To this day, I still remember my school headmaster, pulling me out of class. I wasn’t too sure what I might have done; all I thought was I must be in trouble for something.

Before I could speculate any further, I saw my Mum waiting for me at the end of the school corridor. This was very odd, I had just started boarding school an hour away from home and I could sense something was amiss.

She had clearly been crying for hours, as she did not look in a great way.

That was when she broke the news to me.

Someone could have slapped me in the face, and I wouldn’t have felt a thing.

There I was, 16 at the time, absolutely devastated.

No son should ever be told their Mum has cancer. It was an incredibly tough pill to swallow.

Looking back, I definitely did the wrong thing not talking to anyone about it, not even Mum.

All I wanted to do was be strong for for Mum, and show a positive front for her, but I should have spoken to her about it, not only for me but for her.

It’s not that I was embarrassed to speak to anyone about it. I think for me, it was just that if I did speak, it would have made the situation a whole lot more of a reality and that was very confronting to me.

In the end, as bad as it was, I parked it all in the back of my mind, like it was forgotten.

I pretended that it wasn’t real. It wasn’t happening, to me or to my mum.

It was the worst thing I could have done.

It wasn’t fair to my mum.

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I regret how I handled it and always have. But I suppose everyone handles situations like that differently, sixteen year old me handled it quite selfishly, and for that mum I am sorry.

No one can really explain or share with you how to cope, I learnt to deal with it by pretending it wasn’t real.

When you’re going through something like that no one can say anything to lift your spirits.

If I could change anything now, or tell my younger-self anything, it would be to go back and talk to someone.

Just to talk about it more and talk to mum about it.

To be there a whole lot more than I was, to be a lot more supportive. And that it is no good blowing up at people, when at the end of the day everyone was just there to help my mother and I.

10 years on, and mum is still fighting – she’s stronger than I will ever be.