“You just have to show up. That is my motto, and that’s how I do it.”
Just like that, day by day, Rebecca, 29, keeps overcoming great challenges in her personal life.
She is a full-time carer for her three children, two of them with special needs.
Her five-year-old daughter has autism, sensory processing disorder and limited vocabulary. Her stepdaughter, aged 14, has an acquired brain injury.
Rebecca was diagnosed with brain cancer herself in October last year. As you talk to her, she radiates certainty, optimism and hope.
“I have done my chemotherapy and my radiation. I’m in a 12 months’ chemotherapy so I have four rounds left. I get it done one week every month.”
Earlier this year, looking for ways to make the most out of her situation, she contacted Carers Tasmania asking for some respite and support for her children.
Then, she learned about Your Caring Way, and in no time, she joined the program.
“They put me through the training with Carers’ Queensland’s Registered Training Organisation (RTO). I started my course three months ago. I am doing the Certificate III in Community Services.”
“I am loving it. It’s the best course. It applies to my everyday life caring for the children but also, I can’t wait to be working. I just want to be hands-on.”
Rebecca has been a mother for the last eight years. Before becoming a carer, she worked for the local Government and had completed a traineeship in Human Resources.
Her partner works full time so her days are usually very busy.
“We start any day at 5.30 am. I make breakfasts, get them ready for school and school drop-off. I’m then home doing household jobs. “
“Then I do the school pick-ups and later on we have all the sports for the children after hours. Then we come home and prepare tea, have a shower, then reading books and bedtime.”
In between all that, she attends her course two days a week.
“I believe that your mind is your power. Sometimes I do chemotherapy and the next day I go to my course. I just put my mind to it. “
“Sometimes I’m tired but I just try to get just past that, especially when I’m caring for two kids with special needs.”
“You don’t really have time to be like ‘I feel sick today’, you just have to get up and do it.”
Rebecca is a spontaneous and outspoken person. Since starting her course she’s realised how much she wants to return to the workforce.
“I’m always putting other people first. I am truly a giver,” she says.
“My life has been dedicated to my treatment and the kids but I also enjoy other things.”
“I am wanting to get a job out of this. When I finish my chemotherapy in February I want to get a job or even starting my own business.”
“I’ve discussed it with my Vocational Coach and am working towards it. I want to work on my own, not attached to a company.”
She says the support she’s received in the last months, has really made a difference in her life.
“I wouldn’t be able to do my study without Your Caring Way or Carers Queensland and Carers Tasmania. I would not be where I am today without them,” she says.
Rebecca is conscious of her personal circumstances. She is also open to change and determined to learn new skills.
With that in mind, she wants to keep going and has plans for the future.
“I have an MRI every three months, to make sure that the tumour doesn’t return; I see the doctor once a month, before every round of chemo.”
“After I finish my sessions I’ll just play it by ear. I will be monitored very closely.”
“I am really looking forward to doing something for me. I would probably only work part time to start with, but building up to work full time.
“Just being back in the workforce and not just being a mum would mean a lot to me.”