Caring for a newborn is hard enough. Doing it while fighting for your life is a whole different story.
Mairead Moulder discovered a lump in her breast when she was about four months pregnant with her second child. When her doctor told her it was just a blocked milk duct, she put the lump to the back of her mind.
It wasn’t until her newborn daughter Neave’s six-week check-up that another doctor indicated it could be much more serious. And it was.
It was breast cancer.
Two surgeries and almost eight months of chemotherapy later, Mairead is cancer-free. But the road wasn’t an easy one, especially with a toddler and a newborn.
Mairead, now 35, said chemotherapy was “as rough as you hear about” and she would spend eight days in bed after each session.
She felt guilty for not wanting to play with her son because she was so tired and feeling like she wasn’t there for her baby. But she knew they were in good hands as her family stepped up and helped her in her time of need.
Mairead said having her hands full with the kids was “probably a good distraction from it all”.
“I’ve only just started to process what I went through – with all the appointments and looking after the kids, I didn’t have time to sit and dwell on it,” she told Mamamia.
“People comment on my positivity, but I had to do it for my kids and family. I thought if I want to live and watch my children grow up, I need to do what I have to do.
“Losing my hair was probably the hardest part of the whole thing – it was when I felt most exposed.