Chemotherapy week 7 - A day in the life of a cancer patient having treatment and her carer

This blog post is in honour of it being carers week and the 6.5 million unpaid, tired and emotional carers in the UK.

Week 7 of my Mum's chemotherapy sees us getting into a routine that allows us some stability and makes life manageable.  A colleague at work told me recently that coincidentally, his wife also has breast cancer.  We discussed how things were going with treatment and although everyone is different, how our respective loved ones were doing at home.  He told me that they liked to keep everything as normal as possible and I thought, I think we're well beyond that given that I have reduced my hours of work and my mother is now accompanied at home 24/7.  But week 7 sees us moving into a new sense of what's 'normal'.  There is a routine, a time that we like to do things and a way we like to do things and hell hath fury should there be any slight disturbance to that routine!!  But joking aside, we find comfort and peace in knowing what is going to happen hour by hour and that is what's needed right now to not only my Mother to recuperate but also to allow ourselves to mend from the trauma of what has been the last few weeks.  I'm amazed by how such a small thing as a routine can be so important to us.  We cannot control the growth of the tumour and the success rate of the chemotherapy, but we can control what we eat for dinner and what time she has bath which gives her aching body light relief.  So here's an example of our routine on a day when I'm not at work, supposedly:

7am - wake up, brush teeth and get dressed
7.30am - make breakfast for my mum (2 slices of toast on protein bread and organic peanut butter and a banana) and myself (beans on toast)
8am - wash dishes and prepare a healthy lunch which is tried and tested in that it will not cause vomit and there is good movement of the bowels!
8.30am - apply sun tan lotion, gather hat, walking stick and shoes
9am - morning walk around the streets surrounding our neighbourhood
10am - get home and soak in bath
11am - food shopping
Noon - lunch (see congee recipe for a typical example of what we have for lunch)
1pm - hoover carpet; sweep and mop floors
2pm - blog and catch up on social media, do some work even on my day off
3pm - organise doctor's appointments and any other cancer related admin
4pm - prepare dinner
5pm - eat dinner
6pm  - wash dishes and clean kitchen
7pm - make sure mum is relaxed so that I can have a soak and relax my tired muscles in the bathtub
8pm - relaxing time for us watching television
10.30pm - sleep

Then there are the days when I go to work and fit 7 hours of work in aswell.  I think some people don't understand how I can be so busy as a carer, surely, I just sit at home and watch my mother.  But actually, there's a need more than ever now to make sure the home is clean and tidy and there are no obstacles to her daily life.  The above may seem boring to some people, but amongst it all, I know that I am caring for my Mother and enabling her to get better.  So I don't really think about doing the above, I just do it and get on with life, just as my Mother does.


p.s. sorry this blogpost ends so abruptly, I late for the next thing on my schedule ;-)


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