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Category: Caring

Cancer, Caring and Me

Cancer, Caring and Me

On December 31st 2018, as the clock was creeping closer to midnight, I imagined the year we had before us. The girls would both be in school, my Husband would study hard and further his career and I would continue to blog full time – with the added bonus of a few hours a day to myself. We’d cracked it. Little did I know that couple of weeks into a very positive New Year, life would take a turn for the worse.

I’m not about to complain about my situation, or lead anyone to believe all I’m after is sympathy. After all, I’m not the one with cancer. What I do want to talk about though is the role of a carer and highlight the difficult times that they have to face, in doing all they can to help another. In my short time caring for a relative with cancer, I’ve been through every emotion under the sun. I’ve found it strangely rewarding, in that I’m doing good for another person. I’ve found it exhausting, frustrating and insightful. So many thoughts and feelings that at times I’ve struggled to process, whilst remaining chipper with the person who needs to see a smile on my face the most.

Getting it right –

The hardest part about caring, I feel, is getting it right. Caring for another person involves getting to know that person well. Working out their quirks and preferences and invading their personal space on a regular basis. There’s absolutely no way that you can get it right all of the time, but as a carer you never stop trying. You never stop thinking about what you can do to make life easier and more comfortable for the person you are caring for.

Trying to get everything right is mentally and physically exhausting. Never switching off from cancer, constantly Googling signs, symptoms and traits of the disease. Trying to guess what each consultant will say, looking for positives in every situation. Making sure all of the admin is completed on time and appointments are kept to. Striking the right balance between one’s own life and caring for another life is nigh impossible.

Appreciating what I have –

Unfortunately it often takes something as destructive as cancer for us to assess our own situations. It takes something awful for us to sit back and realise that the life we have is pretty damn good. The minor issues don’t seem to matter anymore. The niggling worries that would previously have kept me up at night have been replaced by life changing worries. Things that are actually happening in the here and now. I know now that I should have let the little worries go as soon as they popped into my mind. They were irrelevant.

At the minute all I know is that my life is blessed. I have all I need to be happy and I’m grateful to be in the position that I’m in. I didn’t intend on spending 2019 caring for another person but if I can give something back as a thankyou to the universe for everything I have, then I’ll do everything in my power to help.

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