How Cancer Changed Everything, For the Better: A Mum’s Experience
The first time I noticed something really wasn’t right, we’d just finished decorating our forever home, our first home as a proper little family.
I remember so vividly, the flutter of panic, the instant dismissal, but I knew, I just knew the pain that had been becoming increasingly more present wasn’t normal.
I didn’t need a diagnosis, I didn’t need the doctor to sit me down and tell me there was something not right, I just knew.
What I didn’t expect was a diagnosis of Ocular Melanoma, a really rare, under-researched cancer.
For any mother, or father, who’s been through something similar, you’ll know the hardest thing is sitting down your children, the little people that you’re supposed to be there to protect, and telling them that mummy is sick, and she is going to be sick for a while.
Promising that you’ll be better again and praying that it’s true.
This was two years ago; little did I know then that this horrible thing that happened to us could well change our lives for the better.
Don’t get me wrong, being diagnosed and treated for eye cancer was and still is truly awful, but had I never had it, I’d have never made the bold life choices I have made since.
I’d still be slogging away Monday – Friday, picking William up from the childminders rather than from the school gates.
We wouldn’t get our morning Lego sessions together, or our Wednesday after school swim; I’d still be out flat on the bed, exhausted, by Friday tea time, with a migraine.
He’d still be sitting downstairs with my wife, asking where Mummy was, again, as I tried so hard to get better for the weekend.
About 2 months ago I officially became self-employed, which is almost as terrifying as my cancer diagnosis!
Being fluent in French, and having a world of teaching experience, I relinquished my SENCo role at a mainstream state school, went part-time there and have embarked on a little adventure.
I decided enough was enough: I wanted to pick my own hours doing something I love, using my skills to help other families give their children the opportunity to grow and learn languages in an environment they choose to be in.
I love our education system and there are some excellent teachers out there (including my wife) but we all know that often, our kids don’t get the nurture and experiences they need to flourish.
Aside from all the benefits which come from learning a language at young age – which I can hammer on about till the cows come home – for me as a mum, the best thing about Lingotot is giving children the chance to make friends, socialise with other children outside their classroom and build their confidence outside our own little bubbles.
The way I see it, the more children they get the chance to know and the different personalities they’ll meet along the way, the better for them, for us and therefore for the whole damn world.
There’s still a big problem with bullying and exclusion. I’m sure a lot of you reading this have experienced that nauseating pain when your little one has been treated horribly or felt left out.
I really feel like by giving our kids the chance to learn about different cultures, learn a new language, in a new setting, with different people from all the diverse families we are blessed to have in Wakefield, will make the world a better place. One baby step at a time.
As for me, it’s still early days, I’ve yet to nail this whole making money thing. I think my family might think I’m off my rocker; we don’t know anyone who’s gone it alone.
I come from a family of teachers and professionals, from parents who work hard for a living to put food on the table and have never questioned working it for joy.
So, I’m finding the whole thing a little baffling, and super daunting, but I know already that it was the right choice.
Lingotot Wakefield provides fun and interactive language classes to children aged 0-4 years old.
Lingotot’s multi-award winning French classes are fun, interactive and introduce young children to a new language through games, songs, stories and crafts.
Classes are suitable for babies, toddlers, young children and their parents/carers so the whole family can enjoy learning a new language together!
I’m hosting a launch party for Lingotot Wakefield on Saturday 27th October at Thornes Park Athletic Stadium.
It’s a free little taster session to see what Lingotot is all about. Bring along your kiddies, and if any of you have had a similar experience I’d love to have a good old chin wag with you and pick your brains!
Who knows, maybe the parents might make a friend or two along the way…
You can book onto the FREE launch party here
Lingotot Wakefield French classes start week commencing 5th November at the following venues:
Monday 10am at Nostell Village Hall, Swine Lane, Nostell
Thursday 9.30am at St George’s Community Centre, Lupset
Friday 10am at Crafty Owls, Ossett (with 10% off pottery fun afterwards)
You can book a slot at one of our regular classes here