My dad has cancer and i’m at work
Most cleaners get into the industry having seen a need that isn’t being met and as I started I identified with new mums and busy families. I know how hard it is keeping a busy home just up to a liveable level and identify with the compromises that must be made (you can not have a show home with children and stay sane). Subsequently most of our customers are busy families and we offer a service that caters very well for them. I know plenty of other people use cleaners but until recently I hadn’t personally identified with them so here is my story and hopefully an explanation about the deep emotional link with getting older and cleaning.
My dad has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer and the effects of everyone coming to terms with this have been massive. As a family we have been spending more time together and had some great times but sometimes it is hard knowing what to do to help.
As a small cleaning company owner, I spend a lot of time cleaning homes and we really don’t get too emotionally involved – it is just dirt. Last night as I cleaned diarrhoea off a toilet following a particularly explosive bout from my dad I found the whole thing distressing more than I had imagined. It wasn’t just cleaning at 1am that bothered me, I was concerned about how it got there and what happened next time and the pain of the illness on him and everyone else.
I have cleaned for plenty of cancer patients and it has never struck me exactly what having a cleaner means to them. It allows them to keep their dignity, to keep the house and outside looking nice even when everything is falling apart inside.
As I looked closer around their usually immaculate house, for the first time I saw dust on the towel rails, the shower screens were dirty (only if you looked closely though) and the floors needed a bit more attention. I have seen these things start to slip in many houses as people start to get older but somehow, I never imagined it would happen to my own parents. I’m not heartbroken about a bit of dirt I’m heartbroken that things are changing, and my fit wonderful parents can’t see what needed doing or can’t get down to the floors. I have seen the gradual decline too many times and know what comes next and it can’t happen to them, they are too young, vibrant and lively. They are not sick or old, they are my parents.
Somehow if I clean or hire a cleaner it will hide the signs, it will slow down the time and cancer isn’t happening. I always knew cleaning had deep emotional roots for some people but this matters to me now and I hope that nobody has to feel this and suffer like we are now.
Usually I would end a blog post with a plug for our company and what we can do to help but right now I can’t, all I can say is that if you too are going through this, im so so sorry x