How a Mother with Stage 4 Cancer Celebrates Mother's Day

Experiencing any occasion through my children's eyes is a gift.

Mom with kids running through fountain

Special occasions and holidays have brought me so much more joy since my breast cancer progressed to stage 4 last year, but at the same time, they’ve been harder. Whenever something happy comes my way, it’s also very sad. Every time I’m up because of something to celebrate, I also get low. I experience double the emotions because the absence of unlimited time has created more pressure to make the most of everything and do as much as I can while I still can. 

My kids absolutely love special occasions. To them, any excuse to make a regular day the best day ever is what life's all about! Why wouldn’t anyone want a reason to have extra time off school - or see friends and family - or have cake?! 

Experiencing any occasion through their eyes is a gift. It helps us adults step back, look at things a little differently, and realize what’s important. It allows us to be more present and fully experience what life is all about. 

My gratitude to be able to have these experiences with my kids is immense. And my sadness comes from a place of fear that one day I won’t be around to experience it with them. Depending on the day, sometimes I’m able to push past those thoughts fairly quickly, but other times I can’t help but spiral into all of the questions. 

How many more of these special occasions will I get?
What if I’m in treatment next time?
Why does this have to happen to them?
Will they be mad if they think I knew all along?

Mother’s Day is particularly special because my kids love me fiercely. I tell them all the time that because I am their mother there’s no chance anyone loves them more than I do - and they love to fight with me about how they love me more than I love them. 

But like I said, no chance. It’s a cute game, and I know I need to enjoy the fun while it lasts because one day they’ll be older and it won’t be so cool to love your mom out loud like that anymore

On the other hand, I know that Mother's Day will be really difficult for them one day. It’ll be the day that’ll hurt a little more when the whole world talks about how much they love and appreciate their moms. I’m sure they’ll celebrate in some way, but not with me. 

All we can do right now is focus on being grateful that this year Mother’s Day will be a really great day! I’ll pretend I totally forgot about it… and I can’t wait to ‘sleep’ through the noise of them making a mess in the kitchen for my special breakfast. I look forward to acting like I had no idea the craft mess in their bedrooms was the remnants of a beautiful card they made me. And when they tell me they have special plans for me… I’ll bask in the joy of doing their favourite activities. Of course, I want to play BeyBlades! Yes - Mousetrap is a great game! Movie? SuperPets it is. 

It’s all exactly what I ever wanted. 


Lindsy's story and perspective were recently shared at Speaker Slam, North America's largest inspirational speaking competition, where she received the top prize. Lindsy is officially heading to the Grand Slam: Inspirational Speaking Finals to face off against the best speakers of the year for the title of Inspirational Speaker of the Year in November. 

Her speech left the audience in awe, and we believe that her message is especially important at a time when many are facing difficult circumstances due to the ongoing pandemic.


Lindsy Matthews is a Master Life Coach, fitness entrepreneur, and author based in Canada. She is a wife and mother navigating life with autoimmune disease and stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Despite her health challenges, Lindsey maintains a positive mindset and resilience, and her purpose is to help others overcome their own health obstacles. She strongly believes in the power of the mind-body connection achieved through an active life and meditation. Lindsey shares her perspective and expertise through her blog and Instagram handle, @lindsymatthews