14/08/2014 16:50 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Cancer Mum Was So Radioactive She Couldn't Cuddle Her Children

Cancer mum was so radioactive she couldn't cuddle kids

When mum Emma Day was battling cancer, the one thing she needed was a cuddle from her children – but she was banned from that simple pleasure for three hellishly long weeks.

Emma, 27, was given strict instructions to stay two metres from anyone after she underwent a pioneering programme of treatment for thyroid cancer which left her emitting harmful rays.

She was initially hospitalised in an isolation ward but doctors allowed her to return home - as long as she did not go near her six-year-old daughter or one-year-old twins.

When she was finally given the all-clear, Emma's first action was to give her kids the mother of all cuddles!

Emma, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, told her local paper: "It was amazing just being able to hug my children again. The week before had been really difficult.

"I was really surprised when the doctors told me I had the all-clear, and I certainly didn't expect it to happen that quickly. They were a bit surprised themselves.

"I was really struggling with not being able to be near my children, and it was really emotional especially when the children were crying and I couldn't go to them."

Emma was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer in January this year after seeing a doctor for a lump in her throat. It is the second time she has battled cancer, after defeating leukaemia as a child.

For her particular type of cancer, some patients receive radioactive iodine treatment – a form of internal radiotherapy.

The treatment involves a radioactive form of the element called iodine 131, administered as a drink or capsule, which circulates throughout the body in the bloodstream.

Thyroid cancer cells pick up the iodine wherever they are in the body, and the radiation kills them. Other cells are left unaffected, because only thyroid cells take up the iodine.

She was initially so radioactive anything she touched inside had to be thrown away and she had only a phone for company.

She was allowed home three weeks ago, but was forced to watch from a distance as her children played and were looked after by her family.

Emma will have a scan in six months to see whether she will have to undergo the treatment again, but for now she is determined to make the most of being close to her family.