"I think the thing I found most difficult was growing up for 11 years knowing that one day my mum was going to die. I know this has probably crossed everyone's mind at some point but between the ages of 7 to 18, this was always a very real possibility for me, at some times more than others.
My mum and I were the absolute best of friends and to see someone go through that changes you. We always put on a brave face and yes most of the time we could live like normal people and do normal fun stuff but the loom of cancer always hung over us.
It makes me sad to not be able to remember what my mum was like before she got brain cancer. Now as it's coming up to 3 years since she died, the sound of her voice and the way she smelt are slowly drifting from my memories.
When mum became really ill towards the end, I acted as mum, daughter, friend, and pupil as I was sitting my A-levels at the time, trying to get into university!
Luckily I had an amazing support unit of friends, teachers and close family who all sort of grouped together to help get me through. Our Macmillan nurse was also a life saver and a complete straight talker about what was to come. I was never one to want things 'sugar-coated', despite being so young and have always wanted to be told straight.
I think having so long to prepare for what was to come, helped me process and cope with it when it happened. But the most important thing is to talk - Talk about anything and everything. It really does help and that's what friends and family are there for I suppose.
As I get older it has started to dawn on me that my mum won't see me graduate, get married or meet her grandchildren, but I know she'd be proud of the young woman I have become and that I am making the best out of the life she has given me.
People say it gets easier, I don't think it does, but you just gradually find ways of dealing with it and finding ways to make them proud and keep their memory alive."
(Rosie, 21, Suffolk)
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