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For Everyone Touched By Cancer

Five Lessons I Learnt Caring For Someone With Cancer-Plus A Daily Tonic

Written by Kristine Chadwick on 
8th September, 2021
Updated: 30th April, 2022
Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Every cancer clubber is different. 

Mine was a ‘stubborn bugger’, determined not to let cancer define him or hold him back, even when he started suffering from deficits.  When I first met my husband, Matt, I had no idea he was living with a brain tumour he called ‘Tommy’. Living with his incurable cancer, he made adjustments and was able to lead a fulfilling life - so much so that someone who didn’t know him would never assume he was living with cancer.  Gradually, Matt started suffering from deficits - fatigue, a weakness in his right side and grand mal epileptic seizures.  I’m not sure when or how it happened, but by 2011 I had become as much a carer for Matt as his wife.  

Increasing weakness down his right side meant Matt developed a limp, his foot dragging along behind him. 

Coupled with his impaired balance, when he was out and about this unfortunately gave the impression he’d had a bit much to drink.  Matt also developed aphasia, an inability to speak or comprehend.  Initially he was just slow in replying to questions, but by 2013 he was struggling to find words and substituting random words.  Someone speaking to Matt in the street could easily be forgiven for thinking he was intoxicated.  Matt also suffered from epilepsy.  Initially this was controlled by medication but over the years, despite increasing the medication, he started suffering from grand mal seizures.  Passers-by would incorrectly assume that Matt was drunk and had fallen over if he had a seizure while he was out, especially if he was by himself.