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Don Kerr

Don Kerr

To Cancer & the Male caregiver and other hives 25/03/2016

While my profile revolves around my career, my greatest passion focuses on my site Riding Shotgun where I share insights and experiences as a male caregiver in the world of breast cancer.
On November 3, 2011 I received a phone call from my wife's GP advising that Kate had breast cancer. The ensuing months brought bewilderment, fear and anger. I immediately struggled to find a way to express what was happening to our family. I began to write.
Why write? What was my motivation? The first driver was selfishly cathartic. I am a storyteller. I manage my emotion with the written word and writing was an effective outlet. The second driver revolved around hope.
For all of the kind words offered, caregivers have a tough row to hoe. Riding Shotgun on the cancer coach, while certainly preferable to sitting in the driver's seat, is no easy feat for anyone. Perhaps sharing my experiences will help someone else.
Would be appreciative if anyone within this community cares to visit

Blog
Blog
ridingshotgun.squarespace.com
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  1. Lisa Gallagher
    17/05/2016 #6Lisa Gallagher
    #5 Awesome news about the 5 year mark for Kate @Don Kerr!! And, I find it enduring to hear how proud you are of her. I'm so glad that her practice of mindfulness has been beneficial to your entire family :))
    Reply
  2. Don Kerr
    17/05/2016 #5Don Kerr
    #4 @Lisa Gallagher thanks so much for making the time to chat. Yes, Kate is a full-blown MBSR consultant offering mindfulness training to corporations and in the education sector. You might enjoy a visit to her site www.wakeupkate.com where she blogs on a regular basis. Her practice of mindfulness has been life altering for our entire family in so many ways, none more significant than making clear the benefit of living in the present moment. The cathartic benefit of writing is not to be underestimated and there is never a need to apologise for taking that route to coping. Kate is approaching her five-years clear date (this fall) and is truly a remarkable young woman who has welcomed adversity into her life and turned it to creating real purpose. As you might guess, I am incredibly proud of her.
    Reply
  3. Lisa Gallagher
    16/05/2016 #4Lisa Gallagher
    Hi @Don Kerr, is your wife practicing mindfulness or are you both? I would love to learn it and teach it too. I can relate to your writing about what is going on in your life- cancer IS a life changer. I wish I would have written earlier about my mom's journey after she was diagnosed with late stage lung cancer, but I waited until she became bed-ridden and wrote for many of the reasons you stated above. A few were put off but the idea that my writing appeared cathartic but it was more for myself than others at the time- even though I wasn't aware of that. I think to write even if it's for cathartic puproses is healthy. How is your wife? It's very hard being a care giver but it's also the most rewarding job as well. No regrets. When I clicked on the link there was a video about mindfulness and her seminars have since passed. Thanks for sharing and look forward to reading more from you. Sending good thoughts!
    Reply
  4. Don Kerr
    16/05/2016 #3Don Kerr
    #2 Thanks Kevin and great to hear your news. Katie is approaching five years clear and my book records the experience of riding shotgun as a male caregiver. Not a trip I recommend, as perhaps you know, but one from which great learning and reinvention can emerge.
    Reply
  5. Kevin Pashuk
    16/05/2016 #2Kevin Pashuk
    What a journey you are on now @Don Kerr. There are very few people who's lives are not impacted by cancer. There are many who would be willing to share and walk with you during this time. We have had (past tense) cancer in our house (with a great outcome). I do look forward to your posts as you ride shotgun, and will add my prayers to the many I'm sure are already being spoken.
    Reply
  6. Don Kerr
    16/05/2016 #1Don Kerr
    A little excitement on the home front - just completed the first draft of my book. Still lots of work to do with editing and so on but still feels like a milestone. Riding Shotgun on the Breast Cancer Trail: Finding Beauty in the Wreckage.
    Reply