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Life Redefined: Have You Thanked Your Caregiver Today?

Post Published: 04 January 2011
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Category: Column, Life Redefined, Thyroid Cancer in Young Adults Column
This post currently has 8 responses. Leave a comment

As you know, January is Thyroid Awareness Month. This month, we want you to BRING IT and make your voices heard. As we create and spread awareness for thyroid diseases and cancers, I want to bring up an important facet of dealing with disease: the role of the caregiver. Caregivers tend to go unnoticed. They are too often overlooked, tossed into the background without second thought.  However, when we take the time to think about it, we know that our caregivers often are the reason that we can even get out of bed in the morning. Our caregivers allow us to really seek health. Therefore, I view acknowledgment of our caregivers as a very important part of Thyroid Awareness Month. They deserve to be recognized for the role they play in creating awareness and giving us the support we need to LIVE.

As I’ve gone through surgeries and RAI treatments for thyroid cancer, my main caregiver has been my mom. She has tirelessly taken care of me when I have been too tired to take care of myself. She’s taken me to doctors’ appointments. She’s helped me prepare food for the low-iodine diet. She’s spoken up for me when I didn’t have the energy to advocate for myself. She has supported me every single step of the way and she continues to do so. And she has done all of this while dealing with her own emotions she’s encountered as a result of having a daughter with cancer. Without her, I wouldn’t have a voice to share my story. She deserves all the gratitude I can give and more. All of our caregivers do.

I cannot recognize our caregivers alone. We need to do this together. In addition to the BRING IT awareness campaign, we are launching a Dear Caregiver campaign. For this campaign, we are asking you to write and submit a thank-you letter to your caregiver.  In our eyes, a caregiver includes anyone who plays (or has played) a role in supporting you and encouraging you through illness, whether it’s a friend, family member, nurse, doctor, etc.  Write a poem, write a story, or write a letter to tell your caregiver THANK YOU. Submit all your literary goodness to submissions@dearthyroid.org.

As we raise awareness for the known causes, the symptoms, the side effects, the burdens, and then need for more research of thyroid diseases and cancers, let’s simultaneously join together and publicly recognize those people in our life who care enough to take the time to support us. Let’s give them the appreciation they deserve.

You can expect to see a Dear Caregiver letter from me, and I hope to read MANY letters and poems from you.

Lots of love,

Joanna

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8 Responses to “Life Redefined: Have You Thanked Your Caregiver Today?”

  1. Amanda says:

    Joanne,
    This will be so nice. I can’t wait, and really hope we get a TON of Dear Caregiver letters. I don’t really have a caregiver, so far I have been my own.

    Amanda

  2. Lolly says:

    Great way to acknowldege caregivers people who have helped you when you needed it the most. I don’t really have one I am the caregiver but if it means emotional support then I have had plenty of that even down to my dog because without her I wouldn’t be going out for daily walks.

    Lollyx

  3. Thank you, Amanda & Lolly! If either of you has someone in your life who has really supported you (emotionally, mentally, physically, or any other way) through thy-disease, we consider them a caregiver. Even if they’re not a caregiver in the traditional sense. If there’s someone you would like to thank/acknowledge, write a letter and send it over! 🙂

    You ladies are so great! Thank YOU for all the support you offer in this community.

    xo,
    Joanna

  4. Dear Thyroid says:

    Joanna;

    You are absolutely right. I couldn’t agree with you more. The people who love and support us; who take care of us, and remind us that we deserve the best health need to be recognized.

    Love, love, love this campaign.

    Let’s celebrate our caregivers hard!

    xo

  5. Such a great idea! I love it!

  6. Nicole Wells says:

    AWESOME idea Joanna! I love it!

    My caregiver has been my mama too, and I just wrote her a nice Christmas card thanking her. She might even get mad if I was to go further and thank her some more – she considers doing this a part of the MOM job.

    xoxo,

    N

  7. Dear Thyroid says:

    I heart you so, Joanna. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. I am absolutely writing and submitting a ginormous letter of gratitude to the people that have supported me and been there through the darkest hours. You’re right, they go unrecognized. The opportunity to recognize our caregivers is a wonderful gift.

    Awesome, brilliant. Love it.

    xo

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