Published on September 22, 2016
Those of us who have loved ones who have dealt with a cancer journey are always "along for the ride.” The emotional and physical roller coaster is never exactly the same for any two people, but the road is always bumpy, often filled with great challenges, fear, tears…the works…But those who travel it together most often find their inner strength together and reaffirm their deep love for each other along the way. And if a care partner (or caregiver) is a medical professional, the process of giving of their expertise and compassion is given selflessly and is priceless. In some ways, that is one of the very few gifts cancer gives any of us.
One of our dear cancer survivor friends, Derek Caine, found the words and voice recently to share his deep gratitude for the caregivers and care partners in his journey—and the journeys of others like him—in a wonderful song he has written and performed Song for the Unsung. Derek is from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in 2004. After his diagnosis and six months of treatment, Derek became a passionate patient advocate and dove into music as a creative form of expression. He is a board member of the CLL Patient Advocacy Group in Canada, a director of the Little Derek Leukemia Fund which provides financial support for other patients in his region, and he has written songs about cancer survivorship and entertained many audiences in person and online. Having met him, he is a delightful person, and you can meet him on one of our Patient Cafés.
After hearing his song, I felt compelled to share it here with our Patient Power communities. I know that caregivers and care partners don't do what they do for thanks—they do it because they want their patients and loved ones to be happy and healthy once more, to be around for the long haul, to experience many more of life‘s great surprises ahead. As a care partner, I know that life at its very best is a shared experience and whatever we can do to make it happy, healthy and a smoother road for our loved ones, is all the better. In the end though—a thank you is surely a nice thing to have.
Here are the lyrics to this heartfelt tribute to all the caregivers and care partners and out there, from Derek. Thank you, Derek, for this gift to all of us!
Our message is loud
Our message is clear
To the ones in this world
Who so well hide their fear
Caregivers, you rock
Time to do our part
And show you our love
From deep within our heart
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You
You care for us you love us
And it’s surely no disgrace
For helping us cope with
The awesome challenges we face
You’re our doctors and nurses
Psychiatrist as well
And your love is overwhelming
Without you life would be hell
It’s so difficult to tell you
Of our fear and our pain
That without you close by
Life would be so hard to sustain
You’re male and female versions
Of Florence Nightingale, it’s true
Much more we cannot say, except
Thank You Thank You Thank You
What words of thanks would you like to tell your care partner? Tell us in the comments section.
Esther Schorr – Care Partner of Andrew
Diagnosed with CLL in 1996 and myelofibrosis in 2011
Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.