Jayne on being a carer

Jayne sitting on her sofa eating a bowel of cereal
Jayne sitting on her sofa eating a bowel of cereal

Jayne and Paul had been married 23 years when Paul was diagnosed with throat cancer at the age of 45. From then on, Jayne became her husband's carer.

It was an experience she found both challenging and isolating. With the support of Macmillan, Jayne now knows she's not alone.

Jayne's story

Paul experienced several harsh side effects during treatment for throat cancer and as a result he became very dependent on me. His parents came to live here as well so I could carry on working for a while. Having responsibility for him actually gave me focus and something to get me through the days, really.

I suppose I’d describe myself as a carer, at times. There was a stage in Paul’s treatment where he had to be helped in and out of the bath. He had to have his food given to him through his PEG tube and he was on a lot of pain relief. I've always thought I would do anything for him, and I think I've probably proved that I can, and will.

There are times – and it nearly always seems to be in the middle of the night – when he needs really intensive care. So yeah, I am his carer. But I'm his wife as well. And that’s the most important thing.

I think sometimes you are almost relied upon to put on a brave face. And sometimes you just don’t feel like it, because it actually hasn't been that good a day. This is a tough, horrible, nasty disease. And to get through it and come out the other side is a real slog. You see things that you should never have to see and do things for the people you love that you should never have to do. But you do them, because that’s how you get through it.


Jayne and Paul sitting on the sofa eating dinner

Watch: all about Jayne's experiences

Watch: all about Jayne's experiences