank you to everyone on the cCARE team who has underscored the word “care” for my mother and me.
P.S. She thinks Dr. Haseeb is pretty cute.
– Reneé von Hagel, submitted through our Share Your Story page