Bad Mum

Magazine

19 October 2017

TITS Feature: The Big C and Me!

Imagine being told you have cancer. What would happen to you? How would you cope? What about your children? The latest research shows us that it will affect every 1 in 2 of us in our lifetime. A shocking statistic and as parents, in sure it will hit home hard.

My name is Rhiannon and I am one of one million mums living in with cancer the U.K. My daughter is now 2 and half and I found my lump in my breast randomly when I was lying on the sofa a few weeks after her 2nd birthday. I'm lucky my cancer is treatable and I've just finished 7 successful rounds of chemotherapy and am awaiting my surgery and further treatment.



Being a parent is such a blessing, but as we all know it has its ups and downs. Trying to juggle all the things you do as a parent while dealing with your own needs is incredibly challenging. We have all seen those classic memes and cartoons of the mum with a million and one things wrong with her still getting on with work, cooking the dinner and doing the school drop off! You just don't get a 'sick day' when you are a parent.

When you have cancer, or any chronic illness, your life is suddenly dictated and controlled by a variety of things; appointments, treatments, assessments, surgery, radiotherapy to name a few. To tackle your cancer, you have to put your treatment on the top of your to do list at all times. It seems strange as a parent to suddenly be putting YOURSELF at the top of that list, it's usually the kids! 

Maybe we need to take time to put ourselves at the top of that list more often. If I'd have put myself on the top of my list once a month I would have had a chance to notice how I was feeling or maybe I'd have checked my breasts for lumps and any other signs of breast cancer. 



When I asked, my oncologist predicted that by the size and grade of my cancer, it would have been growing for about three years. They explained that from one cancer cell to a pea sized lump is roughly one years worth of growth. Mine had been triggered by my long awaited pregnancy that I was so grateful for. I'd had Thyroid cancer at the age of 24 which left me with fertility issues and I'd had a successful round of IVF to conceive my much wanted and loved baby girl. If you are wondering, I'd do it all again! 

One of the hardest things to do as a parent is ever think or consider that you may not be around for your children. Sadly one of the things that runs through your mind almost immediately with a cancer diagnosis is...'am I going to die?' More and more people are surviving a cancer diagnosis now, this is due to people being more aware and vigilant. People are getting checked out at earlier stages and cancer research continues to develop. Sadly, there are some of us who will find that their cancer is untreatable. 

So I encourage you to get to know your body. If you have even the slightest concern, get yourself to the GP. Checking your body on a regular basis will help you notice changes. I have breast cancer and as it is breast cancer awareness month I'm encouraging you to check your breasts! If you are not sure what to do and how to check, there is a campaign called 'CoppaFeelPeople' who have some easy to follow, practicaladvice on what to do. 


Give YOURself the same attention, love and care you would give your child. You are worth it! 

Written by Rhi @thebigcandme 

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