Teddi Mellencamp learned there’s power in being open and honest with her kids, especially when it comes to the many emotions she’s had as a melanoma survivor.
For Teddi Mellencamp, cancer has taught her to be more than skin deep.
Especially when it comes to reliving her stage 2 melanoma journey with her and husband Edwin Arroyave’s kids Slate, 10, Cruz, 8, Doze, 2, and stepdaughter Isabella, 14.
“There was one day I was feeling down and I said to them, ‘Because of mommy’s boo-boos and what happened, I’m not feeling like myself,'” the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum, who has had 11 spot removals since last October, recalled in an exclusive interview with E! News. “‘And I want you guys to know I’m OK. I love you so much. But if I don’t seem like myself, it’s nothing you’ve done. It’s how I, personally, am doing and feeling and I just want you guys to know that.'”
Being vulnerable with her kids has created a safe space for the family as a whole
“Most of my life, I’ve always put on a brave face and tried to hide my emotions,” Teddi, who partnered with the Melanoma Research Foundation for its Get Naked campaign, shared. “But the more I share and open up to them, the more they share with me. They’ve taught me that. And it makes you build that level of mom trusts us to share her good and bad days, we want to do the same.”
And while Teddi doesn’t express everything to her little ones, she does realize that everyone can benefit from speaking about their health and well-being.
“If you’re having a day and you can’t fake it, don’t,” Teddi told E!. “Let yourself feel the emotions. I had one day where I cried, and I went through all the hypotheticals—the good, the bad, the ugly—and sat there with my feelings and wrote them down. And then, I was like, I can do this.”
When she tried masking her emotions, it only made her feel worse. “You see how many people are affected by things after you talk about it,” the 41-year-old, who has check-ins with her doctors every three months, shared. “But if you’ve never talked about it, you’re just dealing with it yourself and it can feel really lonely
And while it can be terrifying to put yourself out there, the Two T’s in a Pod podcast host knows that giving insight into her journey can help others.
“It can be scary,” she said, “but nothing’s as scary as a deadly disease that you don’t take action on.”