Bettie woke up on one New Year's Day and couldn't walk. Having had a major operation for cancer 15 years before, she was re-diagnosed with cancer.
Their lives changed overnight as they had both previously been very active. Maggie had to take on all the domestic duties and they couldn't carry on their outside interests.
Hospice care offers time
They were referred to their local hospice where Bettie attends the day centre. It was her first contact with the outside world for a long time.
Margaret wasn't sure whether to take up the offer of attending a carers' group as she felt she wasn't "that kind of person". However, she decided to go for Bettie's sake, so that she would understand more and know what was happening. She was pleased she did.
"Sometimes you are frustrated at life being on hold, impatient and irritable; but Bettie's living with cancer, not dying from it...The carers' group puts life in perspective."
Now Maggie finds the time for herself invaluable. She receives complementary therapy sessions as part of the service provided by the hospice to carers, which she finds really restorative.
"It's good for me and good for Bettie."