Emma on living with incurable cancer

Emma seated.
Emma seated.

After finding a lump in her breast, 37-year old Emma, was later told by her oncologist that the cancer had spread to her bones and was incurable. 

Featured on ITV's Christmas appeal, Text Santa, Emma discusses living with her prognosis and coping as a mother of three.

Emma's story

I had no idea that I was going to get the news I got. I was happy, the children were happy and healthy. Everything was going the way I wanted it to go. 

I was sitting in the bath and I just happened to feel a lump. I went to the GP and she referred me to the breast clinic. I was petrified. I was led into a side room and she said, ‘I’m sorry to say, you've got breast cancer’. I just remember thinking, what do I do now?

Five days after my original diagnosis, I was taken into another room with an oncologist. She just said, ‘The cancer you've got, it’s lodged into your bones, you've got bone cancer. It’s incurable’. And that’s the point where I thought, oh my god I’m going to die. I know that I’m not going to be here as long as I should be here. And that upsets me because for a mum, well it’s that bit that’s really hard.

When you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, you kind of appreciate everything. It’s not knowing how long you might have with them. Because, in a normal life, you'd be able to grow old and see them go to uni and get married and have children. You know, all those things that everyone takes for granted. 

It’s not even the fact that I won’t see those things that hurts, what hurts is the fact that they will have to go through losing me. That hurts me more. It breaks my heart because I’ve always been there for them. I don’t know how to prepare them for that either.