Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Care by 'Rollercoaster' author parallels singer's

Celine Dion's caregiving for her cancer-patient husband mirrors that of 'Rollercoaster' author

Celine Dion with husband Rene Angelil
Superstar Celine Dion's caregiving for her throat-cancer patient husband Rene Angelil isn't far removed from the care I gave breast-cancer patient Nancy Fox, my wife.

In the final analysis, I'm convinced, all caregiving overlaps.

The singer's accounts weren't surprising: Women, are natural caregivers. 

We men, however, are used to believing we can fix everything — even when we can't. So the caregiving role doesn't fit us quite so easily.

It sometimes becomes necessary anyway.

The pop diva and I are two of what The New York Times reports are more than 35 million caregivers in the United States.

Dion recently publicized her helpmate activities — including feeding her husband-longtime manager through a tube three times every day — on television's "Good Morning America." Her tearful interview was conducted by Deborah Roberts of ABC News.

As for me, I wrote extensively about my caregiving role in a new VitalityPress book, "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer." 

It's a volume — available in hardcover, paperback and ebook formats — that's aimed at male caregivers. It supplies information on the latest research and meds, and indicates where to get help.

The 47-year-old Canadian singer took a year off from her Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace in August to deal with Angelil's disease. 

She said during the ABC-TV telecast, "We are taking life one day at a time, but we are choosing to live.”

She also noted that her partner "can’t use his mouth, he can’t eat, so I feed him…I do this myself. And so I feed my husband and I feed my kids.”

Dion has three sons with Angelil, 72, whose cancer returned late last year after being in remission since 1999. 

He subsequently stepped down as her manager, and was replaced by Aido Giampaolo.

Dion hopes to return to Vegas in August with a revamped show. 

Regarding her daughter's caregiving, Therese Dion, a TV personality in Quebec, was quoted a while back by the Toronto Sun as saying, "I think it’s so beautiful and smart for Celine to be with her husband and children. She reassures the kids."

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