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Family House Diaries: Troylene Merrill: The Importance of Caregiving

A Bessemer City, N.C. woman is referred to UNC Hospitals for treatment of a recurrence of breast cancer and brings with her a posse of support and encouragement for the journey.

Written by Elizabeth Swaringen for UNC Health Care

Chapel Hill, N.C. – Troylene Merrill knows about caregiving — as a giver and as a receiver.

“Caregiving is hard work, but it’s work you never regret,” said Troy, 66, of Bessemer City in Gaston County, who was full-time caregiver for her seriously ill husband, Bill, the last three years of his life.

“You do what you need to do, and no two caregiving experiences are alike. It’s important to be encouraging, but not to smother someone by hovering 24/7. You have to give the patient space.”

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