On the 5th of May 2016 I woke up with a black ball of worry in my chest. The day before I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I was only 34 years old with two kids (Eva 7 and Logan 4) and breast cancer was most definitely not on my ‘to do’ list. My kids were the first thing I started to worry about. I know I was going to need months of treatment that would make me very ill and I was terrified about how this would affect them. There was also always the underlying fear that the doctors couldn’t fix this and I would be leaving my fantastic little girl and boy without a mum.
Just after I discovered the lump in my right breast I started a diary as a way of trying to calm myself. This turned in to an Instagram blog called ‘Cancer with a Smile” which I used to keep myself smiling during my Chemo and Radiotherapies. Looking for the positives when your going through the toughest year of your life is pretty damn hard but they are there if you look hard enough and believe it or not I think facing a bit of adversity can teach children a lot about life.
So here are five good things that my kids got out of having a mummy with cancer.
Going through a bit of a tough time makes you realise how good life is normally and appreciate it more. My kids were very used to living an exceptionally easy life and often took this for granted and could be a little spoilt sometimes.
We had to call on a lot of our friends and family to help out with childcare when I was struggling with the harsh side effects of chemo. This was great for my kids. They built stronger relationships with all the amazing people who helped care for them and had a lot of fun days out.
My children now understand what it is like for a family to face difficult times. I really believe this has made them kinder and more caring towards others.
When your mum isn’t there to take care of your every need and your dad is trying his best to look after you all and work full time, kids naturally become a little more independent and use their initiative.
I was extremely worried that the change in my appearance would be scary for my children but they coped amazingly well. They accepted my bald head quickly and never asked me to cover it.
We all spend hours worrying about our kids but they often shock us with their resilience and ability to keep us smiling. Learning that life isn’t always rainbows and fun can be tricky but it also gives us the tools we need to grow up to be brave and strong.