Neuroscientist and professor Dr. Nadia Chaudhri’s battle with Stage 3 ovarian cancer was widely praised on Twitter after she made the difficult decision to tell her 6-year-old son that she was dying from cancer. Chaudhri had undergone a hysterectomy and multiple rounds of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, but unfortunately, the cancer returned and it was terminal.
“‘There is not a piece of you that was not once a part of me’, the Mother said. If you ever feel alone, run your finger over skin, squeeze to feel bone; I am there, I am there.” I found this beautiful poem by cultofyouth. I hope it brings you even a second of peace.— Live Tweeting BIP Is My Hobby (@Hialeahbaby) May 14, 2021
“Once ovarian cancer returns, it’s considered a terminal diagnosis,” Chaudhri reported to Good Morning America. “There is no treatment. You’re just buying time.”
After learning of the terminal diagnosis, Chaudhri’s first thoughts were of her son. She decided to be honest with him about her condition. “My husband and I made the decision that we needed to tell our son what is going on because all the treatments are failing me,” said Chaudhri.
Our hearts broke. We cried a lot. And then the healing began. My son is brave. He is bright. He will be okay. And I will watch him grow from wherever I am. Today was the hardest day of my life. Thank you for all for your love. pic.twitter.com/sCZFW9d8T5— Dr. Nadia Chaudhri (@DrNadiaChaudhri) May 11, 2021
She turned to Twitter to express her emotions, writing, “Today is the day I tell my son that I’m dying from cancer. Let all my tears flow now so that I can be brave this afternoon. Let me howl with grief now so that I can comfort him.” Her post received thousands of heartwarming messages and laudations for having the conversation.
With the help of a close friend who is also a psychologist, Chaudhri found the best way to deliver the heartbreaking news to her son. “One of the things my son said was, ‘I wish I didn’t know. I wish you hadn’t told me,'” said Chaudhri. “We said, ‘We have to tell you because you’re part of the family and we didn’t want you to have a bad surprise.
I am flooding my Sun with presents. Anything that will remind him of Mama. Today as he left the hospital he said ‘see you tomorrow, although you might also be dead.’ That hurt until I realized he knew I wasn’t coming home from this hospital visit. pic.twitter.com/jP4QKTN1vV— Dr. Nadia Chaudhri (@DrNadiaChaudhri) September 16, 2021
We wanted to give you the chance to ask your questions and talk about it and feel things with us, as a family.'” Chaudhri added that she was glad to have done it and said her son had understood what it meant.
Tell him all of your favorite things! When my mother passed away recently. I forgot to ask her what was her favorite color? I had an idea but didn’t come from her. I wish I would have asked her that simple question. Sobbing as type this. 😭— By Design ☕ (@PardonMePleez) May 12, 2021
Chaudhri also helped others prepare for the moment, hoping to help them come to a place of acceptance rather than shock when it happens. She has also started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to allow young scientists to continue the research she was doing on drug addiction.
The campaign has raised over $217,000. Chaudhri’s emotional post serves as a reminder to hold our loved ones close and tell them what they mean to us. Nadia Chaudhri passed away on October 5, 2021, more than a year after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.