One day I was busy driving my mom to a radiation oncology doctor’s appointment and we were running 15 minutes late. I was stressing out because it took my dad 30 minutes to put on his shirt and he literally thought he was the King of England.

He had just been released from neurological rehabilitation a week prior. Here I was driving like a mad woman when, at the freeway exit stop, I turned my head to see my mom happy and bopping her leg to the song on the radio – not a care in the world.

I made a DECISION in that MOMENT to enjoy the song with her. I turned up the radio and started singing and dancing in the car. I learned a LOT from being a caregiver. Here are some of the things I learned:

  1. Humor heals. The more we focused on humor (often laughing at ourselves), the less stressed we felt. Humor helps put things in perspective.
  2. Gratitude is a must. I found something… anything to be thankful for each day.
  3. Mindset is huge. We have the power within to be, do and have anything. I have helped heal myself from cancer, a hernia, PE and more and can attest that our mindset determines our reality.
  4. Self-Care is critical. I recently heard someone say that self-care is the new healthcare. I really believe this is true.
  5. Everyone deserves and needs a voice; especially when they don’t have one.
  6. It’s never too early to plan your legacy.
  7. Giving our time, patience, compassion, and love is the highest form of service there is.

What have YOU learned from being a caregiver?

Tandy Elisala helps family caregivers go from stressed to calm. She is passionate about inspiring hope and helping navigate the caregiving journey. Tandy is a 4-time cancer thriver, bestselling author, Empowered Family Caregiver radio host, speaker and mom. You can read more and get her daily dose of hope at

Originally posted in our Facebook group.

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