Why I Was a Wife, Not a Caregiver

The more I thought about writing the Esophageal Cancer Journey from the point of view of me, the wife, the less I liked calling myself the caregiver. I did not like the title, the caregiver’s journey. The term continually irritated me. Might sound silly to stumble over a word. So what! What could I title my journal? The Esophageal Cancer Journey from the Viewpoint of His Wife? A ten-word title is too long and clumsy.

I know the term caregiver is the chosen word for anyone who helps a patient, sick or incapacitated person. I couldn’t find the word “caregiver” in any of my dictionaries.

One dictionary definition of CARE

  • maintenance
  • overhaul
  • repair

The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary,( all 2515 shorter page version ),
defines care;

  • to feel concern or interest
  • to have regard or liking for
  • something to worry about, have charge over,custody

The definition of giver is;

  • donor,contributor
  • supporter, patron

After listing the definitions maybe my irritation with calling myself,a “caregiver” is not so far-fetched. I certainly did not overhaul or repair him. If I had the power to repair him, today he might be alive. Repair is out. Supporter, feel concern, like, I can relate to those words.

Short and simple, I was his wife and honored to be so.We were husband and wife, not cancer patient and caregiver.

When we were married the minister wrote these words on our marriage certificate;
“Bear one another-s burdens and so fulfill the love of Christ.” Galatians. We did.

In writing this blog, I have tripped and stumbled over a title that leaves out the one word I was not.

Switzerland Sept 1970                     Switzerland May 2003