I contacted Hope for Two back in November of 2015 about finding a support person to talk to through my cancer journey. At that time I was given an amazing support person that shared her story and advice with me which gave me confidence moving forward in treatment during my pregnancy. Now I want to share my story in hopes to inspire and comfort others that are going through the same thing.
My cancer story actually began one year prior to being diagnosed when I found a lump. I was told it was a cyst and they would monitor it periodically for one year. At the first follow up it did not grow. At the second follow up it was 4mm bigger. The doctor told me that it was most likely still a cyst, but I could have it biopsied if I wanted. I chose to have it biopsied because I thought I may be pregnant and I wanted to make sure it was not cancer. But in November of 2015 I received a phone call that I could never imagine. I was told I had breast cancer. At that time my husband and I were trying to have another baby (we currently have an older son). So I requested a blood pregnancy test to make sure I was not pregnant in order to schedule an MRI. The result: I was four weeks pregnant with our second baby.
I immediately contacted a local well known breast cancer center and was set up with a surgeon to discuss options. I was beyond happy to hear that although abortion was an option, she was confident that I could be treated while being pregnant. After making sure my life was not at risk, I chose to be treated during pregnancy. I received a lumpectomy in January 2016 which showed my breast cancer to be stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma. The pathology from my lumpectomy also showed it to be triple negative. But the good news-my lymph node biopsy was clear. After surgery I received 8 rounds of chemotherapy which finished at the end of May. I then delivered a beautiful baby boy at 39 weeks in July of 2016. Alexander Heath was 6 pounds 14 ounces and perfectly healthy. He is now smiling, and growing like a weed!
Since I was only 33 at the time, soon after my diagnosis I was genetically tested, and was found to be positive for the BRCA1 gene. This was also very shocking as I have very little family history of breast or ovarian cancer. Because of this gene I plan to have a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy in the near future in hopes to prevent any cancer from returning. Although I wish I didn’t have to go through this during pregnancy, we’re so thankful to have Alex. If I wasn’t pregnant at the time, I may have never had the second child we’ve been wanting because of the possible fertility side effects of chemotherapy.