andrew-estherThose 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.

derekAfter 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