Tell us a little about yourself
I am 40 years old with a wife and two children. My wife has stage 4 melanoma and I am her primary carer.
How did you feel when you found out about her diagnosis?
It has been nearly 3 years since the diagnosis. My wife was 38 at the time. It was the most stressful event of my life.
What challenges did you and your family and/or friends face after her diagnosis?
My wife’s family did not cope well with her diagnosis. They basically fell apart in one way or another and have provided no support whatsoever. If anything they have added extra stress.
So for myself, I’ve had to cope with more as well as run the house, look after the kids, work full-time as a paramedic and support my wife physically and emotionally.
Tell us about your typical week as a carer
Typically I like to make sure I do the bulk of the school runs, housework, mow the lawns, maintenance on the house and look after the finances.
I try to motivate my wife with walking, nutrition and wellbeing and I also take off work for her appointments and treatment days.
Is there any advice you’d like to give for someone who is having a difficult time as a carer?
That’s a tough question. If possible use family members to help with appointments, cooking and some housework. If they can stay at your house, use that time to do the things that fill your cup and recharge your energy. Socialising is very important. But take one appointment at a time – don’t get ahead of yourself.
What gets you through the most challenging times?
Talking about things to friends. Focus on one step at a time and be positive.
Do you have support from others?
My mother helps with housework.
How has being a carer affected your outlook on life?
It has been a long and hard 3 years. It has brought us closer. But also made us appreciate what we have. COVID certainly has added a lot of stress with cancelling bucket list trips.
Do you have a motto or personal mantra?
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. It’s your journey!
I’m happiest when…
We make memories