A New Meaning to Being a Mom: Cancer Mom Nikki

[Presented by Atrium Health Levine Children’s

Being a mom with a child who has cancer changes you.  Being a mom who treats those children with cancer changes you too.  Follow along Mother’s Day week as we hear from some of our Levine Children’s cancer moms and their oncology care providers, who are moms as well. Listen to what Mother’s Day means to them.  And how living through a pandemic impacts momlife.

  • Mom: Nikki Byars
  • Mom To:  Landon (8-years old),
  • Astrocytoma, Stage 3
  • Diagnosed: 7 years old, 2019
  • Status: In treatment
  • Updates:  Team Landon – Landon Strong

What does Mother’s Day mean to you?

Mother’s Day, before Landon’s diagnosis, was always my “Don’t bother mommy day” lol. It was the one day where Mommy didn’t have to make snacks, wash clothes or clean up, after my tiny human. This was my first Mother’s day, after diagnosis and my perspective has completely changed. Instead of a day of nothing, I want a day, without the word “Cancer” ruling our every move. I would love nothing more, than to spend the day doing everything that Landon has missed out on. From going to Dave N Busters to outdoor water balloon fights, Cancer has taken away so much from him, and well from me too.

How has the current pandemic impacted you being a mom?

We moved to Charlotte last June to start Landon’s treatment journey. All of our family and support system is in Charleston, SC, our hometown. The biggest impact it has had on Landon and I is being separated from our Village. We have been in complete isolation, since March 13th, without any visitors from his dad, grandparents, friends, etc. That has been very difficult for both of us. We miss everyone so much and can’t wait to escape this apartment.

What about this time has inspired you?

The past year has taught me to not take any day for granted, especially with this Coronavirus going around. One of the biggest worries for the families of these warriors, is that we never know how much time we have. Anything can change instantly, for good or bad. Then, you throw in this virus that threatens their lives even more and it is truly terrifying. It has given me a different outlook on our everyday life. I no longer complain about cleaning up after him or having to give him a snack for the 80th time that day. I am so happy that I get to clean up his toys, because he is having a great day and actually wants to play. I look forward to every time he wants a snack, because he is ACTUALLY hungry and that is a rare occurrence.

Featured Moms this week:

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**Disclaimer:  photos featured were taken before masking and social distancing guidelines were in place.