Carers, our unsung heroes! Fiona’s story

We all know what the word carer means, but many carers would not consider themselves to be one! Husbands, wives, friends and family, are doing what they consider natural, helping those of us that need it. Without their help, life would be, in many instances, impossible.
In my own case, ever since I was diagnosed, my wife has swung into action, taking care of everything that I couldn’t manage at times. Putting up with my awful moods, sorting out my medication, and at times dressing me and driving me to appointments. She is there for me during my dark times, and she has sacrificed a lot of her life for me.
Cancer now dominates my life, whether I like it or not! With my own health being constantly monitored, I use my spare time helping others, whether it be through my blog or face to face. Sue lets me do that without a word of complaint. She ensure that the household wheels are well oiled, and I can concentrate on what I need too.
I know from the work I do, that many of us, could not get by, without that  ‘special someone.’ My wife always says that behind every good man is a good woman. I also know many ladies, who have a special man behind them! Most of my work involves cancer, but carers are involved with many other different issues.


In this post, Fiona, would like to pay tribute to her husband. She has also been so moved by the work of carers, that she has decided to help launch an award, to recognise the outstanding work that carers do.

Fiona’s story

“When you are laid up in bed for a couple of days with flu or a nasty cold, the washing can wait, the dishes can pile up in the sink, you’ll be back on your feet in a couple of days and you will get to everything then.  But what if your illness was ongoing or would take months to recover from, how would you cope then?   This is the situation my husband and I faced when in 2005 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It wasn’t myself I was concerned about, however. I had a five month old baby – how were we even going to begin to look after him? Well we did, and that is what thousands people do every day in the UK. According to Carers Week, every day 6,000 people take on new caring responsibilities in the UK. My husband became my carer, not something either of us had envisaged happening in our 30s!
When my husband and I first met we were the party couple never at home, always out at some party or other. When we had our son we settled into a new life enjoying time with other parents of young children, lots of socialising but no more late nights.  Then I was diagnosed with cancer, and this hit me incredibly hard. One minute I was a new mum running all over the place, taking my baby to yoga, baby massage, music, the list was endless. The next I was unable to get out of bed as the side effects of the treatment started to kick in.  My husband cared for me and our baby, making up the baby’s bottles and food for the day, and making sure there was always something nice for me to eat if I felt hungry, which was constantly, for the three day cycle I took steroids!  All this before going to work, and he was getting up in the night to see to the baby too.  I look back on it now and think how on earth did we ever get through it? But you do, there was nothing else we could do. 
The thing with becoming a carer for a loved one is that it is never something that you ever in your wildest dreams would plan for – there is no training beforehand, you just get on and do it.  For this reason, carers can sometimes be the forgotten ones. The focus is all on the person with the illness or the condition, the carers just quietly get on and do the necessary things.   I guess thinking about it, at the time I never considered my husband as my carer, he was just looking after me and our son because I wasn’t able to, but he was my carer and if he couldn’t have done it, we would have needed someone to come and look after us because I most certainly wasn’t capable. 

My experience of being cared for is one of the reasons why through Insurancewith we have launched our “Who Cares Award” looking for the UK’s most extraordinary carer, there are full details of the prize and how to nominate someone you think deserves the award in my blog.  The Award presentation lunch will take place on 12th June 2013, which is in the middle of Carers Week.
Carers Week is a fantastic awareness campaign aimed at improving the lives of carers and those they care for.  They do this by among other things helping the public identify themselves as carers and access support, information and advice.  This year the theme is Prepare to Care, it will focus on how the UK’s current carer population is coping, how effectively Government is supporting the growing numbers of carers, and whether the wider population is prepared for future caring responsibilities.  If you want to share your experiences as a carer with Carers Week, you can do this on their website
I am one of the lucky ones and I only needed a carer for 18 months, there are many thousands of people out there who spend their whole life caring for someone.  So if you know someone who you think deserves the “Who Cares Award” please nominate them and please also support Carers Week when it come around, this year it’s 10th to 16th June.”

I would like to thank Fiona for sharing her story, and her awards campaign with us. Wouldn’t it be lovely, if your ‘special person’ won an award? All you have to do is complete a form!

Do you have a story you would like to share? Please feel free to get in touch, by leaving a comment of catching me @christheeagle1 on Twitter

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