sunburst with the text melanoma & skin cancer blog

Care for the Caregiver

by Kimberly Murray, Edmonton AB

My journey with melanoma is really more about my twin sister Candace. In Dec 2017 she was diagnosed with stage 1 melanoma followed by treatment of surgery and lymph node removal.  In February 2020 she began feeling ill and was diagnosed at stage 4. Candace was hospitalized in April and there was absolutely no one allowed in. This was beyond frustrating and it was at this time I turned to meditation and prayer (which is out of the norm for me), which surprisingly was more helpful than I expected.

My support network has been mostly family and friends. Unfortunately I hadn’t found a Melanoma Support group for family members and caregivers.  I have a grief group that I am a part, which has been helpful.

It would be wrong to not mention my sister’s support network though. My sister had a Melanoma nurse who was so supportive and kind and even with no in person visits was still very helpful.  She was also fortunate to have so many family and friends who gave so much time and energy all throughout her illness.

I originally reached out to Melanoma Network of Canada in hopes in finding some emotional support. I wanted to get more information about Melanoma and its treatment options. I was interested in connecting with people facing the same struggles. I needed know if there was something more I could do. I also wanted to find a way to bring awareness to Melanoma.  The one thing that MNC has really given me is the feeling that I am not alone.

I can’t explain in words the gratitude and respect for the all the people involved in my sisters journey with Melanoma, especially during a pandemic. Spending time in a hospital in the last year has really opened my eyes to how hard your job really is. It literally takes 100’s of people to make it all work. You are all heroes and deserve so much more recognition than you get.  Your dedication and compassion is second to none and that all your hard work has not gone unnoticed. From treatment nurses/staff, palliative care nurses, personal support workers, porters, housekeeping, and especially the family and friends, you all play an important role.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

MNC Caregiver Support Group

Join our skin cancer Caregiver Facebook Support Group. A private group for people to tell their stories, ask questions & get the support they need. Open to anyone who is supporting a loved one with skin cancer.


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