It Takes Two: Pamela and Brent’s Story
Pamela: My name is Pamela and I was diagnosed with, um, non-small cell lung cancer.
Brent: And um, I’m Brent I’m her husband, been married 22 years, I’m her caregiver, caretaker her, anyway I, I’m the person who’s her second half and help her out.
P: When I was diagnosed, one of the things that, um, helped me recognize that something was not right, um, was because we play tennis, and on the tennis court I had a, a really difficult time catching my breath, unusually so.
And then I realized I was having trouble just doing the simplest things.
B: And in my job, um, I’ve always been a strong but with this, you know, just, it, it gets real.
P: It is harder on your family members for sure.
The Monday after the biopsy, he had told me I have an appointment, to both get a second opinion and because she had a very interesting trial going on.
We went to a facility where we were there all day. Felt so, you know, lucky that Brent was able to go with me and spend the day with me and, and go through that.
P: It does make it better, you can do it alone, but it’s nice that you don’t have to. Brent’s very important to my, um, getting through this, it’s, um, a blessing for sure.
B: You need a caregiver, and you need the person who’s taking the treatment to be together because, both our personalities are a little different, and, for our instance Pam likes to put on a game face, and no matter what she’s, she’s on and she’s happy, and she’s good and then by the end of the hour with the oncologist or the study doctor, she, the truth starts coming out like ‘yeah, I have a couple ailments.’ You need both people to get the information, it’s hard to take in all the information that’s given to you, and you start learning and you start asking questions, and the longer you keep going back to the doctors, or you keep going, you have a perspective, and you know what to really ask for, the way to do it is with a team, you need to go with two different people I think or, if it’s a spouse or a friend or something, I suggest you have a friend or somebody special with you so it helps you get through.
P: Eleven months before my diagnosis, um, my father passed away from cancer. Being the caregiver for him, um, was the hardest job, I was, there was no control in it. It’s really hard to be the caregiver, um, so I have a lot of, um, compassion for my family, um for Brent, and, um, the people that are, are helping us.
B: You change your attitude, you change, um, your perspective on,what,how things should be, your new normal is here, and you try to get your new normal here, and you try to get your new normal here.
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