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The Rob Lowe Interview (Page 2 of 3)

An Interview with Rob Lowe

Gary: So, don’t be ashamed and learn to reach out, because other people are going through this.

Rob: Oh yeah, because the old cliché is true, “Knowledge is power.”
Gary: The difference between being a caregiver and not being a caregiver is that telephone call in the middle of night. What was it like for you and your family when you first found out about your father’s diagnosis?

Rob: I think it’s always surreal for anyone who gets that call. To make matters even more surreal, I was in Israel shooting a movie where I was playing a Navy SEAL and they were handing out gas masks. At that point, Saddam Hussein was threatening to launch biological weapons on Tel Aviv. This was right before Desert Storm, and I was in a surreal place to begin with. I remember when the phone rang, I remember the certain layout of the room, and how the sun was coming through the window, and all those details; and yet, I don’t remember any of the conversation because it was too uncomfortable, sad and shocking.

Gary: That’s an interesting point. For those first six months, for the caregiver, it’s a total haze.

Rob: One of the most interesting things I’ve learned is that research shows when a patient is diagnosed, from that point on, they only retain about 10 percent of the information they are given. It makes sense logically, but it’s a stunning figure.

Gary: It’s true, and I like the concept that people are able to “hold hands” with other experienced cancer caregivers.

Rob: It’s all based on my experience with my father. He would be very reticent to get into anything with me, or with immediate members of his family, but I would see him open up to an abject stranger in a shopping mall—someone who looked like they had also gone through chemo. There’s just no substitute for talking to people who are going through what you are going through, or who have gone through it.

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