Caregiving Story

Teenage Boy, In Memory Of

Location:Whittier, CA
Cared for by:Anita De La Rocha
Years of Care:4


In 2001, I was given the opportunity to work as an Instructional Aide for the Severely Handicapped class and loved it! I learned how to apply physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech to our children when the therapist's were not available. I did this until 2005 When my own son, Marc, 13-years-old, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. I thought it was the end of the world. He went through so much for such a small boy. Four long years of endless surgeries. The location of the tumor was in the brain stem. This area controls your walking, fine motor skills and speech. He was soon in a wheechair, unable to feed, bath or dress himself. Marc had a kidney removed and brain surgery taking out only 80% of the tumor. A shunt was placed in his head for drainage. He received chemotherapy and radiation for 1 year. On July 19, 2007, after being in remission for almost 2 years, the cancer came back in his spine. Devastated, because he had started walking on his own with a walker and he had worked so hard and so long for this accomplishment. He had immediate surgery, chemotherapy and radiation for another 6 months, ending with a bone marrow transplant. Complications occurred. He lost movement of his right-side vocal cord. He ended up in ICU for 2 months, fighting for his life. He came out with a tracheotomy and another surgery due to shunt failure. A third ventriculostomy was performed and successful. This was the last of the visits other than routine check ups and labs. We were finally able to focus once again and On May 20, 2008, we went in for a routine MRI to hear those dreadful words.. cancer had returned. This time taking over his whole spine. We lost him on the 4th of July. As a mother, I'm saddened by his loss, yet content that he is no longer suffering. God doesn't give me anything I can't handle. Yes, this was very difficult, but what I've learned was that he was preparing me to be in caregiving field. When he became sick, I was able to apply the training that was given to me on my son. I administered medications intravenously and orally, I drew labs, cleaned and dressed his central line, and handled all cleaning and suctioning of his trach. I did all bathing, toiletry, feeding, dressing and transferring to and from the hospital 4 days a week. I am very compassionate and loving. I will give 100% as a professional caregiver, as that is what I would want for my loved one. I have come to caregiving as a career without any educational certificates in this field, but with personal experience that has led me to want to give back what I've learned.

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