When my mother told me she had cancer, I think it silenced me really.
I remember she told me at about 11pm one evening, and she'd sounded quite reluctant to tell me. I remember just giving the phone to my husband, because I just couldn't breathe. I had a wave of, I don't know, shock go through me and I couldn't talk, and then we went to see her straight away.
We just thought the worst - I think you do. And then I thought about how we were going to save her, and what we could do. The initial reaction was the thought of losing my mother, the thought of my mum dying, just the horror of feeling that, having that loss, even though she was obviously alive and telling us she had cancer. Just feeling that loss all of a sudden, that she might not be here. And having an overwhelming sense of responsibility, of how we were going to look after her, and thinking, she's going to get sick and she's going to lose her hair and all those images flash past and you just feel like you're on a battlefield really, trying to save someone that you love.
I think with anyone that you love, if you suddenly find out that they're ill, you want to protect them and you want to minimise the damage. I needed to learn about cancer, I didn't know anything about it and all of a sudden I thought I had to become an expert.