Mother’s Day is a day to honour mothers. For the first two years of my son’s life, it was a day that I got to do something relaxing, while my husband and son spent the day together. A day of rest for all I’d done the previous year. On my third Mother’s Day, I was finishing up 8 rounds of very toxic chemotherapy and had already had 2 surgeries, because I had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the age of 32. On my fourth Mother’s Day, my cancer had come back and I was in the middle of some even more toxic chemotherapy. The fear was swirling around in my head that day that I may not be there to celebrate any more special days with my son in the future.
Going through treatments, I felt very isolated from other people my age and struggled at times to get through the next round of whatever the doctors had planned for me. But two things really pulled me through – finding the right support and having a motivation.
I was very fortunate to have found Rethink Breast Cancer, a charity that responds to the unique needs of young women going through breast cancer. Their support programs have connected me and many other young mothers going through something similar, to help us feel like we aren’t alone and give us answers to the questions our demographic has. Can I still work while going through chemotherapy? Can I still hold my baby after surgery?
My son also played a big part in me getting through. Having someone that needs you there and depends on you every day makes your fight different. When I had my down days, I would look at my son and it would give me the motivation I needed to bring my focus back to why I was fighting so hard.
Now approaching my eighth Mother’s Day, I look at the day much differently. For me, it is a day of extreme gratitude for even being here and having the opportunity to spend the whole day with my son. Even though most moms I know get Mother’s Day off to thank them for all they’ve done, the best thanks I can get is another healthy Mother’s Day to just spend with my son.