Emma on treatable but not curable cancer

Emma sits on a sofa, in her family home.
Emma sits on a sofa, in her family home.

After finding a lump in her breast, 37-year old Emma, was told by her oncologist that the breast cancer had spread. She was later diagnosed with treatable but not curable bone cancer.

Emma talks about living with treatable but not curable cancer, talking to children about the future, and coping as a mother of three.

Emma's story

I had no idea that I was going to get the news. 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 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 said, ‘You've got bone cancer. It’s incurable’. I know I’m not going to be here as long as I should be here. And that upsets me because, as a mum, 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, get married and have children – all those things that everyone takes for granted.

Telling the kids was quite difficult, with their different ages, but it's been okay. The youngest is oblivious and the same as always. My next youngest had experience of relatives and people with cancer and did not cope as well. My eldest has been supportive and understanding – she has taken it all in her stride.

I have done a Macmillan Coffee Morning – I made the cakes and held it at my kid’s school. I loved it and will definitely be doing it again.