"...joining this group has given me a safe place to open up..." - Carers Week

 "Carers week" written over a close-up picture of a couple holding hands

It’s Carers Week! A time to celebrate carers, but also recognise the potential impact of being a carer, and ensure they’re aware of and able to access support available to them. Caring for someone with cancer can be emotionally and physically exhausting – it’s important for carers to take time to look after themselves, and get support if it’s needed.

To recognise the above, I thought I’d share a few highlights from our Carers only group, where there’s an astounding amount of supportive discussions and guidance been offered up:

"Nobody can do this journey for us, but sharing it makes a huge difference."

Just a distracting momentBirdfeeder shares a very heartfelt, positive post, talking about how the group’s helped her, and the friends she’s made along the way.  

Nobody can do this journey for us, but sharing it makes a huge difference.”

Food suggestions – Needing a little inspiration when it comes to food? In this discussion members have shared advice on tips on prepping food for people with cancer they’re caring for.

“Looking for inspiration on the food front that people have found goes down well. Bananas, custard, ice-cream, ginger nuts going down well with the odd sandwich but not having too much success with other things currently.”

"Cancer...has a habit of getting in between two people that love each other."

feeling alone –  shardc joined Carers only late last month, asking for support in coping with his wife’s recent diagnosis. There was an outpouring of support from members, including a supportive ‘check-list’ from one member.

“It's OK to get angry, but get angry at cancer, not the person that has it. Cancer is an insidious bastard that has a habit of getting in between two people that love each other.”

Those with loved ones just diagnosed or waiting for an appointment… - For anyone supporting someone newly diagnosed, waiting for results or an appointment, LoobyLou49 started a discussion late last year designed to support people in such a situation.

“Are there any members whose loved ones are in the earlier stages of cancer, needing to ask questions, look for comforting words or to find someone in a similar situation?”

"Joining this group has given me a safe place to open up"

Who to confide with? Simon55’s wife was diagnosed with cancer almost a year ago, but he’s since struggled to really find anyone to confide in. Take a look at the advice a few members responded with, as well posts on how sharing with members in this group’s been a real source of support for some.

“I have found that joining this group has given me a safe place to open up and let out whatever it is that is troubling me at any time and I would encourage you to do the same if you fell you can.”

Emotionally exhausting Needing friends started a discussion last week asking if others find the “ups and downs of this disease exhausting.” Go take a look at the many members who responded relating to Needing friends’ feelings, and shared their experiences as well as offering support.

“In tears reading this. I have only just joined this group myself and I’m feeling exactly the same as you.”

Carers UK, a charity dedicated to making life better for carers, have put together a list of tips and advice for carers, from carers. Here’s a few highlights from that list, but you can find the full list in more detail here.

  • “Keep calm.”
  • “Be kind to yourself – it’s ok to have a bad day.”
  • “Prioritise, and put yourself first sometimes.”
  • “Don’t forget who you are and what makes you happy.”
  • “Be prepared to have the worst arguments and the most laughter.”

Caring for someone with cancer? Join our Carers only group to talk to people in a similar situation. Why not take a look at this page on the Macmillan website, where we’ve put together information and support on looking after yourself, accessing financial support, and working while caring.