On International Women’s Day and with Mother’s Day just around the corner, I thought it would be good to have a few posts about cancer and motherhood, as the impact on your family is such a major part of the journey. As the mum to two gorgeous girls, one of my first thoughts on being told I had cancer (just after the “what the actual F***” thought had flashed through my mind a few times) was “how on earth am I going to tell the girls” and it was with this thought that the tears and panic came. Because as parents, we are programmed to want to protect our kids and a cancer diagnosis impacts your kids almost as much as you. What if you can’t be a good mum whilst you are having treatment? What if you don’t make it and you leave your children without a mum? It is unthinkable, and shocking, and hard to even think about these possibilities, but these are the thoughts that go through your mind.
My daughters were 16 and 14 at the time of my diagnosis, and I think that telling them was one of the most difficult things I have encountered in this journey. I knew that, as teenagers, they were old enough to understand the dreaded C-word but were probably not mature enough to understand it all. At this point, I wasn’t even sure that I understood it all, so what chance did they have!