Warning: caring for sick partners can make you ill
Michael Douglas's battle against cancer took its toll on the health of his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, writes Carol Hunt
'MY son is in federal prison, my ex-wife is suing me... it's kind of hard for the wife to say she's depressed... 'You're depressed, huh? How about you try cancer?'" said Michael Douglas recently on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Cue every caregiver worldwide -- who were lucky enough to have a few minutes respite to watch the show -- giving praise that someone (and not just anyone, but probably the most prominent cancer sufferer of the moment) had recognised publicly the anxious, stressful and often voiceless condition that is the lot of the family caregiver.
Douglas has been battling throat cancer for the past year or so. During that time he received chemotherapy and radiation treatments, both of which have debilitating side effects. He stayed out of public life and depended heavily, as one does during such stressful times, on the support and love of his family -- particularly his wife, Oscar-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.
And you know, despite that fact that he is allegedly an ex-sex addict; despite the baseless accusations of her being a Hollywood gold-digger who married him for his family's credentials; despite the fact that nasty rumours abounded when Catherine won her Oscar that the powerful Douglas family had somehow influenced the vote; despite all the cynicism about the most 'perfect' couple in Hollywood, one cannot take away from this pair the fact that, not only are they both great actors, but they seem to be a very strong, loving couple with a tight-knit family. (Which of course, will make many people want to criticise them all the more).