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The love of a good man

For me, the real unsung hero is that person who is so close that I sometimes fail to recognise him for what he is. While close friends and family have been incredibly supportive and understanding, doing extraordinary things to assist in my recovery, the person who sees it all – tears, fears, anger, joy, and every emotion in between – is my husband Roger. In those dark moments when things aren’t so bright and the mask is off, he’s the person who ‘cops it all’.

As I write this, he is my carer as I come to the end of six weeks on crutches, the result of a skiing accident on the first day of a skiing holiday in Canada. To add insult to injury, this was supposed to be the holiday that made up for cancelling a cruise around Cape Horn, which had coincided with radiotherapy in 2011.

Many of his dreams and expectations have had to change to accommodate my needs.

He is also the person who saw wisdom in my ‘bright idea’ to move to north-eastern Victoria from the northern beaches of Sydney, a move that meant early retirement and a total tree change. For me it meant leaving behind the hectic pace of city life for a more tranquil and peaceful life in the country; the chance to take control of my life and to make choices that would help to ensure a positive outcome to my diagnosis.

This was a decision made out of self-interest, purely selfish in many ways, but my unsung hero saw it as a team decision, one that he has embraced with enthusiasm and total dedication.

Gone are our pursuits of sailing and swimming, exchanged for bike riding, fishing, skiing, not to mention the chooks, vegie garden and a semi-rural lifestyle. This total commitment to our relationship, my welfare and our life together makes my husband an unsung hero.

Helen, VIC