Tag Archives: hope

Caregiving lessons: hope for those called to help

caregiving lessons of hope

Photo courtesy of AlicePopkorn

Today I welcome the insight of a special caregiver. Cameron Von St. James has been kind enough to share his struggles and triumphs as a caregiver for his wife Heather. While every caregiving journey is different, we all share the same fears, frustrations, and overwhelming emotions that sometimes threaten to derail our efforts on behalf of those we love most. Read Cameron’s story here and then watch his inspirational video. I wish Cameron and his family many continued blessings and want to thank him for providing inspiration to help others dealing with similar challenges.

Being a Caregiver and Holding Onto Hope
By Cameron Von St. James

For my wife Heather and me, life completely changed on November 21, 2005. It was on that day that a doctor told us Heather had malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare and very deadly type of cancer. On that day, I became her caregiver, and I quickly learned that I was not prepared for the job. Only three months earlier, we were celebrating the birth of our first and only child, Lily. We pictured spending the late fall celebrating Thanksgiving and getting ready for our first Christmas as a family of three. Instead, we spent it in doctors’ offices, and our lives quickly became characterized by chaos.

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Gammagard: Ray of Light Shines for Alzheimer’s Treatment?

Gammagard, a ray of light shines for future treatment of Alzheimer's?Is there a ray of light shining upon a new Alzheimer’s disease treatment? The results of a small research study presented this week at the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference suggest there might be and shows that the drug Gammagard may actually be effective in significantly reducing cognitive decline associated with dementia. Four Alzheimer’s patients using Gammagard showed no decline in abilities or cognition over a three year period of time, which is quite rare according to researchers in this New York Times article:

Dr. Norman Relkin of Weill Cornell Medical College, the lead investigator of the study, said the results were “remarkable” because patients with Alzheimer’s disease typically worsen within 12 months.

While more research is needed and the recent results with a relatively small test group are not conclusive, this is an exciting discovery and step in the right direction. There are still so many problems with this drug and kinks to be worked out though:

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