Health and Beauty

Personal Caregiver Job Description

Caregiving for a partner with brain cancer: A personal story

I explained your condition, stage four brain cancer, also known as glioblastoma multiforme , as well as the meningitis you'd contracted after the most recent surgery.

"He still hallucinates," I explained. "He can't see very well. He has a hard time supporting his weight at all. Also, with the meningitis came incontinence... "

Dwayne interrupted. "What's incontinence?" he said.

I stared at him.

"I don't know what that word means," he said.

I didn't want to make him feel bad. "Oh, it means that you don't know you have to urinate so you can't control it. I'm sorry, how do you not know that word?"

"I told you this was my first day," he said.

"Ever?" I said. "What did you do before this?"

"I've worked in a grocery store for the past 27 years," he said.

Dwayne talked about what had drawn him to the caregiver role. He cared about people. He wanted to help. That was all fine, but, as I would explain to his supervisor, I needed someone whom I didn't have to teach.