Caregiver Label

I know it’s pretty minor in the scheme of things but I thought I’d share anyway. I know what the definition of caregiver is and I suppose anyone caring for someone with cancer does fit the definition but there is just something about the word that bothers me. I’m Rich’s wife. I’ve always taken care of him and he takes care of me. Before the cancer diagnosis I was simply his wife but now people refer to me as his caregiver. People have asked if I’ve read any books that might have caregiving tips or if I’ve looked for a caregivers support group. I do understand what they mean but it makes me feel like I’m somehow detached from Rich when that term is used. I used to do home health so maybe that’s why I feel this way. I treated my clients well and I cared for them but it was different. With Rich, it’s something we are going through together. I care for him and take care of him because I love him. It’s always been that way. The other reason it really bothers me, especially now since Rich is doing well on immunotherapy, is that it makes him sound helpless.

Like I said, this may seem minor but it is one thing that gets under my skin. I don’t want a new label because my husband has cancer. No one ever says “gee it must be tough being so close to him and seeing him go through this”. Instead I have heard things like “it’s a tough job being a caregiver. To me it isn’t a job. I prefer to just remain his wife, who loves him and wants to be there for him, without the caregiver label attached.

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