I am scary good at taking care of others

So…I’ve basically blown off the #NaBloPoMo at this point. Too much going on. But. This post has been sitting in drafts for, oh, about 2 years. 😉 Actually, it’s not even a post. I had a draft post with this title but no post text sitting here ready and waiting. I have several like that to remind me of topics I want to write about eventually.

I guess I thought I should write about how I took care of my father through 3 cancers. How I’m good at taking care of those around me (but not necessarily myself). But now I find myself thrust back into a pseudo-caregiving role. I say ‘pseudo’ because my current role is far more passive than it was for my father. But I get ahead of myself. Some background…

My uncle, my father’s brother, is in the hospital. He has cancer. It’s treatable but he needs surgery and he’s proven to be a difficult case so far. I am his next of kin. He never married or had kids (he’s gay). He has a strong group of friends/support where he lives. Until recently, I’ve never lived near him. So this is all a bit unexpected. He put things in place for me to not be the one to deal with this type of thing. But it happens to have played out that I now live 2.5 hrs away from him – closer than I ever have. And, due to his complex case, he’s in a hospital closer to me than to his home and friends.

So, once again, I find myself fielding calls from doctors and social workers and nurses. And his friends. And family. And I have fallen back into this role with an ease that doesn’t really surprise me yet exhausts me just the same. On one level, it’s easier this time around because I know all the medical speak. Although he has a different cancer than my dad did, he’s having some of the same complications. So it’s really easy to say, “Yes, I approve that procedure” because I already know exactly what it is and why he needs it.

My uncle retired from Hospice – a job he ended up with after caring for so many of his friends with AIDS back in the 1980s. I wonder if I will end up in a similar role…


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