A recent survey found 70% of U.S. women with advanced breast cancer have caregivers who help them manage with their disease. Most of those women understand the toll that takes on their friends and family.
The daughter of former Presidential Candidate John Edwards and the late Elizabeth Edwards knows what that is like. She helped her mom through a devastating breast cancer diagnosis."My mom garnered a lot of support from people living with breast cancer," said Cate Edwards.
And she cherished every once of it.
Since her mother's death in 2010, Cate Edwards says she's on a mission to be sure the people who care for cancer patients get the support they need too.
"One of the things that I think we forget as caregivers is we are so devoted to our loved ones who are going through advanced breast cancer and we forget about ourselves." She cared for her own mother during her six year battle with advanced breast cancer and says being a caregiver is a unique and special role. She's now advocating and offering advice for people caring for loved ones with advanced breast cancer.
"Support can come in a lot of different ways," said Edwards. "Understanding that some days were really good and some days were tougher, throughout that process I was able to spend a lot of time with my mom, but it wasn't just amount of time it was about the quality of the time we spent together."
Cate now takes comfort in that time she spent with her mom.
"As a daughter, being able to watch your mom not hide from life when faced with a tough diagnosis like advanced breast cancer but run towards life. And make the most of it. That's something I certainly will never forget."
Cate works with a group called "Count Us, Know Us, Join Us" which advocates for caregivers.
You can find out more about their work at advancedbreastcancercommunity.org
And remember to call your buddy....to remind him or her to do a breast self exam. It's a call that can save your life.
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