Carer stories

Isabella’s story

My husband, Louis, and I were very anxious when he was diagnosed with cancer.

I took on the tasks at home that Louis was unable to do – such as lawn mowing and feeding the animals. I also arranged appointments and checked details with the treating team.

The support of the hospital social worker was invaluable. She organised domestic assistance and transport to treatment, and reduced many of the day-to-day tasks and concerns I had. This allowed Louis and me to spend more quality time together.

Louis joined a support group at the Cancer Support Centre. He enjoyed meeting new people and didn’t feel so alone. While Louis was at the support centre, I joined a tai chi class organised through the Carers Association and also attended their support workshops and relaxation sessions. I found the encouragement from other carers gave me the confidence boost I needed.

Ross’s story

My wife Robyn was diagnosed with grade 4 brain cancer soon after turning 50. We were told the average survival rate is 15 months, and Robyn lived for 20 months.

After getting a diagnosis like that, you just go into shock for the first couple of days, then you start thinking about how things will change and what you need to do to help. I kept working for a month or so, but I couldn’t be at work with my mind elsewhere, I knew my role was to be beside Robyn.

It’s such a different world when you become a carer. You’ve got no training, I knew no-one else who had been through it. You draw on life skills you’ve acquired over time, but you can’t really appreciate how much responsibility is on your shoulders until you are in it.

I had to look after all Robyn’s medications, manage the appointments, keep track of the symptoms, keep an eye on her as she was moving about in case she needed assistance. It’s a bit like being a parent for the first time. Everything is new, but as the weeks roll on, you gradually get things in place and find the strength to manage.

A lot of people give you advice, but it’s hard to give it full merit if they haven’t been through this kind of experience. So I joined support groups, both a phone group through Cancer Council and a local face-to-face group.

Robyn and I tried to maintain as much of a normal lifestyle as we could. We planned to go out for a walk every morning and then she’d sleep most of the afternoon. Even once Robyn was using a wheelchair, we’d head out to places she liked, the park or the beach. It lifted her spirits for the day, and gave her something to talk about. She tried to enjoy each day she had.

Listen to podcasts on Cancer Affects the Carer Too and How to Help Someone with Cancer

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Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

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To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
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Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

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Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
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Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.

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Cancer Council NSW offers carers support online, over the phone and in person and can link you to our practical support services

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