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British mom with ‘symptomless’ terminal cancer fighting to stay alive for her kids
Despite her disappointment and pain, Laura hopes that her children will understand how hard she fought to stay alive.
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“I never wanted to go, that’s what I hope they understand. I don’t want them to be angry with me.”

That is all Laura Atkinson (37), from Cheshire in England, wants her children to remember: That despite everything, she fought hard to stay with them.

The mother of two was diagnosed with stage four uveal melanoma (eye cancer) in 2014 after she went for a routine eye test. At the time she was pregnant with her youngest child, her son, Dylan.

Doctors performed an emergency operation to remove the tumour, but Laura’s cancer returned and even spread to her liver.

Now she’s advance writing birthday cards for her children and making as many memories as possibly so that they have something to hold onto when she’s no longer around.

“I was really angry at the start – not for me, but for the kids. I was so angry that this was happening to them, I don’t understand why that has to happen to them.

“It’s a terrible thing that will happen to them. I just hope they won’t be cross and that they know that this was never the way I wanted it to turn out.”

Laura, from Warrington in Cheshire, is desperate to stay alive until the time comes to take three-year-old Dylan for his first day of school in September 2019.

She’s receiving pioneering treatment from the Spire Southampton Hospital which she hopes will let her reach this milestone.

“I’m hoping this is the treatment that will give me the biggest chunk of time. Without it I won’t make it till Easter. If I make it to September, then everything after that is bonus time with my children.

“While I’m still able to, I want to make memories and do nice things that they can remember.”

She’s already prepared her will and is beginning to plan how she can still be part of her kids’ lives even when she’s no longer around.

“I have to think about what will happen when I’m not there. When I was initially diagnosed, I wasn’t having symptoms, so it totally came out of the blue.”

At two weeks old, Dylan had to have open-heart surgery.

“It was one nightmare after another. I was convincing myself that he’d got it because of me. I felt like the unluckiest person in the world,” Laura says.

Dylan made a full recovery and is now a happy and healthy child.

In August last year, while on a family holiday, Laura was called in by doctors and was given the shattering news that there was nothing more they could do for her cancer.

Laura said that since she was given the news, she’s focused on trying to spend as much time as possible with Dylan and Faye (6) and her husband, Keith (46).

But she hasn’t revealed the full nature of her condition to her kids to protect them.

“We took the kids to Disneyland Paris which was something Faye was desperate to do,” Laura says.

“It was amazing. She loved it, which was the aim of that kind of memory-making. Dylan is too young to understand but I talk to Faye about it.

“I say I have something growing in my tummy. She doesn’t know the ultimate ending, she doesn’t need to know that yet.”

Despite her disappointment and pain, Laura hopes that her children will understand how hard she fought to stay alive.

 

 

 

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