One night, while Natalie Whiteside was pregnant with her second daughter, things went terribly wrong.
She woke up sweating and in pain in the middle of the night after suffering a seizure. “I got out of bed and fell to my hands and knees,” she remembers, “it felt like I’d run a marathon. I bit through my own tongue.” Her sister rushed Whiteside to the hospital to find out what was wrong.
She was having trouble speaking, and scans of her brain quickly revealed what was causing the trouble. Whiteside had a tumor in her brain, but not just a small, harmless growth. It was Glioblastoma, the most severe and deadly kind of brain tumor. Doctors guessed she had just 5 years to live.
Like any woman facing down this diagnosis, Whiteside was forced to think about her life and the choices she had made. She was a successful businesswoman, but it dawned on her that she had been putting her professional life before her kids for years.
“I was under too much stress and pressure,” she remembers. “I pushed myself too hard. I wasn’t looking after myself. I used to be harsh. You could catch me at the office until 2a.m. […] Now I understand it’s much better to get things out, to share, to let it out, to let people help you and support you.”
But while we can all agree it’s important to spend time with your kids, another choice Whiteside made has proved to be controversial: she ditched her husband for another man.