Dying Mom Writes Children's Book to Explain Her Terminal Breast Cancer to Her Kids

Sarah West/Facebook

As a parent navigating new humans through all of the hardships and goodness that is life, you're bound to encounter some topics that are incredibly difficult to discuss with those little humans. For England-based Sarah West, this was telling her young daughters, Amelia, 3, and Olivia, 6, that she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. But she came up with the best solution that will help many people in the future.

  • In February 2017, West, 34, was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer after complaining of a lingering pain in her left arm.

    Just two weeks later, she was told that the cancer spread to her bones, lungs, liver, and quite possibly her brain, meaning it was terminal.

    "It was such a shock when I was told I had stage four breast cancer that I sobbed my heart out," West said, according to Metro. "My first thought was what about my children? And that it just wasn’t fair."

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  • She struggled with how to explain her diagnosis to her young children, and most of all, prepare them for what's to come.

    "The girls were so young that I wanted a more sensitive way to tell them without using the c-word," she continued. "I searched for books but there was nothing that was tailored to their age group and it was all so matter of fact."

    She felt like using the word "cancer" outrightly would be too much because everyone "knows someone and [she] was worried they'd hear other people's stories from friends at school and become anxious about it," she wrote on Facebook.

    More from CafeMom: A Woman Battling Breast Cancer Was Turned Away from MAC Cosmetics -- & Ulta Saved the Day

    One day, West casually started writing some words on her phone, not thinking it would come to much. It ended up becoming a "crappy cancer journal," as she put it on Facebook.

  • But then she realized the perfect way to tell her children about her illness, and the book "Mummy's Got a Poorly" was born.

    (Poorly is British slang for being sick, by the way.)

    Using Olivia's illustrations and her own teaching skills as a primary school teacher, West wrote a "simple" children's book that explains how she's sick and going through chemotherapy treatment. 

    Already, 2,000 copies have been printed, and sell for a little over $5 online.

  • West has received a flood of messages from parents in similar situations thanking her for creating such a book.

    Nurses have also reached out asking if they could have a copy of her book to keep in their hospital ward. 

    According to Metro, one nurse told West that it was "the best book she has seen" for children who have a parent with cancer.

  • And the best part to her vital concept?

    All of the proceeds from West's book sales go right to the Osborne Trust, which is a charity that provides emotional support for families who have loved ones going through cancer treatments.

    More from CafeMom: Dying Woman's Breast Cancer Battle Chronicled in 35 Haunting Photos

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