CARING COUPLE: Anthony Bray was diagnosed with leukaemia about 15 years ago and his wife Sam has been his carer.
CARING COUPLE: Anthony Bray was diagnosed with leukaemia about 15 years ago and his wife Sam has been his carer. Contributed

Carers give up their lives for loved ones

SAM Bray, whose husband has leukemia, knows the pain carers go through while waiting for test results and helping someone who is chronically ill.

Her husband Anthony Bray was diagnosed with a slow-growing form of the disease, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, when he was 40.

For about 13 years he did not need much care, as he took medication and an oral form of chemotherapy and was able to continue working and living a normal life.

But about two years ago he started going downhill.

"Both of us had to give up our lives and this has been our situation ever since," Mrs Bray said.

They were living in Western Australia but moved to the Gladstone region when Mr Bray started deteriorating, to be closer to family.

Sam Bray said having the support of family and friends was vital, especially when awaiting test results when her husband took a turn.

Queensland Cancer Council research has shown some carers of cancer patients have higher level of stress than the people they care for.

"It's unbelievable how much it financially and emotionally burdens you," Mrs Bray said.

"You've got to have someone to be able to get on to them and have a good cry to get it out of the system and be strong for the person (you're caring for)."

Because of the effects of chemotherapy which Mr Bray is currently going through, Mrs Bray does everything for her husband when he feels unwell.

Her duties range from keeping on top of his medication to ensuring the house is clean and hygienic to limit Mr Bray's chances of getting sick.

"And most importantly I have to ensure he has adequate nutrition and sustenance is maintained."

Mrs Bray said being a carer impacted lives more than most people thought.

"Everything gets put on hold and you can't do things that normal people do, like go on holidays.

"I also won't take (Anthony) to shopping centres."

The couple travel to Rockhampton when Mr Bray has chemotherapy and Mrs Bray said support they received, especially from the Cancer Council, was amazing.

"I urge other carers to reach out to them even if it is just for a chat," she said.

- APN NEWSDESK



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