Caregivers

by Michael Schnabel
When a crisis hits, everyone asks what they can do, right? It takes a unique, loving person to jump in and become a caregiver. It's a demanding job, but it’s also rewarding. When our daughter received her diagnosis of stage 4 cancer, we filled with fear, apprehension, and dread. The crisis touched each of us in a personal way, but it was my daughter whose life was in jeopardy. She needed an infusion of hope, the essential element to never giving up. We formed a team to stand with her and promised to do everything in our power to save her. She would never be alone in this fight, and that made all the difference in the world. She automatically had three caregivers; Her husband, mother, and me, her father. It's natural to stand next to your loved one and help any way you can. Love is the foundation most caregivers build on. Here are some of the things we learned.

Thank You

by Michael Schnabel

There is definite power in the two words Thank You. It's common courtesy to appreciate someone helping you, and yet those words aren't as common as they used to be. Do you notice it too? Opening a door for someone usually gets a smile and thank you in return. Everyone feels good about it. Other times they don't even notice it or just expect you to do it. This really doesn't bother me, but I see it happening more often. A person feels good helping others, and I guess that is enough of a reward.

State Fair

by Michael Schnabel
Do you love to go to State Fairs as I do? Watching people, exploring exhibits, and tasting sugar-coated, deep-fried, and smoked whatever on a stick makes me smile. My wife and I visited the Iowa State Fair last week and had a wonderful time. They had 70 different foods on a stick, and no, I didn't try them all.

Stress, part 2

by Michael Schnabel

Search for the good in things. When you are in crisis, finding good can be very challenging. If you had an 8% chance of living, you probably wouldn't wish you had a newborn child. That's what happened to our daughter, and she chose to look for the silver lining. She quickly realized this newborn was timed to uncover her cancer with a chance of survival remaining. This beautiful child then became her reason to never, ever give up. 

Stress, part 1

by Michael Schnabel

Most of us feel stress from time to time. Fear and too many things to do mixed with emotions can quickly overwhelm the mind. Listening to Bobby McFerrin's song, Don't Worry Be Happy, may not be enough to change things. So what can we do about it? There are a few simple things we learned during Steph's illness that helped us move forward through the fear, stress, and too many things to do. 

Finding Medical Help

by Michael Schnabel
You find yourself in a medical crisis and are scared about the diagnosis. Then it hits you, “How do I find the right medical care to get better?” I would love to tell you I know who you need, but we both know that I don’t. There are too many variables. I can tell you some of the things we learned while trying to deal with these questions for my daughter.

Attitude

by Michael Schnabel

Do you have any sayings or quotes hanging on the wall? I do. Things I have read or heard that I do not want to forget. Some are funny, and others are just true. Here is one by Charles Swindoll about an attitude that hits home for me. "I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” Looking back on my life that sounds about right. What do you think?
 

Developing a Plan

by Michael Schnabel
What do you do when an obstacle presents itself? Scream or punch the wall or ignore it? I do not remember hitting any walls, but I have done the rest and more. These reactions can add a lot of drama and resentment if you start blaming everything around you, but do they help or provide a solution? You are shaking your head no, so maybe we should look at another approach.
 

Create a Support Team

by Michael Schnabel

A crisis has fallen into your lap, and you wonder what the hell do I do now. Our issue was Stephanie's cancer, but yours is probably something different. It doesn’t matter because the result is the same. Your world is spinning out of control, and you're in shock. You become overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. It’s your life under attack, and that’s very personal.

Introduction

by Michael Schnabel

Hi, my name is Michael Schnabel, and I am excited you are visiting my blog. This is the first time I am blogging, so bear with me as I get started. Have you ever had to parent through a crisis? I did when my daughter, Stephanie, gave birth to her first child and learned she had an 8% chance of living. Her story is about hope, love, and faith with a little bit of miracle mixed in. Stephanie, along with her support team, found a way to survive.