A helping hand. CCGG #18

Blogmas on the CancerCarerChats blog is a daily charitable Christmas gift guide with a twist - each post will feature an idea for a charitable act.  Christmas is a time for giving whether it be for someone you know or for a stranger.  Take the time at this time of the year to do a good deed, just one small act can help someone who is less fortunate than you are.  
As a reminder, my mum was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer in March 2017 when I started this blog to raise awareness of the importance of early detection of ovarian cancer and my life as a carer.  I care for my mum, trying to ease some of the load on her and walk by her side on this journey.  It’s just as hard to watch someone you love go through pain, than to experience it yourself.

My mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in March 2017, 9 months ago, a lifetime away.  During her first cycle of chemotherapy, her red blood cells were so dangerously low that she got an infection and had sepsis.  That incident and her diagnosis changed her lifestyle and emotions so considerably that I have been her carer since then.  This means that for 9 months, I have not only been working part tiem hours in a full time job but also cooking her healthy and nutritious meals, food shopping, cleaning, doing laundry, administration of her medical appointments.  Being a carer, I have felt social exclusion, feelings of guilt, anxiety and stress.  Finally, there are services to help those affected by cancer after treatment to help them deal with life after cancer.  But what can we do to help the carers, the loved ones, the partners of those affected by cancer?  We can start to listen to them, allow them a day off and a helping hand.  Finally, after 7 months as a carer I made time and allowed myself the luxury of getting a haircut.  

So this Christmas, offer a carer, the loved one of someone affected by cancer, a break, a short respite from caring duties to have a coffee get a haircut or go shopping.  Oh, how I enjoyed aimlessly window shopping for clothes in the BC (Before Caring) days.  Offer a carer a helping hand, ask them what you can do to help them.  Sometimes, that's all it takes.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
T – Toilet habit changes
E – Energy levels dropping
A – Abdominal pain/ swelling
L – Loss of appetite



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