Book gives raw insight into woman's journey caring for terminally ill mum

Rochelle's book 'Handle With Care' comes out on this week at Asda, Waterstones, WH Smith, Amazon and Foyles

Rochelle's book 'Handle With Care' comes out on this week at Asda, Waterstones, WH Smith, Amazon and Foyles - Credit: Jon Enoch

A woman who cared for her mother during a battle with terminal brain cancer has written a book, in the hope others can draw comfort and learn from her devastating experience.

Ipswich High School for Girls teacher Shirley Bugg fell ill in November 2010 and her daughters Rochelle and Hannah moved back to the family home in Ravenswood to care for her alongside their younger sister Olivia.

The trio's father James died of pancreatic cancer in 2000 and sadly their mother passed away in 2012 aged 56.

Rochelle as a baby with her mum Shirley

Rochelle as a baby with her mum Shirley - Credit: Bugg family

Rochelle, now aged 35 and living in London, has written a book based on the blog she ran during her mother's treatment as a way to update Shirley's eight brothers and sisters on her condition.

Handle With Care is a raw and emotional window into the years which Rochelle spent caring, with advice for people going through the same thing.


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"Now I've had time to look back and process everything, get that emotional distance, I can see things I would have done differently now I'm further along the journey," she explained.

"Self care would have been a big one for me, because when you're caring for a loved one they become the centre of the world overnight and every conversation and thought is about them.

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"It's very easy to forget to look after yourself — at the time I wouldn't have wanted to step away to look after myself because I was wasting precious time with mum, but if you don't look after yourself then it gets in the way of your ability to care for others."

Rochelle and Shirley Bugg at Rochelle's graduation in 2007

Rochelle and Shirley Bugg at Rochelle's graduation in 2007 - Credit: Rochelle Bugg

Though the blog began as a way to keep family updated, it turned into more of a diary of events and Rochelle added: "It feels very vulnerable to talk about such an emotional and difficult time in my life.

"I wrote everything I  wished I had known at that time, because no one is alone when caring for a loved one and I hope this can validate some of those feelings, bring comfort or act as a guide."

Handle With Care will be released on Thursday, March 4, and will be available to buy online here, or at Asda, Waterstones, WH Smith, Amazon and Foyles.

Rochelle hopes her book will help guide others through the emotional and difficult experience of caring for a loved one

Rochelle hopes her book will help guide others through the emotional and difficult experience of caring for a loved one - Credit: Rochelle Bugg

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