Responding to Jeanneane’s DiagnosisAs a mother and caregiver, Jeanneane’s diagnosis emotionally catapulted me 1,000 feet in the air and smashed me into the concrete. My world has changed since my daughter was diagnosed with glioblastoma.
Her diagnosis led me to reroute a little. I didn’t hesitate to resign from my job and move closer to Jeanneane. I panic when I can’t reach her, and I sometimes battle with fear. If she doesn’t immediately answer the phone, I
worry. Before every MRI, I experience anxiety.
I’d like to say I have balance in my life. However, balance has been thrown out the window and her well-being has become priority. It consumes my thoughts. Using my mental fly swatter, I crush any pesky thoughts of
negativity and gloom. Now, my brain can process her diagnosis and bring order to my spontaneous and intrusive emotions.
Coping is basking in the sunshine. Walking in the beauty of the forest applies balm to my soul. My support system of friends and family listen, encourage, and understand my emotions, and I’m grateful for them every single day.
I strive against being the helicopter mom of a fiercely independent woman. As a mom, I look at her and she transforms into my smart, clever, and caring little girl. I just want to embrace her in my arms and kiss away the hurt.
Incorporating OptuneWhile it was relatively quick for her, incorporating Optune into my life was quite an adjustment. I needed to figure out how to best support Jeanneane, whether it was mentally or emotionally. I researched and spoke with other GBM caregivers, and it gave me newfound sense of solace. Changing her arrays, tracking her supplies, and helping select matching hats for an outfit are all blessings.
Jeanneane is very independent. She prefers shaving her own head, packing her own batteries, and ordering her own supplies. She supports us emotionally by reassuring us she feels fine—she loves us, and she overdoes it sometimes to please us. Though she has grieved over her losses, she has never lingered in self-pity, sulked, or has been demanding. The natural born server has learned to be served.
My advice to other caregivers: it’s important to know your loved one’s limitations when using Optune. We are grateful for Optune. It’s a friend that accompanies us wherever we go, and we welcome this caregiver into our
Stares in public or questions from strangers were awkward and uncomfortable, but Jeanneane has always taken those moments very well. I never like to see people act in such a way around her, but her positivity allows her to handle those situations with kindness and grace.
I want people to be tender and kind to her. Occasionally she travels alone, and I pray the strangers she meets along the way will meet her with compassion. She is a strong person with a very soft heart.
I delight in her company, rejoice in her laughter, and thank God for her life! I look deep into her soul and strive to understand her better. Jeanneane is a beautiful soul—that has never and will never change.