WINDHAM, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — When Erica Croxford of Windham was diagnosed with breast cancer, her first thought was for her two-year-old daughter, MacKenzie. She was very worried that the illness would take away her ability to be a good parent.

Erica's daughter explores her mom's newly bald head. 

When Erica shared her fear with her oncologist, she says she got one of the best pieces of advice she has ever received: "be present".

“Kids need their moms,” Croxford says, “So it didn’t matter to me, or to her, if I didn’t feel well or not. I just tried to not let her see that I didn’t feel well. I just tried to take every moment, whether it was a game or playing outside if I had the energy, and just really have time with her.”

Erica tells NEWS CENTER’s Sharon Rose Vaznis how she put that advice into practice.

Erica says those two simple words 'be present' helped her everyday to stay focused on what was really important and to spend meaningful time with her daughter.

When Erica shared her fear with her oncologist, she says she got one of the best pieces of advice she has ever received: "be present" .

Although her daughter was young, Erica says she knew that something was going on with her mom and MacKenzie would mention things when mommy's body would be healthy again.

Erica says her daughter gave her the fighting power she needed to beat breast cancer and remembering to be present helped her stay focused.