This is Part 2 of my interview with my good friends Kevin and Linda.
In Part 1, we heard from Linda as she navigates her cancer journey.
I've known Kevin and Linda for over 15 years. We met in church and they hosted our weekly bible study for many years. In that time, I’ve always thought Kevin as reserved and somewhat quiet. In fact, I was a little apprehensive about this interview wondering if I was putting Kevin into an uncomfortable position. I was greatly relieved when he agreed to this interview and I am so very thankful to him. In fact, I cannot thank Kevin and Linda enough for openly sharing their experiences and having very candid conversations about difficult subjects.
Once the interview began, my apprehension went away, as Kevin shared his experiences as a caregiver. We talked for more than 2 hours and I have distilled from our conversation the items below.
Again, thank you Linda and Kevin.
Here we go, Kevin:
1. Tell us how you felt upon hearing of the suspicious spot found on Linda's X-Ray.
Kevin: I did not think a whole lot about it, one way or the other. My personal experience (with physicians) is somewhat jaded, I had a medical situation occur in which the doctors were not able to provide a diagnosis and three months after it started, the specialist asked me why I was getting better. My initial response to a suspicious spot on an X-Ray was "Okay, what do we do next?".
2. Tell us what was going through your mind when you heard “biopsy” mentioned the first time.
Kevin: When I was much younger, the "C" word was like a death sentence. However, we came out of the first meeting with the oncologist with a sense of relief because it was caught early and it was so small. Even so, there is always concern and we were asking ourselves, “How bad is it going to be?” On the plus side, we had some positive results, like the small size and the negative BRCA test. We asked “What's next?" and continued on our journey.
3. Tell us about the surgery from the care givers point of view.
Kevin: Honestly, I did not have much responsibilities. I changed her bandages when needed. My main concern was being with my wife during a pandemic. Over 90% of my frustration in this whole situation was COVID-19 restrictions. I could not be with my wife when meeting with the oncologist due to COVID-19 restrictions. I set in the parking lot and teleconferenced into the meeting. It’s very frustrating when the doctor says “As you see here...” and you have no idea what she is pointing at.
4. Describe your Post Operation routine.
My post surgery care tasks were minimal as she was able to do most things for herself. I did go grocery shopping because she could not lift anything over 5 pounds. She could not lift her arm over her head for a few days. I assisted whenever needed.
5. Please share any other thoughts as the care giver of someone going through this journey.
You need to let them know that you are there. COVID-19 made it very difficult to always be there. In my case, I teleconferenced to the first meeting with the oncologist.
6. Is there a question you think I should have asked or is there something that you would like to say?
I'm a little curious as to how cancer surgery is classified as elective during COVID-19. Really? Really??