Posted by: cg00n | February 28, 2013

From Cameron, With Thanks

This month I’ll start with something unusual:  someone else’s  story.  I find offers of money and  work hard to turn down – and those are just the tip of the iceberg, believe me.  So when this guy Cameron asked if he could borrow my soapbox to say his piece I didn’t take much persuading.  Without further ado, here is what he has to say.

Surviving as a Caregiver

Most people never have to think about how strong they might have to be in the face of adversity. My day of reckoning came on November 21, 2005, when my beloved wife Heather was diagnosed with malignant pleural  mesothelioma, a rare and extremely deadly form of cancer.

We sat there stunned. We had just had our daughter Lily three months before, and we had been looking forward to celebrating her first Christmas in a few more weeks. We were unprepared for this new challenge and glancing at my wife’s shocked and terrified face, I knew I had to take charge. I told the doctor to get us to Boston, where Heather could receive treatment under the care of a renowned and experienced specialist in the treatment of mesothelioma, and I took the first step in becoming my wife’s caregiver.

Our lives dissolved in to chaos over the next few months. We had worked full time before, but now Heather had to stop and I had to scale back my hours in order to care for her. This put enormous strain on our financial situation, which only added to the stress we were going through.  I wanted my old life back, and on several occasions, I broke down crying under the strain and anxiety of our new lives. However, I always kept these moments of weakness to myself and never let Heather see me afraid.  I knew she needed me to be strong, and I always tried to remain positive in her presence.



I hope you never end up in my situation, but if you do, the best thing I can tell you is to accept the love and help that is offered. You may feel that you have to do it all on your own, but this is never the case. Take a moment to think about what your family and friends want to do to help you, and let them. This is how you are going to get through this.  I learned the hard way that there is no room for pride in a fight with cancer.  Ask for help, and accept it gratefully when it comes.  At the very least, it will remind you that you are not alone in the fight.



There will be a time when you want to give up. Don’t. There is an end to this, and there is peace as well. After all of the stress and all of the chaos, you will get through it. You just have to remain sane as you do so. I will not say that it is easy, but I will say that you can get through this.



It was years before things even got back to normal, but even during that time things kept moving forward. Throughout Heather’s  mesothelioma treatment we continued to raise our daughter Lily together, and today Heather is cancer free.

We have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams, and today I have found that there are so many things that I love and enjoy. If you are caregiver, my heart goes out to you.  To be a caregiver takes a strong, unbreakable will, but the rewards can be wonderful. All I can say is that you should never, ever give up, and always keep fighting for the ones you love.

Thank you for that inspiring piece, Cameron, and I’m sure we all wish you and your family smooth sailing in the future.

If anyone else wants to make use of my world-famous blog I’d be happy to entertain further offers of material (or money) and to exercise absolute, bloody-minded editorial authority over  whatever appears here.

News Roundup

Also thanks to Cameron’s timely intervention the news backlog is not too bad this time around.

In the Melanoma bin we have:

Next to it, in the General Cancer bin there is:

There are a number of interesting items in the Mental Health bin:

Finally, in the Everything Else bin we have:

That’s all for now.  As Stephen Colbert would say, I’ll see you in health!

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