Especially when that mum also has pancreatic cancer.
“I have three kids – two girls, who are five and ten, and an eight-month baby boy. I look after my niece and nephew too. It’s a full house!” mum Sammantha said.
“Two days after giving birth to Darcy, the baby, I turned yellow. I had some surgery and tests, and it came back stage three pancreatic cancer.”
Sammantha required major surgery to remove her tumour.
“I then had 12 rounds of the strongest chemo there is; the last two were especially hard and it sucks that I’m tired all the time.
“But the hardest part is that I’m missing half my insides after all the surgery, some of my stomach, my gall bladder, my colon, some of my bowel and most of my pancreas. I’m in lots of pain.”
Sammantha also knows that her cancer has one of the lowest survival rates. Heartbreaking for her, but even worse when the reality is that she may not see her children grow up.
“I tell my kids that Mummy has to have poison to make Mummy feel better, and if Mummy goes to heaven, I’ll be able to see them and hear them and they’ll be able to talk to me, through a butterfly, and hear my voice with the Mummy’s Wish Comfort Bears,” she explained.
“Mummy’s Wish gave us the Comfort Bears–these big soft fluffy teddies with a voice recorder, so I can leave a message and get the teddy to speak it. It makes me feel happy to know that that, whatever happens, my kids are going to have my voice.”
As part of her support package, Mummy’s Wish also sent a cleaner to help the family while Sammantha was undergoing treatment.
“It makes all the difference because the house is pretty hectic with five kids. There’s no way I could the cleaning on my own; I just need to rest, and my husband has his hands full. He’s had to give up his job to look after us all.”
Sammantha is also an active participant in the new closed Facebook group started just for mums who have registered with Mummy’s Wish.
“I go to the online community, to chat with other mums with cancer. They know what it’s like; they’ve helped me hold it together,” she said.
“I just to need to keep going and keep smiling. And it helps so much to see my kids smiling too, cuddling their Comfort Bears.”