Cancer care vs dementia care

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Chook, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. Not so Rosy

    Not so Rosy Registered User

    Nov 30, 2013
    I have been the cancer carer and the dementia carer both at the same time. My experience seems to be at odds with others.

    A couple of years ago my Mum was in the terminal stages of Dementia when my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the Oesophagus. Mum spent 7 months in a Community hospital (probably used to be called a Cottage Hospital ). Her care was exemplorary although very old fashioned, probably why it was so good, Matron was very on the ball ! Mum was given CHC and eventually died in a lovely Nursing Home.

    In contrast my husband was diagnosed with a so called Lifestyle related cancer which attracts very little research funding. I know this is a little controversial but the more easily cured cancers and the ones which can pull at the heart strings attract the most funds probably 100 fold. Picture a mother with no hair undergoing chemo as against someone who is perceived to have drunk or smoked their way to cancer. We can guess who gets the most donations or funding.

    My husband was always a non smoker, not a drinker, the healthiest of food, (I have never cooked a chip in my life), was an elite runner, swimmer and single handicap golfer until the day before he started experimental chemo. Then his life basically started to end.

    There were no great swathes of help, it was basically just down to me. No carers, no
    respite, no CHC, nothing.

    My only shining light was a Macmillan nurse who in cahoots with the GP used to override NHS Hospital standard prescriptions to get him more expensive and effective relief drugs.

    Mum just eventually fell asleep and never woke up in her Nursing Home. Mum was 38 years older than my husband when she died and I think the support she had was far superior to his.

    Dad has FTL and ALZ and given the constraints of public funds I believe he has also has received as much support as anyone could expect.

    I find it hugely ignorant and distasteful people commenting on which disease they would prefer to get.
  2. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    I think funding is so low here that there isn't anything local. Everything is a trip and a half away! It's all I can do to afford visiting husband as I'm still fighting funding battles for his care, which won't end well.

    Ne'mind, aye :)
  3. chrisdee

    chrisdee Registered User

    Nov 23, 2014
    Dear TinaT, that really is the worst of all worlds, and my heart goes out to you.
    We are only human, on a constant learning curve and deserve to be listened to as we become the real experts. This could have happened to any of us, and I hope you find peace with yourself and unwanted thoughts as time passes . . . sorry, that old chesnut again.
  4. Padraig

    Padraig Registered User

    Dec 10, 2009
    Not So Rosy,

    I can relate to your post. I've kept fit all my life a non smoker non-drinker and competed at International level sport. In my case I was lucky to have had the cancer spotted before it was too late. As for support, it was and is almost non-existent, but I'm not complaining I get on with life a day at a time. It's the way things are. The same as it was looking after my wife.

    No one seems to have mentioned that there are few people under fifty years old develop Dementia. But then that's a chronological age. Some peoples bodies are physiologically older at that age. The point being, Dementia primarily affects people later in their lives. Cancer is visited on very young children, teenagers, young women with children, plus adults in all sectors of society. Many do not survive, parents lose their child and children lose a parent. Each are denied the experience a long loving relationship.

    These cold hard facts are presented in the media, often with inspirational stories that win the hearts of viewers and readers. Dementia is presented in a depressing lost cause manner that instils fear and turns the public off. Some people are lucky in this life and I consider my self one to have survived.

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