I read a lovely post that Ann had her husband write for National Caregivers Month (November) and thought I would have Mike do a written interview to close out the month (since he is my day to day caregiver). I have family and friends who bust their chops to all help Mike, which is awesome. So you all should have celebrated the entire month of November, sorry I am forgetting to tell you until the last day. <3
I sent Mike the interview questions, act like I am a totally pro interviewer and have a degree in journalism, obviously I don’t, marketing and business things… so bear with me. 😀
Question 1 – Hi, you appear to be married to Mandi, what is it like to be married to such an amazing woman?
Pretty much the best thing ever. She keeps me motivated and continues to be my source of inspiration in just about everything I do.
Question 2 – What is one of your favorite memories together?
This is a hard one, I have so many favorite memories with Mandi, it’s impossible to decide. But if I have to pick, then it has to be the day we got married, her vows just about brought me to tears. I knew at that very moment, she was the one for me, and I was incredibly lucky to find her.
Question 3 – What was it like to find out Mandi had cancer (the first and second time)?
The first time I didn’t know what to think. I was scared, but at that time my understanding of breast cancer was pretty minimal. I just took it one day at time. The second time she was diagnosed I felt like someone put my heart through a blender. It feels like a big part of me is being taken away, and I can do nothing about it.
Question 4 – What is being a caregiver like? What does being a caregiver mean to you?
It is very difficult. I never know what is the right thing to say, and if I am coming off insensitive or too sensitive over simple issues. I constantly keep my emotions in check to appear stronger than I am, then when she is not looking, I go cry in a corner. Being a caregiver means you need to put the person you love and are caring for first above anything else in your life. Being a caregiver is more about being a good listener, than having the right answer.
Question 5 – What advice would you give to the husband of someone recently diagnosed with breast cancer?
Listen, don’t talk. Never say, “Everything is going to be ok!”. You are not a doctor nor can you see the future, so don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Be realistic without being painfully realistic. Being a caregiver does not mean you are supposed to have all the answers. Being a caregiver means you are there to do whatever you can possibly do to make that person’s life more comfortable and loving.
Question 6 – What do you do to make sure you take care of yourself in the middle of your wife’s treatment?
This part I am not so good at. I should be talking to someone about my troubles and stop having so much pride about my emotions. I don’t care how tough you are, when you are losing the most important thing in your life, it’s going to sting a bit. Talk to people, don’t bottle it up or it just gets worse. This is something I really need to work on.
(This was a trick question! Ha! I was reminding Mike he needs to take care of himself in disguise of questions about caregiving)
Question 7 – If caregivers had a theme song, what would that theme song be?
With a little help from my friends – The Beatles (Or Joe Cocker?)
Question 8 – How do you manage to stay so darn handsome?
Well besides my wife and my mom telling me this. I honestly didn’t know I was that handsome of a fellow. I am a bit of a computer nerd, so one theory is the glow coming from my monitor acts as some mystical beautification device? I do exercise regularly. And by exercise I mean play video games. That has to be it!
Question 9 – Anything else you would like to add?
If you are a caregiver, you are doing something amazing. Don’t forget to take care of yourself, you are escentially a caregiver for two people, your spouse and yourself. Don’t give up!
Caregivers are the best, they have a tough job. I am not sure how I would handle wearing Mike’s shoes, but they are a pair of shoes I love and adore (luckily he does not have stinky feet).