After Surgery Caregiver

Caregiver Reflection

Being a caregiver is challenging but a phenomenally rewarding job. From day one post-op to now… I have seen the human body do remarkable things; I have seen people care for my husband as if he were their own flesh and blood; and I have experience courage.

The human body is remarkable.

I have had my own medical issues and googled enough to understand disease and illness. BUT, I had never stopped and truly thought about how amazing the human body is AND how our creator created it so perfectly! Just think… had Jeremy’s trachea been located in the back of his body, he couldn’t even have a stoma! He wouldn’t be able to breathe out his back! The placement of body parts have purpose and I realized that over these 12 days. Additionally, the HEALING power of the body amazes me! By simply giving your body rest and the nutrients it needs, it heals itself! Without you asking or doing anything… it heals AND knows how to heal itself! LOVE your body, its the only one you have and its remarkable!!!

The caring spirit of others. 

I have felt “pitied” during this journey but when someone empathizes with you, understands your fears and concerns, and makes you feel empowered, that is special. First, the nursing care we received at Houston Methodist, Jones 10th floor, was truly special. They treated my husband as if he was their own flesh and blood. They made him laugh and helped us both cope with this new normal. They listened when I asked “silly” questions and they never made us feel like we were bothering them. They began to joke that I was “on shift” and “knew where stuff was in the back.” They made us feel like family. I will forever be grateful for the care and compassion we received. Secondly, our new Lary family. Complete strangers heard Jeremy’s story and found it in their hearts to reach out to not only Jeremy, but me! In one of my darkest hours of sadness, one of them reached out her hand and guided me back to the light. She let me know that this will be hard and we will struggle but we will make it! She knew because her family had gone through the same diagnosis and treatment. I have found a tribe of women who understand the challenges and triumphs. I feel so blessed and thankful for their kindness, late night Facebook message responses and friendship.


“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela 

I was brave for and BECAUSE of my husband. There were some days I didn’t know how we were going to do this. I didn’t know if he would ever smile or do his eye brow thing. (For those of who may not know Jeremy well, he does this ridiculously cute eyebrow raise thing. It hooked me from the beginning and it still gives me butterflies). BUT he did! He raised his eyebrows and as odd as this sounds, that gave me strength. I also need to truly thank my parents who flew down to Houston and stayed with us. My mom took time off from work to help me transition Jeremy home and she has helped both of us develop confidence to handle this new normal. I believe our courage comes from each other and from those who have shown us love, compassion and resiliency.

We have a long way to go but we have survived and thrived during these first 12 days and that is great news! 🙂

7 comments on “Caregiver Reflection

  1. You are an amazing caregiver, Caitlin! So thankful for you! 💕

  2. Courage. Beautiful. Love.

  3. Caitlin, were a special group filled with the knowledge of what lies ahead for you and Jeremy. I wish I had this group at the beginning of Rock’s journey although the Dr’s guided me I was alone we knew only one man who had a laryngectomy. But now were a family of more than 40,000 Larys! We are here when needed! Remember one step at a time one day at a time!

  4. Mary Jo Mac Neil

    It has been a privilege to be here and experience what love can conquer. You 2 “endure for the cure.” It has not been an easy journey, but you make it feel that way with your positivity. I too would like to thank the Larry family for reaching out with your knowledge and support. You have been such a blessing!

  5. You both have truly inspired all of us with your courage and kindness in bringing us along this journey. Having Faith in God and prayers is a very strong element in healing.
    We love you so much and continue to keep you both in our thoughts each day. Much love, grandma and grandpa Deis

  6. Pauline Kelly

    We are all amazed at the love and courage you both have exhibited through this journey. What an inspiration! Keep on keeping on. Love & hugs to all of you!

  7. Cathy Darling

    I am so proud of you, Caitlin and Jeremy. You have both shown exceptional courage and strength. I hope you will always rely on God and on each other. I believe you will.

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