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Fat Mum Slim /

As soon as I got the text from Hubby I hot-footed it to the hospital. It seems that whenever you’re in a rush, every car seems to want to sit 20 kilometres under the speed limit while your heart races a million miles an hour, and all the sad songs seem to play on the radio. Am I right? I stopped at the hospital reception and asked them to let me through to bed seven. “What’s the name?” the nurse asked. I spelled it out for him, and said that he could just let me straight through and Hubby would be waiting for me. He asked me to spell it again, and then one more time and promised me that bed seven wasn’t the people I was looking for.

It suddenly dawned on me that I was at the wrong hospital, so I hot-footed it again to the right hospital… again while all the sad songs played on the radio and everyone drove as if it was Sunday.

Walking in to the hospital, I knew nothing would be the same again. It was that C-word. Cancer. That disgusting disease which seems to get the good ones, the people it shouldn’t. Stupid disease. Hubby’s poor mum has it, and it’s advanced and incurable. This past week has felt like a lifetime. I’ve been trying to hold my poor heartbroken Hubby up, and trying to fake it and be upbeat for my girls, so they don’t cotton on to the reality… trying to be the glue that keeps it altogether, while simultaneously feeling like I was falling apart.

The next day I headed to the shops to grab bits and pieces for my mother-in-law; clothes, a radio, medical stuff. At the checkout the lady asked how I was. “Great thanks,” I faked it. She busied herself and asked me again, absentmindedly. “Good,” I replied unconvincingly. It always amazes me, in times of heartache and stress, that the world goes on for everyone else. People still shop, smile, and get on with life, while other worlds feel like they’ve stopped in time.

This past week, I’ve had to be the person that people leaned on… but I also leaned on too. My little sister is the best person in a crisis. Honestly, I’ve never met anyone that shows up like she does. I call her, and somehow everything gets done. I don’t even ask for the things to get done, but her brain works that way. She swoops in, collects the kids, does the things and makes sure I don’t have to think about a thing, so I can think about the other things. My mum is very similar too. On that Monday when I got that text, they took care of everything. I came home to sleepy girls, freshly bathed in their PJs, loved and comforted without a clue of the reality going on behind the scenes.

My mother-in-law is very private, so I don’t want to share too much here… and we don’t get the final results until Monday… but I wanted to ask your advice. I’m worried about my girls. Lacey still cries about her PopPop who she lost six years ago. Tears are a regular thing and her heart is still broken. Lulu is pure and whole and hasn’t experienced heartache. I want to keep them as they are, but I know they will go through this and I have to stop resisting it. How do I carry them through this experience gently, in the best way possible? I’ve gone to the school and asked how they can help me support Lacey {she’s a naturally anxious child, and picks up on other people’s energy and anxiety}. I know kids are amazingly resilient too. They will always surprise us.

Is there a best way to do this? My plan is to answer their questions without too much information and give them lots of love and family time. We had a night planned away in Sydney for a long time, which we’re doing right now, which I think is a great distraction {especially for Hubby who hasn’t been coping at all}. Any advice? I’d love to know your experiences, if you have any. x

@Fatmumslim