Lara on support when your partner has cancer

Lara sits on her sofa gazing upwards
Lara sits on her sofa gazing upwards

After Lara’s husband Ashley was diagnosed with a malignant parotid tumour in 2011, she soon realised that she would need extra support and called a Macmillan nurse.  

‘A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. They helped with all our financial concerns, all our medical questions and the psychological worries – particularly how to help my son.’ 

Lara's story

I got to the point where I realised I was going to need some help myself - if that was at all possible. I was very concerned that my son Rowan would be dependent on me because Ashley had to focus on himself.  I had no idea how to help Rowan or myself really, so I went to the local GP.

The doctor wrote down the names of two Macmillan nurses and their phone numbers, and he told me to go straight home and phone them.

When the Macmillan nurse arrived, she was like a fairy godmother. She literally walked in and sorted out all of our concerns. She talked to us about how Macmillan could help in every way. For instance how they could help us with psychological support.

The nurses explained that they had a direct connection between the GPs, the hospital where Ashley was going to be treated, and us. So they would be able to look at all the notes and explain everything that was going on.

They also helped with all our finances. They bought all these forms in, they even filled the forms out for us, and so all we had to do was sign the form.

They relieved a huge amount of stress. They helped us feel that there was financial support in place for us and that, even if we didn’t even want to look at forms, they would sort it. We also knew that there was someone there who would be able to help interpret things if we didn’t understand what was going on between the hospital and the GPs. 

We also had psychological support and found out about the support that was available for Rowan. They explained that there was a network for helping young children whose parents were going through cancer. All that just took a huge weight off my shoulders.

It’s not a pretty picture to think about where we would be without Macmillan.

Lara and Ashley talk in their living room

Watch: all about Lara's experiences

Read Ashley's guest post on our Online Community

Watch: all about Lara's experiences

Read Ashley's guest post on our Online Community