Norwich mother speaks out to highlight heartbreaking effect of Christmas with cancer
- Credit: Macmillan Cancer Support
A Norwich mother missed out on taking their children to see Santa as she was having one of her breasts removed instead.
Charlotte-Louise Crowe, 30, has told of the heartbreaking Christmas two years ago to highlight the struggle of having cancer over the festive period.
Mrs Crowe, who lives in Randolf Road and is a self-employed poet, was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2015.
The mother-of-two said: 'I had my single mastectomy booked in for the week before Christmas and stayed with my parents for a few days to aid my recovery, as my kids are a bundle of energy.
'That meant I couldn't take my kids to see Santa or go to any festive events.
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'I was really upset that I missed out on the Christmas festivities – it's my favourite time of year.
'Knowing that I wouldn't be able to do anything Christmassy with my kids was more devastating than losing my breast.'
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New research from charity Macmillan Cancer Support found almost one in five parents - around 357,000 people - have struggled at Christmas in the last five years because they have cancer.
Many are too unwell to enjoy time with their family, while others struggle with the emotional impact of the disease and unable to cope.
Others need to conserve their energy to travel to hospital for vital treatment.
The charity predicts that factors such as a stretched NHS, inflation and welfare reform, could mean the number of parents with cancer who struggle this Christmas will be even greater.
Lynda Thomas, chief executive at Macmillan, added: 'It is heart-breaking that parents who have cancer can't enjoy Christmas with their children because of their diagnosis.
'Most of us take festive celebrations for granted, yet some who have cancer and really need the respite, won't be able to afford it.
'I want those struggling to know that Macmillan is here for people living with cancer and their families during the festive season and all year round.'
Every year, more than 5,700 people in Norfolk find out they have cancer.
There are at least 30,700 people living with cancer in Norfolk, and this could increase to an estimated 59,700 by 2030.
For information and support visit www.macmillan.org.uk/christmaswithcancer