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There’s been a lot in my blog about cancer, the cancer patient and the medical teams. However, we sometimes forget to mention the close family and friends who are also a piece of the cancer jigsaw. Without these people, it’s possible the patient would potentially have a much poorer quality of life.
I’ve had tremendous support from my immediate family and many of my friends. Some of my closest friends have almost been functioning as counsellors. I’m in a much better place than I was in 2010-2014 but I have a lot of people to thank for some excellent progress. My son & daughter’s families have all been there for me and although my 4 grandsons don’t fully understand the situation, their presence in my life is a great tonic.
When I look at the make-up of my private Facebook group, I do notice the large amount of “caregiver/carer/supporter/advocate” labels used to join. Facebook does not allow statistics based on joining answers (it’s unstructured data) but I would not be surprised to find that at least one third of the group comprises this type of membership. I’m also proud to have a caregiver from US as one of my group moderators.
Perhaps even more focus should be given to those who are supporting, living with and in many cases, caring for cancer patients 24/7 – often routinely taken for granted.
In particular, I’d like to focus on my wife Chris who has actually been at my side for most of my adult life.
I don’t really need that much physical care from someone else, I’m lucky in that regard. But emotional support can be just as important. She was there when I received the bad news, and she helped me break this news to others. She was the first person I saw when I woke up after major surgery. Since diagnosis in 2010, she’s been watching over me when I’m not quite 100%.
This emotional support extends to motivation and general encouragement. She was singularly responsible for getting me fit enough to be able to fulfil a long-term ambition to walk the entire 84 miles of 2000 year old Hadrian’s Wall in 2014 and she walked every single mile with me. I recently wanted to walk up a very big hill in Wales and she was there too. I’ve been on many walks outdoors when I didn’t really want to go but always ended up thoroughly enjoying it.
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I would also mention those who contributed to my “Tea Fund” which resides on PayPal. You don’t need a PayPal account as you can select a card but don’t forget to select the number of units first (i.e. 1 = £4, 2 = £8, 3 = £12, and so on), plus further on, tick a button to NOT create a PayPal account if you don’t need one. Clearly, if you have a PayPal account, the process is much simpler
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