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12 Ways having Cancer is a bit like being Pregnant

Yes I know, it sounds weird to say that having cancer is a bit like being pregnant but bear with me and all will become clear.

I’m tackling my breast cancer diagnosis with humour and positivity and this little post gave me a laugh to write and might give you a bit of an insight into how I’m feeling about it all.  It is in no way meant to laugh off or minimise cancer or those diagnosed with cancer in any way – it’s just what’s going on in my crazy head right now!

12 Ways having Cancer is a bit like being Pregnant - Cancer is like Pregnancy Triple Negative Breast Cancer Lumpectomy
Image Source: Pixabay

So as you know, as much as I love my two babies dearly and am so grateful to have been blessed in having them, overall, I just was not a fan of being pregnant.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad and there were some parts of it I did love.

I have no plans to ever (ever, ever) have any more children so being pregnant again was never going to happen to me.

So why do I think Cancer is a bit like being pregnant?  Here’s why:

1.  A Bump

Well strictly speaking, a lump.  Although this one is the uninvited kind and a bit like an overdue baby, it had outstayed it’s welcome and was served an eviction notice!

2.  Unsolicited Advice
But unlike the kind of unwanted advice I got during pregnancy, I’m all ears on this one!  Know a way to minimise the effects of chemo?  Ideas on how to fight cancer?  I’m up for hearing ALL the tips so feel free to share :)

3.  Horror Stories

You can keep these to yourself though thank you very much.  During pregnancy I stopped anyone in their tracks before they could tell me about the traumatic birth their neighbour’s sister’s cat’s best friend’s mum went though in having their baby.  But I’m well up for hearing about everyone’s survivor stories so thank you for those.

4.  Symptoms – Fake and Real

Both times I was trying to conceive I’d analyse and over-analyse every tiny change in my body and mind – clearly in the hope it was an early pregnancy symptom.  Whether I was in labour or not had a similar effect and I spent way too many hours googling lists of possible symptoms.

The cancer diagnosis had a similar effect – after the news had sunk in I spent the best part of 2 days googling ‘cancer symptoms’ to see if I had any more.  One of them is ‘tiredness’.  Ahem, anyone else tired?

I finally conceded that it was a pointless mission and doing me no good.  I moved on to online shopping.

5.  You have a Big Secret

Ah remember in the first 3 months of pregnancy where no-one really knows you’re pregnant but you know and you wonder if they might know but no-one is saying anything?  It’s a bit like that!  I found myself looking at passers by thinking “I wonder if they can tell I have cancer?”.

Nuts!  But there you go, that’s what I felt.

6.  You Gain New Friends

Since I made my strange little ‘cancer announcement’ I’ve been absolutely blown away by the amount of family, friends, ex-colleagues, friends of friends and readers who have contacted me to wish me well.  Honestly I’m so so grateful and it’s been wonderful to hear from some friends I haven’t spoken to in a number of years too.

7.  You Lose some Old Friends

Just as some friends drift away when you become a parent and are no longer on the social circuit as much, I’ve felt a little bit sad that some haven’t been in touch after they heard about my diagnosis.  Perhaps they don’t know the ‘right’ thing to say, I don’t know.

One thing that is a bit odd is how me announcing that I have breast cancer on social media (which I know in itself it a bit unusual) has played out.  Some people ‘liked’ the status and I’ve heard nothing from them.  Do they ‘like’ that I have cancer?!  I’m kidding, FB particularly is a bit weird like that though, isn’t it?

8.  You Join a new Club

This is a wonderful one :) I’ve raved in the past about the love and support I’ve had from the wonderful Mum’s group I joined after having my first baby.

Similarly, I’ve joined some amazing Cancer support groups in the past couple of weeks and the help, advice and encouragement I’ve received already is just amazing.

It’s a club I’m sure none of us want a reason to join but I’m so grateful it exists.

9.  Everyone’s experience is unique to them

As with pregnancy, our bodies and minds react to a cancer diagnosis in many different ways I’m sure.

I’m at the very beginning of my journey to beat cancer but I’m doing everything I can to remain positive and focussed on the end goal.

10.  It feels never-ending at times

That said, when will the end be?  Time will tell :)

11.  Testing Testing

I really thought (and hoped) that my hospital days were done with.  After the blood tests, scans and measurements of two pregnancies, I thought that was it for me.

No no, I’ve spent the last few weeks being scanned head to toe numerous times and enough injections to rival a pin cushion.  But there’s more to come with chemo and radiotherapy so best not complain about that at this early stage!

12.  It’s emotionally and physically exhausting

I’m so tired, my sleep is almost nonexistent and recovery from my surgery is a bit harder than I bargained for.

However, as with pregnancy, the end goal is to be here for my family, to remain positive and strong and to just get through it.

As I said earlier, I’ll do that with humour where I can, it’s my way.

That and the support from my amazing support network and if you’re reading this, that probably includes you – so thank you :)

My Friend Has Cancer eBook by Mim Jenkinson
My Friend Has Cancer eBook by Mim Jenkinson

12 Ways having Cancer is a bit like being Pregnant - Cancer is like Pregnancy Triple Negative Breast Cancer Lumpectomy

Linked to Honest Mum, You Baby Me Mummy and Amy Treasure



  1. Toni @ Gym Bunny Mummy
    / 6:59 pm

    Your outlook on this is just so incredible, you absolutely bloody rock Mim! xx

    • / 9:48 pm

      You are too lovely – thank you! Laughing REALLY helps! x x

  2. Angela
    / 7:16 pm

    Your an inspiration, you have definitely helped me keep sane and hopeful.
    Laughter and humour is the best medicine.
    Great post x

    • / 7:22 pm

      Oh thank you and likewise it’s so lovely having you to talk to :) I can’t wait for it to be finished for us both x x

  3. Nat
    / 10:18 pm

    What a fab post! So so clever, you’re an inspiration!

    • / 2:22 pm

      You are too nice indeed, thank you lovely! x x

  4. Kathy
    / 10:26 am

    This is a fantastic positive way of dealing with this cruel disease! I wish you well in your treatment

    • / 6:07 pm

      Thank you so much Kathy! x

  5. International Elf Service
    / 11:41 pm

    I’m really loving your absolutely wonderful uplifting posts – it’s people like you that will help to relieve the fear so many of us associate with a cancer diagnosis. You sound totally incredible and you will absolutely beat this. I seem to be surrounded by breast cancer survivors, as do many of my friends around the country! Thank you x

    • / 6:08 pm

      Thank you so so much for saying that :) I’m definitely going to be one of the survivors! x x

  6. Alexandra | I'm Every Mum
    / 4:13 pm

    Oh beautiful lady. This is such a great post. I have a friend who has just been diagnosed so I will send this to her. She is also being really positive and I know this will be uplifting to her. I’m being tested at the moment for Ovarian cancer so I just pray if I receive those dreaded results I will respond as you have. You are so impressive, I am praying for you and know that the world is grateful that you’re blogging through this. You are shining light and hope onto an awful situation. I pray your story is one of victory and I’m so pleased to hear you’re already on it with your superfoods. You got this lovely xxx

    • / 7:15 pm

      Thank you so so much Alexandra, your lovely comment has made my day :) I’m so sorry to hear about your friend but just thrilled she is being positive and she WILL get through it. I’m praying your test results will come back completely clear and please let me know how you get on. I hope you’re having an amazing Christmas! x x x

  7. Kate Tunstall
    / 7:03 pm

    I just wanted to stop by to say how brave you are and how wonderful your post is. I understand why you wrote your disclaimer at the beginning, but I cannot imagine that anyone could possibly take offence to your words – I think it’s fantastic. Writing with humour about something so personal and so difficult shows grace, and is to be admired. I wish you the very best.

    • / 7:15 pm

      Thank you so much Kate I really appreciate that! :) Humour is definitely keeping me positive so far :) x

      • Kate Tunstall
        / 6:40 pm

        Good for you – I’m not sure I could be so strong and I massively admire you.

        Have a super dooper Christmas! Please excuse my ignorance, but can you still enjoy a drink? I sure hope so – I shall raise a glass to you on xmas day anyway. Lots of love to you and your family x

        • / 6:54 pm

          Thank you so much lovely! I can have a drink if I’m up to it but have few for me please :) have a wonderful and magical Christmas! x x

  8. Amy @ Mr and Mrs T Plus Three
    / 10:44 am

    Oh Mimsy, you are so amazing, incredible and utterly brave. I know you have written another post this week describing that you’ve had a little wobble but really my darling, the way you have handled this all is completely inspirational not only to those suffering but to those who are not. You’re tenacity and light will keep shining and you will come out the other side brighter than ever. I wish you were in the UK I would drive to you in an instant to give you a big hug but know I am sending you my love all the way to Australia. Love you loads, stay strong Mim, you’ve got this and thank you so much for linking up to #thelist x x x

    • / 7:16 pm

      Thank you lovely lady!! I can feel your hug so thank you :) :) x

  9. Suchitra @ for Mummy Baby
    / 6:51 am

    I can see humour and strength in your post! You’ve nailed the controversial headline! Good luck with your future!

    #The List 66

    • / 7:16 pm

      Ah thank you very much! x

  10. Hannah Budding Smiles
    / 8:30 am

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again that you are amazing! A family friend is also undergoing treatment for breast cancer and is approaching it with the same attitude as you are. I find it inspiring and I know that you’ll help so many people by being open about what you’re going through. Love and best wishes xxx

    • / 12:47 pm

      Thank you lovely lovely Hannah! I really hope so – I hope to help make it a little less scary – for me and anyone else :) x

  11. Keri Jones
    / 8:11 am

    Love this post. I also liked your reply to one lady where you said “…there are other things to be scared of, like spiders” had a chuckle at that :D x

    • / 12:47 pm

      Hee hee spiders terrify me!! x

  12. / 1:46 am

    I am sorry to read you are going through this but your positive approach to it all is so inspiring. This is a great post, who knew the 2 would be so similar? I hope all your treatment goes well and you are on the road to recovery soon xx #TheList

    • / 5:35 pm

      Thank you so so much Wendy! x

  13. Sara at Handy Herbs
    / 8:38 pm

    I am very sorry for what you are going through. You are being so brave and I love how you are dealing with the shit that it is. I am very inspired and admire your attitude. There are some very definite similarities with pregnancy! In particular I always said morning sickness (which I suffered from quite badly) was just like chemo sickness. I was diagnosed 2 years ago now and I fully appreciate what it is like. I am convinced that your positive attitude and humour will help you as much as the vile chemo! The only tiny bit of advice I can offer is that after chemo to alleviate the nausea a little, I found that eating small amounts often (especially ginger biscuits!) helped. Also, when the bone pain wasn’t at its worst – short walks and fresh air – even though at the time it was almost too much effort to do it, it did help. I don’t even know you but I know you will keep your amazing attitude and I wish you all the very best for a speedy recovery. If I can be of any help at all, just let me know! :) #TheList

    • / 11:14 pm

      Oh Sara thank you so much for your wonderful message and for the tips – it’s so appreciated as I start chemo next week. I have heard that chemo side effects are similar to pregnancy – so much to look forward to ha! x x

  14. Tracey Abrahams
    / 6:11 pm

    First thing I would like to say is your awesome. I tend to throw that word around a lot, but you really do deserve it. Cancer is shit scary, Ive watched family and friends go through it, and here you are tackling it with grace and humour. Your doing so much more than that too, your helping everybody who reads your posts by taking away some of their own fear about the big C.
    I hope with all of my being that you have a quick and positive end to this, much love, Tracey (the anxious Dragon) #thelist

    • / 7:49 pm

      Oh thank you Tracey! That really means so much to me :) I don’t want to be fearful so I’m not being – there are way too many other things to be scared of (like spiders). I do hope to be able to stay positive and I really feel so good about things right now. It’s crap, but it’s happening, so we’re getting on with it :) x

  15. Laura
    / 6:00 pm

    I’m so sorry for what your going through and I love the way you’re handling it as positively as you can. This was a great post. Thanks so much for sharing, wishing you all the best for your treatment x #thelist

    • / 7:50 pm

      Thank you so much for that, it really means such a lot! x

  16. Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks
    / 3:29 pm

    Mim, I love how you are tackling this, with humour and grace!

    The advice my friend told me with chemo was that everyone reacts differently and you don’t know how you’re going to react until you do it. Pretty much like pregnancy ;) and that diet is important. Lots of good superfoods even if you don’t feel like eating.

    • / 7:52 pm

      Thank you lovely lady! Ooh yes I am incorporating as many of those super foods into my diet now and it feels good to be doing something proactive! x

  17. Fatima @ Baby Toddler Me
    / 1:47 pm

    You are one inspiring lady, and I’ve said it before, I love your attitude! I will be praying for you and your family, and I look forward to learning more from you and encouraging you on your journey. You are changing lives, and helping so many people by sharing this. God bless you. x #thelist

    • / 7:54 pm

      Thank you so much again! That is just the loveliest thing to say and I really appreciate it – and your prayers too, thank you so much! x

  18. Katie Heels and Hooves
    / 8:21 am

    Mim, you are amazing. That is all xxxx

    • / 11:12 pm

      Oh thank you lady! x

  19. Morgan Prince
    / 1:49 am

    Sending healing thoughts and virtual hugs your way hun. The big C has just touched our family too (not me) and I know what you mean about the shock and having to let it sink in. It’s tough. It’s good to hear that you have loads of support and are finding new groups too. Wishing you a speedy recovery. xxx

    • / 11:12 pm

      Thank you so so much lovely! x

  20. Nicole Moore
    / 12:50 am

    I have had the pleasure of working with this incredible woman and while I only keep in touch now via FB (and now this Blog) – I still have a special place in my heart for Miss Mim as she is that type of person.

    Miss Mim, I am devastated to hear your news and, while I’m not surprised by your positive approach (because that is the amazing person you are), I am still so proud that you are using your new cancer power for such good.

    I know you will not only beat this, you will smash it on its ass!! I am a strong believer that while bad things happen, they happen for a reason and I am sure you have been one of the ‘chosen ones’ to take this journey because you will not only handle it – you will be an important vehicle to spread information, honesty, humour and ultimately victory to other sufferers of this hideous disease.

    I had a double mastectomy and reconstruction last year (along with a full hysterectomy) as preventative surgery so I know how brutal the surgery can be but I have no idea about the hard yards like chemo and radiation. You are one of the most inspiring and bright lights to have come into my life and I look forward to reading your ‘cancer free’ blogs in the near future.

    Sending you love and light Miss Mim. xx

    • / 11:11 pm

      Oh Nic I love you for your amazing words, thank you so so much. I had no idea what you went through and I’m in absolute awe of you. You’re amazing and what a strong example to Miss C who I’m sure was in the front of your mind through your surgeries. I’m going to email you now x x x

  21. Honest Mum
    / 8:17 pm

    Oh darling, I am so sorry you are going through this and wish you a speedy recovery. I love your attitude and humour is so important too, so many will gain strength and smile/laugh at this post. I am sorry friends abandoned you, I think others find it so hard sometimes to know what to say or do but it’s no excuse, this is the time you need your friends. On the plus side you gain so many and it’s times such as these we discover who real friends are. Lots of love xx

    • / 8:56 pm

      Thank you lovely and you’re so right! It’s crappy timing, well it would be for anyone, but hey, it’s happening so I’m getting on with it and seeing it on it’s merry way :) x x

  22. Robyn
    / 6:38 pm

    Wonderful post Mim, somehow you’ve simultaneously managed to paint the down sides of both pregnancy and cancer in a light-hearted light. And you’re spot on, they do both sound so similar. I’m so glad you feel so supported in real life and by your blogging community :)

    • / 7:07 pm

      Thank you so much Robyn! I’m so amazed by the support and feel so happy and privileged :) x

  23. Kayla
    / 11:25 am

    You’re one incredible woman! I don’t believe I could handle a cancer diagnosis in the manner that you have. My husband actually is in the Pharm.D. program and just recently had a job shadow in the oncology unit and he didn’t see any patients who approached it with positivity and hope like you are doing. He’s pursuing oncology pharmacy now and I truly hopes he meets at least one patient similar to you at some point in time. You’re very inspiring! Eager to read more from you!

    • / 12:57 pm

      You’re so lovely, thank you :) Ah I hope you never have to go through anything but I bet you’d surprise yourself – us parents are programmed to just get on with things sometimes :) x

  24. Rebecca U
    / 3:19 am

    This might sound odd, but this was really useful to read. I haven’t known anyone close to me to have cancer, friend or relative, but I’m sure one day I will. This post is useful to know what to say and what to avoid saying. And to just say nothing isn’t right either. Wishing you much luck and love on this journey. Laughter is definitely the best medicine x

    • / 12:58 pm

      I’m so glad you thought that – that it definitely one of my aims in sharing what’s happening :) x

  25. Taughtovertea
    / 12:53 am

    …. I have tonnes of thoughts that I want to say to you but not so sure of where to start.
    First of all I love you!! You are going through my absolute biggest fear and look at what you are pulling from it! Humour, love, strength and community. Welcome sister! God damn fucking well done!!
    Second of all, I know your brain is probably in overdrive, and your heart skips a beat when you ‘seriously’ think about it. But know that millions of people are surviving every day from this vile disease… I know, stats aren’t that helpful (they certainly don’t stop me from worrying) but they have got to have something in them right??
    And in a really selfish way, number three is Thankyou… I have a phobia of this kind of diagnosis, and I think it’s because I’m so use to only ever seeing the bad but this, your attitude, your humour, your level of acceptance has made me breathe a bit… Thank you.

    I can’t wait to read another post. I hope that you sincerely are okay XX lots of healing love xx x

    • / 1:10 pm

      Oh thank you so so much – I love your comment!! I’m so happy that I’ve helped to ‘normalise’ this for you – as I have for myself. It’s a crap thing to go through, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but it’s happening and the only way I know how to deal with it is to just get on with things, stay upbeat and have a giggle as much as I can. I know it’s going to get tougher along the way but I hope to continue to stay as positive as I can all through. It’s a scary diagnosis and one I feared, like you. You just don’t think it will happen to you but sometimes these things do. Do regular checks, stay as healthy as you can, that’s the most proactive thing we can all do :) x

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I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land I work and live on, the Awabakal peoples, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.
I thank them wholeheartedly and express my love and gratitude for the privilege to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world and for the opportunity for my family to be part of this vibrant and supportive community.