I’m a single mum-of-three and I’ve got months to live – how do I break it to my kids?
A SINGLE mother of three has just a year to live and doesn’t know how to break the news to her children.
Louise Hayward, 48, was diagnosed with colon cancer in November 2020 – after noticing blood in her stool.
The mother, from Whitchurch, Bristol, recalled bleeding so profusely after going to the toilet that all she could do was “sit on a towel to stop the bleeding”.
She said: “I felt like I was giving birth, the pain was so bad.”
After the visit to the doctor was initially postponed because of the pandemic, doctors found a 7 cm tumor in her intestine.
There are around 42,900 new cases of colorectal cancer in the UK each year.
And around 16,800 people will die after developing the disease, Cancer Research says.
She started chemotherapy and radiation therapy, but after two years, the single housewife learned the cancer had spread to her liver and lungs.
But after two grueling years of treatment, she was told last November (2022) that doctors had run out of options.
“They told me there was nothing else they could do — I was devastated,” Louise said.
“This is all so scary — I never expected to be told I was dying.”
But Louise’s main concern is her children – William, 19, Faith, nine and Louie, seven – who she will leave behind.
“It’s so unfair to them – I just think, why did they have to be born into this life?” she asks.
Her eldest son William, an apprentice mechanic, knows her prognosis, but her little ones have no idea.
“How do I tell them that they will lose their mother at such a young age?”
She worries how they will cope, given that as a single parent she has done “everything” for her children.
What are the symptoms of colon cancer?
Colon cancer symptoms can be subtle, but 90 percent of people with the disease experience one of the following symptoms:
- a persistent change in bowel habits – More frequent bowel movements, with looser, more liquid stools and sometimes abdominal pain
- Blood in feces without others Symptoms of hemorrhoids (hemorrhoids) – This makes it unlikely that hemorrhoids are the cause
- Stomach pain, discomfort or bloating, which is always caused by eating – which sometimes leads to a reduction in the amount of food eaten and weight loss
Source: NHS England
“My little one, Louie, relies on me especially,” she said.
Louise is spending her final months frantically raising money to support her two youngest children – who will be raised by her sister Rachel, 47, when she dies.
“It’s so hard to accept that I’m really going to die soon.”
“I can only try to find some money for them after I die,” she says.
Colorectal cancer is Britain’s second deadliest cancer, but it can be cured if caught early enough.
The screening age was lowered to people in their 50s in 2021 thanks to The Sun’s No Time 2 Lose campaign led by columnist Dame Deborah James.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/7328097/bowel-cancer-dying-tell-kids/ I’m a single mum-of-three and I’ve got months to live – how do I break it to my kids?