This years awareness week focuses on maintaining normality whilst having cancer and being pregnant or a new mum and I can speak from personal experience when I say this is the single most important thing I wish the health professionals who were working with me knew during my treatment.
Being pregnant or a new mum is an exciting time but that is somehow stolen in the whirlwind that is cancer and its treatments.
We want to be excited about our new arrival. We want to look forward to the birth, first smile, first word. We want to have someone realise we still have all the worries that every mum has. Am I doing it right? Which milk shall I use?
Yet somehow this can be lost as cancer becomes the front runner.
But to us mums it isn’t. We are mums like every other mum. Just mums with cancer. I hope that midwives and doctors dealing with cancer in pregnancy learn to let the expectant mum enjoy and celebrate her pregnancy as much as possible and I hope that post natal this can continue.
I remember when I was having treatment my health visitor came to see me. Alexander was only months old. Before congratulating me or even looking at him she said
‘I’m so sorry about your cancer Jennifer, it must be so hard’.
That will stay with me forever.
What I’m trying to say is us ladies are the still the ladies we were before getting cancer, we lose so much, friends, jobs, relationships, special times in our children’s lives but please don’t let us lose the chance to be a mum first and foremost.
This is why I think the forum at Mummy’s Star is so successful and so important to us. I literally would not be who I am if I hadn’t had the forum for support and guidance. On there we are all just mums. We understand and I hope by raising awareness of how important being treated normally during cancer at the time we can be seen like that through the eyes of everyone.
(Jenni is pictured centre, with Chair of Mummy’s Star Nicolette Peel left and fellow Mummy’s Star Mum Jenny right)