19th March 2023

I turned my stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis into a positive for my son

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Telling your loved ones that you have lung cancer is often worse than hearing it yourself. It can be even more traumatic when you have young children. As part of our Mother’s Day series, patient ambassador, Jules Fielder, shares what it’s like being a mum with stage 4 lung cancer, and how Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation has helped her show her son how to flip a negative into a positive.

“When I received my diagnosis, I automatically presumed my time with my son, Toby, would be short. He’s soon to turn 14 so I feared I would miss so many of his milestones.

“It was nothing short of heart breaking to tell him that I have incurable lung cancer but, having raised him on the understanding that we are 100% honest with each other, I knew it was something I had to do.

“He’s seen the hard times. He’s seen me struggle with the side effects of my treatment, but together we are focusing on the positives. He is my inspiration to stay positive. He’s also one of the reasons for becoming a lung cancer advocate. In sharing my experience and trying to improve things for people in the future, I hope it shows Toby strength and resilience – essential tools I feel teenagers need.

Toby found real comfort from reading the real-life stories on the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation’s website. We both did. The charity’s website is a toolkit of practical and positive information that supports not just me, but my family too.

“As mothers, we do everything we can to protect our children from the horrors of the world. Incurable lung cancer is not a horror I ever expected to endure but this is what I am facing, and I have the power to face it however I choose – and I choose positivity.

“Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation has given me endless opportunities to share my experience and display my positive outlook. I hope someone can benefit from my hindsight and in doing so, hopefully show Toby how a negative situation can be flipped into a positive. There is nothing more rewarding than helping others.

How would I describe our relationship in three words?
Absolutely bloody awesome!

“This Mother’s Day, I’m looking forward to a massive hug from Toby. That’s all I need. I don’t need reassurance – I know how proud he is of me, and this just makes me more determined to live as well as I can with this disease, to show him nothing should hold you back from living your best life.

“So that’s what I’m doing. I’m looking forward to our future together. I’m looking forward to travelling and creating as many memories as we can. Toby tells me my magic medicine will work forever.  I hope he is right.”