Behind the Scenes: Being a Mom with Cancer - The Nanny Angel Network
Curl Keeper teamed up with the Nanny Angel Network, an organization that provides free, professional relief childcare for GTA-area mothers with cancer. They care for children 16 and under and provide timely, compassionate support to families throughout treatment, recovery, palliative care and bereavement. We were able to sit down with some of the mother’s involved in this program and have a very candid discussion surrounding their diagnosis, the impact it had on them and their families and how the Nanny Angel Network gave them support. How old were your children when you first learned of your diagnosis? Mom 1: “Three children aged 2, 9 and 15 years old.” Mom 2: “Two children aged 4.5-year-old and 2.5 years old.” Mom 3: “Two children aged 1 year and 18 months old.” Mom 4: “Two children aged 2.5 years and 9 months old.” Tell us about when you were diagnosed with cancer? What were some of those first feelings you experienced? Mom 3: “It was June 19th, 2015. I was getting an endoscope and colonoscopy done at the same time to figure out fast weight loss and pain in tailbone. I was with my closest friend Heather. I was told I had an 8cm mass in my rectum. I knew that if caught early enough it is very highly curable. Both the doctor and Heather looked at me. My mom died due to complications from breast cancer when I was 17 years old. I have lived with cancer in the family. NOW WAS MY TURN.” Mom 2: “I was diagnosed on March 13, 2015. It was a few weeks before my 34th birthday. I was devastated about being diagnosed but more so, I was worried for my kids.” How did they (your children) understand your illness? Mom 1: “My son was very nervous about it. My daughter was very caring, but she did not understand.” Mom 4: “I don’t think they do understand since they are both so young.” Mom 2: “My daughter understood that I had a boo-boo in my breast and that the doctors were going to help me feel better. She understood that my hair fell out and that I wore a wig. They understood that as my son says my “boobs were cut off” by the doctors.” What kind of questions did your children ask? Mom 4: “My two-year-old will ask about Mommy’s boo boo “does it hurt” referring to my scar from surgery.” Mom 2: “My son is curious about what tool they used for my surgery. Even though I told him it was a special tool he always asks if it was a screw driver or a wrench. They often asked if I was feeling ok after chemotherapy.