This month’s ‘Mama Of The Month’ is all about Emma @emplus4 and her incredible journey with love, children (including triplets), IVF, cancer, survival and a new book! What an absolute inspiration and I’m so pleased she is featured on these series. Here are a few things you didn’t know about her.. enjoy the read!
1. Who are you? Name? Where you’re from? Kids etc?
I’m Emma Campbell and I’m from Wandsworth, South London.
I have a teenage son, Jake who is 15 and triplets – Ella, Louis and Theo who are nearly 9.
2. What was your job before you had kids?
I spent a few years in my 20’s acting but without much success. I was always one of those people waitressing or temping whilst playing to an audience of five in a fringe theatre above a pub somewhere! Since becoming a mum I’ve had the same job – working two days a week at a talent agency in Central London alongside my writing.
3. When we’re you diagnosed with cancer?
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2010.
4. What happened?
I’d had a lump for years that I’d been told was nothing to worry about. After the triplets were born I noticed changes in my breast but I ignored them. I’d had IVF, had been expressing around the clock, had been pumped full of hormones so put the changes down to that. It was only when I found another lump under my armpit that I finally took action and was seen and then quickly diagnosed. I then had chemo to shrink the tumour followed by a mastectomy/reconstruction and lymph node removal, radiotherapy and hormone treatment. A breeze! 😉
5. How do you manage triplets – and another baby? Especially as a single mother (until they were 6).
I can’t pretend it was anything other than incredibly hard. Life had pretty much crumbled in all areas already and by the time I was diagnosed I already felt at rock bottom. I had (and still have) the most incredible support from close friends and family and, as word spread about my predicament, offers of help came from far and wide so although I was essentially on my own, I was surrounded by a huge amount of love and support.
6. Tell us about your book – what’s its about and why did you want to write it?
My book, All That Followed – A Story of Cancer, Kids and the Fear of Leaving Too Soon’ really is my story. From my struggles to conceive a second child, to the breakdown of my relationship, having triplets, being diagnosed and learning how to live happily despite the constant fear of more illness and premature death. I’d wanted to write the story for years but I guess the timing was never quite right.
7. What’s the hardest and easiest part of being a mama of triplets?
The hardest part is the physical exhaustion. Obviously that’s got easier over the years but it’s the ‘times-threeness’ of everything that makes your head spin! Also, the constant guilt that you’re not quite giving any of them what they need, even though I think most parents feel that however many children they have.
The easiest part…hmm…just loving them, I guess. They drive me crazy, they are wild, defiant and very ,very loud but I bloody love them with everything I have.
8. What advice would you give to anyone with cancer and being a mother?
The only advice I can really give is to say ‘yes’ to every offer of help, however big or small. Rest, rest, rest…don’t put too much pressure on yourself to try and keep everything everything running smoothly – you’re going to have really tough days but also days where life feels relatively normal and when you can still be in ‘mum’ mode. Kids are incredibly resilient and it’s amazing to see how they just adjust and get on with things, regardless of what you might be going through.
9. Where did you meet your husband? How did he take on 4 children?
Well, now there’s a story! A few months before my cancer returned, my best friend applied to ITV’s 60 Minute Makeover on my behalf. I came home one day to find Peter Andre and his handyman team had transformed two rooms of our little matchbox house. Fast forward a few months to when the show was aired and a certain gentleman called ‘Dave the Carpet’ (the show’s resident carpet guy) got in touch to say hello. We hadn’t met on the actual day but we started chatting on text and we met for the first time the day after my re-diagnosis. He’s been by my side ever since and we’ve just celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary.
10. What words of wisdom would you give your children when they’re adults?
Wow, love this question! I would tell my children that nothing matters other than how loved you are and how much you love. That kindness is everything. That finding what makes you happy and gives you joy will bring you so many gifts. That however tough life may be at times, to always look for things to feel grateful for.
To think good thoughts and be kind.
Thank you so much Emma for answering these questions – you can buy Emma’s book ‘All That Followed – a story of cancer, kids and the fear of leaving too soon’ by clicking HERE.
If you would like to be featured as MAMA OF THE MONTH please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us your story.
Thanks for reading xx