It's almost unthinkable for one family to learn of two cancer diagnoses just weeks apart.

As mom Laura and her two-year-old daughter Leah move forward in treatment, the Connors family faces the unknown not with bitterness, but with love and a lot of gratitude.

Life was moving along at a normal pace for the Connors family in Upper Sackville, N.S.

"I would describe my family as pretty typical," said Laura Connors.

Until the end of October, when Laura and her husband Derrick found a strange rash on their daughter's arm.

"I took her to IWK emerg, and within a couple of hours the emergency physician was discussing a diagnosis of leukemia," Connors said. "Our world just came to a stop. Our lives just changed overnight."

The Connors family's world was thrown upside down as Leah began a 35-day stay at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax. 

Then came another troubling discovery.

"During that process, I was still breastfeeding her and I noticed some concerning changes that I was encouraged to have examined, and two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with a quite aggressive form of breast cancer," Connors said.

At just 36, and still grieving her toddler's diagnosis, it was another shock.

"I think a close family friend really summed it up well when he said this is where they send the script back for re-writes because it's just too unbelievable," Connors said.

Laura says she and Derrick switched into action mode as quickly as possible, planning out what the family will need in the months to come and communicating with their son Jackson so he can make sense of the changes happening around him.

"Our little guy is five," Connors said. "He's very sweet. He's a big feeler. He's a pretty sensitive guy and he's fiercely protective and loving and close to his baby sister."

She says one of the biggest changes in their lives in just the sheer logistics of managing all of their medical appointments.

Leah is still in treatment and Laura started chemotherapy on New Year's Eve.

"And for my husband, there's a really challenging layer where he actually lost his baby sister to a heart defect when he was the same age as our son is now," Connors said.

But one of the things keeping the Connors grounded is having young children.

"They have a great way of keeping you present and to stop you from worrying about tomorrow," Connors said.

She says they've also been overwhelmed by the amount of positive support.

"The encouragement, the prayers, the food being dropped off," she said.

The Connors are also grateful for the care Leah has received at the IWK -- from the nurses and doctors to the support staff who helped the toddler understand what's happening to her.

"I've always thought that bravery or courage is the answer to fear and what's stood out to me in the journey so far is love as the antidote to fear," Connors sad. "And as our family armies up for the biggest fight of our lives we are being surrounded by love and that will carry us through."

Both Laura and Derrick have had to step away from their jobs to take care of themselves and their family.

One of Laura's good friends, Jennifer Pallian, has set up a GoFundMe for the family.