My name is Anita and I am married to another MACS member, Keith, who has Prostate Cancer. Keith’s testimonial covers the shock and trauma of his diagnosis, so I won’t expand on that; I just wanted to add how relieved I was to hear that a Cancer Support group was being started in the Mojacar region.
I had my own personal brush with cancer in 1986 (age 33) when I was diagnosed with a Grade 3 Cervical cancer. To be honest it didn’t really hit me that I had cancer; they just told me it could all be sorted by removal of the womb, so I underwent a full hysterectomy and that was it – cured. I went for yearly vault-smears for the following 5 years, then two yearly, and now I have been told smear tests are no longer necessary at all. I was lucky in that my cancer was detected early enough to affect a complete cure. I take no medication and had no other treatment other than the hysterectomy. Sadly not everyone is as lucky as I was.
Back to Keith; as his ‘better’ half (smile), the diagnosis hit me hard. I consider my role now is as his ‘Carer’, but I am in another country, no safe haven of relatives to turn to, lacking in language skills (although I am still learning), so it was initially a very worrying time, I believed it was going to be quite hard to ‘care’ for him, when needed, without support.
I am however very computer-minded, so soon found the website forum for the Prostate Cancer Charity in the UK, which has been of invaluable help. I now have friends all over the World, who I can talk to about their treatments, or their partners treatments, their fears and worries. We share experiences, good news and bad news, laugh and cry together (albeit only ever talking by posting messages on the forum), but knowing there were people who could relate to caring for a cancer fighter (Keith doesn’t like to say he’s a cancer sufferer – he prefers cancer fighter), made me a little less apprehensive about the roller-coaster journey we had embarked on.
It must be said that I considered it as the ‘Icing on the cake’ when I saw that a Cancer Support group had actually been formed local to Mojacar. A place I will be able to go to, to discuss any fears or worries, gain information about available services, swap stories of treatments and care etc., and generally have available a ‘life-line’ to contact when times do get hard, the time when Keith inevitably will need full care facilities etc.
The role of ‘Carer’ can be hard, but with the support of MACS I now have peace of mind in knowing that I am not alone and that they will help me to do whatever is needed for Keith.
Thank you Elaine and thanks to all the people associated with MACS.