Julia Bradbury: Telling my kids I have breast cancer was the hardest part

Broadcaster Julia Bradbury said telling her children about her breast cancer diagnosis was the “hardest” thing she’s ever had to do.

The TV presenter, 51, underwent a mastectomy in October, removing her breast and two lymph glands before reconstruction took place.

Bradbury opened up about her emotional experience of being diagnosed and undergoing treatment while on ITV’s This Morning, bringing presenter Holly Willoughby to tears.

The former Countryfile star recalled the difficulty of telling her three children, Zephyrus, 10, and seven-year-old twins, Xanthe and Zena, about her breast cancer.

She said: “Telling your kids you have cancer is the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do in your life.

“They also don’t know how much you tell them to be realistic and how much you need to protect them. It’s a very tricky balance. I don’t think parents really know what to do.”

Bradbury added, “One of my kids said ‘Can I still hug you’ and the other said ‘Is it contagious?’ I never thought about either of those two things.

“You just don’t know what’s going through their heads. You’re doing your best, but it’s very difficult to navigate.”

The presenter also admitted she didn’t tell her mother about her diagnosis until she knew her treatment plans as she knew she would be concerned.

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TV presenter Holly Willoughby got emotional while watching a clip from Bradbury’s new documentary about her cancer experience (Ian West/PA)

Bradbury has discussed her experience in a new ITV documentary Julia Bradbury: Breast Cancer and Me, which airs Thursday at 9pm.

The morning talk show played a clip from the documentary of Bradbury talking to her children about her breasts, which caused Willoughby to burst into tears and say: “That got me.”

Adding that her children were “amazing” throughout the process, Bradbury said: “They’ve made friends with my new breast!

“You say, ‘Mom, it doesn’t feel like it,’ and I say, ‘No, it doesn’t, but I’m here and that’s what it did.'”

She explained that she wanted to do the program because from the moment she discovered a lump on her breast, she was honest about her journey.

“My mum had cancer, my dad had cancer so throughout my career I’ve been an ambassador for several cancer charities and ironically I’m an ovarian cancer ambassador in the UK,” she said.

Bradbury noted that documenting her experience felt like a “natural progression” as she educated her followers about mammograms and encouraged other women to trust their instincts and see a doctor if they find anything.

She added: “I didn’t want to suddenly disappear off the face of the earth and talk about what happened with the lump and the mammograms.

“I know the openness makes people feel like I’m with them on some of their journeys and it has broken some of the stigma about breast cancer and talking about it and the impact it has on everyone in your life . ”

This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV and the ITV Hub

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/julia-bradbury-telling-my-children-i-had-breast-cancer-was-the-hardest-thing-41597598.html Julia Bradbury: Telling my kids I have breast cancer was the hardest part

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