Lifestyle

That awful moment when you are told your spouse may die

GETTING ON WITH LIFE: Neville Rogan lends wife Margaret a helping hand in her fight against cancer.
GETTING ON WITH LIFE: Neville Rogan lends wife Margaret a helping hand in her fight against cancer. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

WHEN Wollongbar's Neville Rogan was told his wife had a terminal illness, he said life became quite frightening.

His life partner Margaret was told in 2013 that she had sternum cancer and at one stage she was informed she only had a 50% chance of surviving.

Mrs Rogan underwent chemotherapy and radiation and her husband was often on hand as her full-time carer, a role that is now in the spotlight.

"We've had to call the ambulance a few times to get her into hospital for treatment as a result of the chemotherapy not agreeing with her," Mr Rogan said.

"Those are the times when you worry about things."

NSW Cancer Council research indicates almost a quarter of all carers report symptoms of anxiety but Mr Rogan said he just got on with life and did what was needed.

"It was quite frightening when the doctor first said it was a terminal illness; I didn't know at the time what was involved in that," he said.

"But you just get on with life the way it is."

While Mrs Rogan is no longer receiving chemotherapy, she has taken a turn for the better.

Doctors are happy with her blood counts, she is back cooking and driving and they go out dancing twice a week and eat out at restaurants regularly.

"It doesn't stop her from doing what she wants to do," Mr Rogan said.

"We don't sit at home and do nothing, we go out quite regularly and enjoy life."

Mrs Rogan's sternum cancer was not her first brush with the disease. In 2003 she was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, but it had later disappeared.

When Mrs Rogan was at her worst, Mr Rogan said they had received help from a number of organisations, including Care Connect.

Mr Rogan said it was important for other carers to be aware there was help available.

"There are agencies that are there for help when you need it because (sometimes as a carer) you are lost, you don't know where to go," he said.

"There are organisations to help you."

BE PATIENT:

TWICE as many carers of cancer patients report symptoms of clinical anxiety as the patients themselves.

Cancer Council NSW research shows 21% of cancer carers reported symptoms of clinical anxiety compared to only 10% of patients.

The council's practical support manager Annie Miller said this was concerning and showed carers may not have been aware of the resources available to them.

Research also showed at least a quarter of cancer carers reported unmet social and emotional needs.

One in three calls to the Cancer Council's information and support service came from a carer. Almost half of these calls came when the person they were caring for was in the advanced stages of cancer.

"We see the majority of calls from carers coming in the late stages of their loved one's cancer journey, however we encourage anyone caring for someone with cancer to remember to reach out early for support, and most importantly know there is help out there," Ms Miller said.

Phone the Cancer Council's information and support line on 13 11 20.

Topics:  cancer carers editors picks health marriage



Man refuses to clean up after using asbestos in new driveway

Council investigated after complaints about noise, dust

Thousands of jobs for the Northern Rivers

Page MP Kevin Hogan at the Pacific Highway construction site at Woodburn.

Highway upgrade is "great news for our community"

Ten fantastic things to do in the Northern Rivers

CIRCUS ARTS: Superheroes and Supervillains will battle at out at the end of year show.

Superheroes, Carols, dance parties and golf this week

Local Partners

Man refuses to clean up after using asbestos in new driveway

A 70-YEAR-OLD man has received a hefty fine after council investigated the matter following complaints about noise and dust.


Ten fantastic things to do in the Northern Rivers

CIRCUS ARTS: Superheroes and Supervillains will battle at out at the end of year show.

Superheroes, Carols, dance parties and golf this week

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Local acts to hit the stage at Falls Byron

Angie Jeann and Merryn Boller watch Falls Director Brandon Saul and GM of Top Shop Aaron Montano strum a few tunes.

Artists from across the Northern rivers set to go on stage

WATCH: The young Aussie actor playing Barack Obama

A screenshot of the trailer for Barry, a new film from Netflix.

Aussie teen nails Obama's early university years

Boy George named as a coach on The Voice Australia

Iconic pop star Boy George is to appear as a coach on 'The Voice'

The first Baywatch trailer is here, and it's hilarious

From left, Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera in a scene from the movie Baywatch.

DWAYNE Johnson and Zac Efron star in TV series reboot.

Sir Mick Jagger a dad again at 73

Mick Jagger... dad again at 73

Ageing rocker obviously still getting Satisfaction

Doco tells the story of Aussie surfboard pioneers

Gordon Woods (far right) in a 1966 ad for his surf shop. He is the subject of a documentary about the Brookvale Mafia airing on Foxtel.

THE Brookvale six were united in the love of their craft.

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!