Full Circle


  • Arlene Reilly-Sandoval Colorado State University-Pueblo


Relationships, sisterhood, aging, cancer


This narrative is a story about the author’s experience with maternal caregiving.  It discusses situations involving aging and chronic illness.  This story describes how culture impacts caregiving, and how the author learned to be respectful of her mother’s culture while managing the symptoms of chronic illness.  This is also a story of sisterhood, of relationships lost and then rebuilt through the practice of relative caregiving.  This is a story of hope amid unhappy circumstances of a cancer diagnosis, and how caregiving of a parent leads an adult child full circle; from being cared for, to caring for, and then to be cared for again by family.

Author Biography

Arlene Reilly-Sandoval, Colorado State University-Pueblo

Arlene Reilly-Sandoval is an Assistant Professor for Colorado State University-Pueblo, Social Work Department, where she mainly teaches courses related to diversity and practice.  She served as the Project Manager for the federal Supportive Services for Runaway and Homeless Youth grant in Colorado.  She has extensive experience working “cross systems” with youth-at-risk, their care providers, and program management, including: shelter, residential treatment, foster homes, crisis nursery, whole family placement and community settings. She has over 15 years experience in the child welfare field, training, contracting and consulting, which includes presentations at local and national conferences.

Arlene has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (1994).  She has a Master of Social Work from Colorado State University-Ft. Collins (2000).  She graduated with distinction from Capella University in 2014, with a Doctor of Social Work.  Her research interests center around diversity topics, and her dissertation at Capella University was entitled, What Are You? Rainbow Students, Services, and Identity.




How to Cite

Reilly-Sandoval, A. (2015). Full Circle. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 20(3), 15–17. Retrieved from https://reflectionsnarrativesofprofessionalhelping.org/index.php/Reflections/article/view/1326