Mother’s Day a precious gift
It is an unfortunate reality that cancer leaves few families untouched, but in many cases mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters beat the affliction thanks to family members pulling together and facing the challenge head-on.
For Beacon Bay mother-of-two Tanya Schröpfer, who will be doted on by her husband and two daughters this Mother’s Day on Sunday, overcoming the disease while raising two young children was always going to be a daunting prospect.
But the 42-year-old derived meaning from her breast cancer diagnosis in April 2014, and from that moment chose to live every moment like there was no tomorrow.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer could well be the worst thing to happen in one’s life, but for Schröpfer the news brought a new meaning to life and a change in perspective.
“My kids were very young when I was sick. It was very hard being a mom because I was thinking about my children all the time. Even though their dad (Vaughn) and family members were there, I was worried about how I was going to provide for them while being sick,” she said.
“But everything comes together in the end. Even though we worry about our kids, we get that strength to pull through because that is what keeps us going when we are going through treatment.”
She said her family and two girls were her pillars of strength during her healing process. “I did the full treatment, chemo and radiation. Even though it was very hard, I made sure I was there for my kids. Even though they knew mommy was sick, they knew I would be there to support them.
“As much as it was a bad thing in my life, it was also a good thing because now I get to encourage a lot of parents and moms, telling them they should never give up, no matter what stage of cancer it is. They must never give up because they have their kids to live for.”
The strong-willed mother is also the first person in her family to beat the disease.
“Breast cancer is in our family. I am the fourth out of four women, and all the other three died. It is amazing how people stand together. I know of a lot of moms out there who are going through the same thing I went through five years ago and some unfortunately did not recover.
“We need to stand together because that is what gives us a positive mindset to get through the treatment. It is not the end of life – it’s just a bump in the road.”
To other mothers battling with illness, Schröpfer said: “Mothers need to love and look after their kids.”
Daughter Katelyn, 11, heaped praise on her mother.
“My mom is the best and she has overcome a lot. She told us about cancer and it’s scary but she always tells us not to stress because stress is not good.”
Kirsten, 7, said, “Mommy is a super hero! I love it when she helps me and she says we must watch what we eat, that we must exercise and stay focused.”..