My babies were five and eight when I first fell chronically sick 11 years ago.
Too small to understand, yet aware enough that something was very wrong.
“Mum didn’t get up from bed today.”
“Mum couldn’t bath us tonight.”
“Mum is asleep a lot.”
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This mum was so very different to the well one they knew.
They were too young to know how to even cognitively process what was going on. It was at this point, as I was navigating 17 rounds of chemo, on high dose steroids and not sure if I would make it, that I went to the library to try to find any books on how to be a sick mum. I couldn't find anything of use to guide me through these unchartered, challenging times.
I had so many questions I wanted answered, as being the best mum to my kids is my everything. How would I tell them I had a non-curable disease? How would I tell them that I may not be me thanks to steroids, aka 'rhoid rages'? How would I prepare them for when I was not here?
So many questions… what did other sick mums do?
I was also experiencing the grief of realising I would not be the mum I wanted to be. That I may never get to see them grow up or marry or have babies.