When Tambre extended an invitation to pen a guest-blog, I was truly flattered. I have admired her work for some time and am honored to be able to share my thoughts with those of you who read and admire her, much as I do.
A little about me…My name is Rob Harris. I live in Orlando, Florida and am a seasoned and accredited Human Resources professional working for a major corporation. I specialize in assisting corporate executives and all others with their strategic, training and employee relations needs.
More importantly, I am a Caregiver. My wife is a two-time cancer survivor; first of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and years later, a Leiomyosarcoma. The Sarcoma took her left leg above the knee and almost extinguished her life on more than one occasion.
My world has been enriched beyond imagination by caring for her over a period of many years. That may seem strange, but as I shared in a story that appeared recently on Today/MSNBC.com, we fell more deeply in love than ever before. The reason was we stopped taking every day for granted and began living each day as if it was our last. We still do.
So, what can I possibly offer to sophisticated blog-followers?
Let’s start with this:
Do as I say…not as I did! Why – because I was a “Martyr!” If you are one, it is the last thing you want to be! Stop it! Stop it now!
What is my definition of martyr? For me, I believed I should not be allowed to have fun, laugh, smile or joke. I did not exercise or take care of myself because I was concerned others might view it as acting improperly under the circumstances. All of my energies were focused on my wife. I portrayed an image of being somber, worried and introspective. In other words, I acted as I allowed myself to feel…lousy!
Many years later when we were dealt the shocking news that a more intense battle with the same deadly disease would need to be fought, I recall having an epiphany. As we began to schedule dates on our calendar for the first in-patient chemotherapy treatment, I came immediately to the conclusion this time I was going to be a very different caregiver.
I would conduct myself in the same manner I live my life: have fun, laugh, joke, not take anything too seriously and generally, enjoy brightening the day of others. Fortunately, my wife very willingly went along with my antics.
Join us on Friday for part two of my guest blogger’s post when Rob shares some key strategies on how he turned in-patient treatment stays into a martyr-free zone even when under near house arrest circumstances. You can follow Rob on twitter and facebook.