Mother-of-three Emma Harris from Diss to celebrate special cancer-free Christmas
- Credit: Mark Bullimore/Mark Bullimore Photography
The festive season is always a special time of year but for mother-of-three Emma Harris this Christmas will have more significance.
The 23-year-old, from Diss, will celebrate being in full health for the first Christmas in two years after beating cancer.
On Christmas Eve in 2014, Miss Harris found a lump the size of a cricket ball spreading from her shoulder to the bottom of her neck.
To make matters worse, at the time she was six-months pregnant and already had three-year-old twins Jack and Evie.
Instead of a day of celebration and fun, Miss Harris spent Christmas crying on her mum's sofa and she and her partner Mark Corbyn did not find out about her Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis until the end of January.
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She said: 'I think the worst thing was going home after the check-up. I think you just know what it was going to be. I was pregnant and I thought about what could happen to my baby.'
Miss Harris had to have her daughter Maddie, now 22 months-old, via caesarean at 34 weeks after it was found her cancer had spread to her chest.
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She started chemotherapy a week later while Maddie spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Miss Harris, who works at the Norfolk Feather Company in Diss, said: 'It was really awful. I would watch over my little girl in the incubator. I felt like I had let her down and I felt guilty.'
Although she finished her cancer treatment in August 2015, the effects of the medication meant she did not feel herself or happy last Christmas. But is ready to make this Christmas 'the best one'.
'We will be seeing as many people as we can this year,' she said. 'The kids are going to get so many presents. I feel happy this year. It all feels like it was a different life.'