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Motherhood and cancer: Pink pigs and Muddy puddles

“Muddy puddles’ will never be the same! Peppa Pig became a rather large pink presence in our family when our daughter was about a year old. THAT theme tune will forever be etched on my brain, plush princess versions and Grandpa’s boat sailing around in the bath, were a staple accessory, and it still concerns me, to this day, that Miss Rabbit was perhaps slightly over worked and underpaid!

Yet, that little pink pig saved the day in more ways than one. When my daughter was twenty months old, I had a secondary breast cancer diagnosis. I had been twenty six when I was first diagnosed and was always so worried that the chemotherapy would make it difficult to have children.

By some miracle we conceived within a couple of months and eighteen months after her arrival, at a routine check up, my consultant found a lump in my clavicle and the scans showed spots on my sternum. It was a complete shock and this time I had so much more to lose. I had a family. A husband. We were moving to our dream home.

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Motherhood and cancer: Girls, I need to tell you something…

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!

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