Prepping for Treatment
June 19, 2013 – Kathy LaTour
Children Are Not Little Adults
June 19, 2013 – Laura Beil
Autumn Colbert: A Daughter Undaunted
June 19, 2013 – Don Vaughan
The Power of Positive Thinking
June 19, 2013 – Jane Hill
The Health Hypothesis
June 19, 2013 – Jane Hill
Encouraging Words
June 18, 2013 – Don Vaughan
Andropause & Menopause
June 19, 2013 – Barbara Sadick
Treatment Snapshot
June 19, 2013 – Lacey Marlow
Tracking Down Infections
June 19, 2013 – Charlotte Huff
Susie's Story
June 19, 2013 – Kathy LaTour
Robert A. Kyle, MD
June 19, 2013 – Don Vaughan
Qi Gong May Improve Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Patients
June 19, 2013 – Elizabeth Whittington
And in Health: A Guide for Couples Facing Cancer Together
June 19, 2013 – Katherine Lagomarsino
Finding a Clinical Trial Just Got Easier
June 19, 2013 – Jon Garinn
Renewed Focus on Smoking Cessation
June 19, 2013 – Elizabeth Whittington
The National Race to End Women’s Cancer
June 19, 2013 – Jon Garinn
Genetic Variations Found in ALL Patients of Different Ethnicities
June 19, 2013 – Katherine Lagomarsino
Hospitals Need a Menu Makeover
June 19, 2013 – Len Lichtenfeld, MD
Jolie’s Mastectomy Raises Awareness, Prompts Debate
June 19, 2013 – Lindsay Ray
Cancer Clusters and Congress
June 19, 2013 – Lena Huang
ASCO Updates
June 19, 2013 – Staff Reports
Know Your Options
June 19, 2013 – Carol Marcusen
Transcending Cure with Care
June 19, 2013 – Anne Falgoust Ott
Pipeline
June 18, 2013 – Lindsay Ray
Grapefruit Juice: Forbidden Fruit?
June 19, 2013 – Jeanne Erdmann
Up All Night?
June 19, 2013 – Lacey Marlow
Cancer Overtakes Heart Disease As Leading Cause Of Death In Hispanic Population
June 19, 2013 – Roxanne Nelson
Letters From Readers
June 19, 2013
Message From the Editor
June 19, 2013 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Silver Linings in Caregiving
June 19, 2013 – Jane Hill
Managing Expectations
June 18, 2013 – Barbara Sadick
Mind Over Matters
June 19, 2013 – Don Vaughan
Check Please: Choosing the Best Hospital for Your Cancer Surgery
June 18, 2013 – Charlotte Huff
Heart of the Matter: Cardiac Toxicity
June 17, 2013 – Kathy LaTour
Vital Signs: Recognizing and Managing Distress
June 18, 2013 – Laura Beil
Treating Multiple Myeloma From Every Angle
June 18, 2013 – Heather L. Van Epps, PhD
Prepping for Treatment
June 19, 2013 – Kathy LaTour
Children Are Not Little Adults
June 19, 2013 – Laura Beil
Currently Viewing
Autumn Colbert: A Daughter Undaunted
June 19, 2013 – Don Vaughan
The Health Hypothesis
June 19, 2013 – Jane Hill
Encouraging Words
June 18, 2013 – Don Vaughan
Andropause & Menopause
June 19, 2013 – Barbara Sadick
Treatment Snapshot
June 19, 2013 – Lacey Marlow
Tracking Down Infections
June 19, 2013 – Charlotte Huff
Susie's Story
June 19, 2013 – Kathy LaTour
Robert A. Kyle, MD
June 19, 2013 – Don Vaughan
Qi Gong May Improve Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Patients
June 19, 2013 – Elizabeth Whittington
And in Health: A Guide for Couples Facing Cancer Together
June 19, 2013 – Katherine Lagomarsino
Finding a Clinical Trial Just Got Easier
June 19, 2013 – Jon Garinn
Renewed Focus on Smoking Cessation
June 19, 2013 – Elizabeth Whittington
The National Race to End Women’s Cancer
June 19, 2013 – Jon Garinn
Genetic Variations Found in ALL Patients of Different Ethnicities
June 19, 2013 – Katherine Lagomarsino
Hospitals Need a Menu Makeover
June 19, 2013 – Len Lichtenfeld, MD
Jolie’s Mastectomy Raises Awareness, Prompts Debate
June 19, 2013 – Lindsay Ray
Cancer Clusters and Congress
June 19, 2013 – Lena Huang
ASCO Updates
June 19, 2013 – Staff Reports
Know Your Options
June 19, 2013 – Carol Marcusen
Transcending Cure with Care
June 19, 2013 – Anne Falgoust Ott
Pipeline
June 18, 2013 – Lindsay Ray
Grapefruit Juice: Forbidden Fruit?
June 19, 2013 – Jeanne Erdmann
Up All Night?
June 19, 2013 – Lacey Marlow
Cancer Overtakes Heart Disease As Leading Cause Of Death In Hispanic Population
June 19, 2013 – Roxanne Nelson
Letters From Readers
June 19, 2013
Message From the Editor
June 19, 2013 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Silver Linings in Caregiving
June 19, 2013 – Jane Hill
Managing Expectations
June 18, 2013 – Barbara Sadick
Mind Over Matters
June 19, 2013 – Don Vaughan
Check Please: Choosing the Best Hospital for Your Cancer Surgery
June 18, 2013 – Charlotte Huff
Heart of the Matter: Cardiac Toxicity
June 17, 2013 – Kathy LaTour
Vital Signs: Recognizing and Managing Distress
June 18, 2013 – Laura Beil
Treating Multiple Myeloma From Every Angle
June 18, 2013 – Heather L. Van Epps, PhD

Autumn Colbert: A Daughter Undaunted

When Autumn Colbert's mother, Patricia Colbert Brown, received a diagnosis of multiple myeloma in October 2011, she didn’t think twice about becoming her mother's caregiver.

BY Don Vaughan
PUBLISHED June 19, 2013

When Autumn Colbert's mother, Patricia Colbert Brown, received a diagnosis of multiple myeloma in October 2011, she didn't think twice about becoming her mother's caregiver.

"Life is a circle," explains the 29-year-old staff development coordinator from Columbia, Md. "People give to you, and then you give back to the world."

Colbert visited her mother almost every day. She prepared her meals, drove her to her medical appointments and made sure she had everything she needed to be comfortable. Following successful treatment, her mother grew stronger and Colbert moved on from being her caregiver to being her biggest supporter. "She's been really brave and strong," Colbert says, adding that "her team of doctors has gotten her to a very stable place."

Caregiving was a part of Colbert's life from an early age. When she was a teenager, her father became gravely ill, and Colbert watched as aides cared for him to the end. Later, when Colbert's grandmother developed dementia, she helped her mother with her grandmother’s care.

Colbert says one of the most important lessons she learned as a caregiver was the importance of maintaining a positive attitude. "It's really about inspiration and edification, always making sure that the patient is in a state of positivity and that the people around them are always in a state of belief rather than disbelief," she explains. "If you have to cry, it's best to do that away from the patient because you don't want to bring that burden on them."

Despite the occasional tears, Colbert says caring for her mother brought them closer. "My mother's cancer made me think in different terms," she observes. "When we first started out on the journey, I was extremely afraid of what life would bring us. I was nervous about work, bills, treatments and everything else I could find to worry me. However, my mother’s faith and belief in healing drew me in. My doubt subsided, and we took it day by day."

Caregivers should know they're not alone, Colbert adds. "There may be moments when they feel the weight of the world and that is normal, but it will pass. Life is fleeting. Choosing to revel in the meaningful time we have is important. But we should live and learn to love it while we can."

Be the first to discuss this article on CURE's forum. >>
Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the General Discussions CURE discussion group.

Related Articles

1
×

Sign In

Not a member? Sign up now!
×

Sign Up

Are you a member? Please Log In