TV presenter Julia Bradbury has revealed that she decided not to talk about ‘death’ with her three young children after telling them she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Julia, 51, announced she had been diagnosed with breast cancer last September, explaining that she would be undergoing a mastectomy to remove a six-centimetre tumour.
She’s been keeping fans updated ever since, and has received wide praise for her recent documentary which showed her journey living with breast cancer – broadcast on ITV last week.
The former Countryfile host appeared on Loose Women on Wednesday lunchtime to share her feelings on the response with the panel.
This time, she opened up about the early decision she made to tell her children about her illness, and admitted they never spoke ‘about death’ amid her treatment.
When asked by show anchor Jane Moore whether she’d been given any advice on ‘how to tell’ her children, she admitted: ‘Not until afterwards, actually.
‘There’s another incredible charity called the Fruit Fly Collective that does that, you can go as a family and they try to explain to children what cancer is like,’ she shared.
‘They had a toothpaste tube that was so heavy when you lifted it, they were trying to show children and other family members that even the simplest tasks – like brushing your teeth – feels really hard,’ Julia added.
‘The two things i didn’t think about – we did our best – i’ve got two twin girls who are seven and a boy who’s 10, we made a conscious decision to use the word cancer.
‘But we didn’t talk about death, we talked about treatment and possibilities and that I was going to go through a difficult time and that they’d need to be careful and sensitive,’ she explained.
It came moments after she was probed on whether she ever thought about keeping the diagnosis from her three kids.
She told the panel: ‘I thought that was an impossibility, I thought they would find out, because I had to cancel work too.
‘I knew it would come out, the worst thing again is if your kids hear about it at school through somebody else.’
Last week’s moving documentary showed Julia reunite with her children for the first time after she underwent a mastectomy last autumn.
‘We didn’t video call while I was in the hospital because I didn’t want to scare them,’ she explained.
She was then embraced by her two twin girls in a very emotional moment – but their faces were not visible.
The TV star has three children with husband Gerard Cunningham – Zephyr, Xanthe, and Zena.
Loose Women airs weekdays from 12.30pm on ITV.