Penny Brohn UK
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Being a carer

I visited the Penny Brohn Centre last Tuesday - where despite being the only attendee at the support group I spent nearly 3 hours with a nice lady and talked over my ever increasing problems. We had hoped things would now settle down but alas - no. I came home to find a letter to go to the DWP assessment centre - the last time I went to one of those I felt suicidal as so degrading and little to do with mental health. this is on the 8th April. Even worse - the treatment my sister is having - injection to half hormones to slow growth of tumours is having no effect. She is loosing a lot of weight and is on morphine - the holiday is soon and doctor seems unwilling to give her enough to last over the time she is away. I am considering having her living with me - that is a mega step - but the thought her of her living like she is with little support and with no running hot water, no washing machine, damp and heating in only one room with two holes in the ceiling - well it is too much. I have been in touch with one of those companys that buy houses in any condition quickly to have an idea of value. I am about to put the proposition to her.There are all sorts of obstacles in this apart from my stress levels, most of all the transfer of her medical treatment. It is so hard. I do not feel at all well and it only the counselling and other supports, that I am still going

4 Replies

That all sounds dreadful & I hope you find the strength to carry on. Surely the doctors can't refuse to supply her medication? I think it's sometimes worse for carers than for the subject.

I do admire your kindness but don't know what else to say except that.


What a wonderful sister you are. Your situation sounds stressful but i'm pleased to hear you are getting some support - you certainly need it.

Do look after will be no good to yourself or your sister if you fall ill.

You can only do your best. take care and shout loud for help that you both need.

Good luck




Remind DWP of their duties under the Equalities Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments to their policies, criterion and practices in respect of your disabilities. They have specific duties under section 149. When I completed my form I provided evidence obtained elsewhere and they did a paper assessment based on GP and Psychiatrist reports.

Try a cancer charity (perhaps Macmillan Cancer Support) to get help with accessing other benefits for you and/or your sister. I have just found out I am entitled to Personal Independence Payments.

Contact your MP and local council about your living conditions.

Explain the morphine situation to your sisters' consultant and if no success, contact your MP (or better still Andy Burnham who is the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and genuinely understands the plight of people with cancer.)

Practice meditation, exercise regularly, have a good diet, and perhaps consider acupuncture for your own health conditions. Perhaps write a gratitude diary stating 3 things that you are thankful for each day and when this becomes easy, increase it to 5 things per day.

Hope this helps.


Sounds like you're going through a lot at the moment and I'm glad that you found it useful to come to Penny Brohn last week. I would echo what Jill said about contacting Macmillan or Citizen's Advice Bureau (and often they work in partnership) so that they can give you an idea of your rights as your sister's carer and perhaps some benefits that you could access. Macmillan's number is 0808 808 0000.

I'd also like to welcome you to keep accessing the services at Penny Brohn to help support you. Some of our services are quite new and have small numbers over Easter but will be on the increase over the next few weeks.

Good luck with your appointment tomorrow. I hope it is not too stressful and please keep using this forum for support.

Take good care

Penny Brohn Helpline

0845 123 2310


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