The first thought when I was sat in the Gynaecologists office being told I have cancer, was how I was going to tell my children. I didn’t want them seeing me be poorly. In my head, I had jumped miles ahead and was imagining me having chemo and how we’d explain it all to the children. They’d be devastated.

We (my hubby and I) very quickly decided that we would not say ‘the C word’ in front of the children. At the time they were 8 and 10, and I just couldn’t bear to break their hearts. Both of my children are very sensitive and intelligent, and I knew that they would do two things; worry themselves crazy and ‘google’ my condition. Neither of these were things I wanted for them.

So we told the children as much as they needed to know, and at each stage of the journey, we would tell them enough that they didn’t feel left out of the loop, but not too much as to worry them. When I had to have my hysterectomy we told them that Mummy had to have an operation on her tummy because there was something in there that shouldn’t be and it was making Mummy poorly. The doctors were going to take it out to try and make Mummy better. They accepted this.

It’s now nearly 9 months since my diagnosis, and we have managed to keep ‘C’ word away from them still. I’m still having investigations, scans and hospital appointments, but it’s almost become the norm for them now.

I’m not naïve. I am very aware that at some point in the future we will have to face the conversation with them about what happened/is happening. My main concern is my daughter. I want her to be fully informed about what is normal and what is not regarding her own body so that (heaven forbid) she should ever experience anything strange she’ll know to get it investigated. I have no doubt that my son will be cross that we weren’t completely truthful with him throughout the journey, but I hope that we’ll be able to explain well enough that our main priority was always to protect them from hurt and upset.

My children are my world and I’ll forever try to protect them from the negative experiences that the world can throw at us. Cancer is something I never dreamed we would have to experience, let alone explain to our children.

I know some people will think that honesty is the best policy and that we should have told them the truth. To be honest, every person is different, every child is different. There are no parenting manuals when it comes to subjects like this. There are no right ways or wrong ways to deal with it.

You know your own children, and what they can cope with. You must deal with it in the way that feels right for you and your family.

My counsellor at the Cosham Support Centre was amazing and allowed me to talk through all of this in order to process it all in my own head. It really helped to discuss it with someone who isn’t close to my children.

I guess what I’m trying to say is do what feels right. It’s all you can do.