Meet Yamile R
In 2020, during COVID she lost her mother to ovarian cancer.
A shock to both her and her family, Yamile shares with us a bit of her caregiver journey and her advice to other fellow caregivers.
What is your name?
My name is Yamile.
What is your relation to the Tough Cookie?
What was the first thing that came to mind when you heard them say "I have cancer"?
My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She was otherwise extremely healthy up until that point- something I was always grateful for- so it was really shocking to hear that her vague GI symptoms were actually widespread ovarian cancer.
What has been or was the hardest part of this journey for you?
The hardest part of her cancer journey was watching her suffer physical pain at first, then mental and emotional pain as she came to terms with her prognosis, with the fact that she couldn’t watch her grandson grow up, and finally watching her lose her mental and physical capabilities in a few weeks time as her disease spread to her brain.
How are you doing now?
The fact that I can write this without crying shows me I’ve healed a lot since losing her in 2020, although sometimes It’s the most random thing that sparks my memory of her and hurts to think about.
What was the most helpful thing someone did or said to you during your journey as a caregiver?
I think the most helpful thing was the way my amazing family and friends rallied around us, especially in her final days at home. We threw her a belated birthday party, since we didn’t get to celebrate in March due to COVID. They showered her (and me) with love, kept us company, prayed with us, and made sure we ate.
Any advice you would like to share with other caregivers?
My advice to other caregivers is to spend as much time as you can with your loved one. Nothing else, even your work, is as important as being by their side. You never know how much time you have left. Listen when they tell you they don’t feel right, no matter what the doctors says. And lean on God, because He got me through the pain even when I blamed him for all of it. He is gracious and His arms are always open. Although I wish my mom was still here, I know she is with him because she had a peace about dying that gave me peace when I had to watch her go.
Love to all of you and may you make the most out of this holiday season.