My story is slightly unusual in some aspects....some not. 1 in 1000 pregnancies are complicated by some form of cancer. 1 in 8 (when I was diagnosed, now 1 in 7) women will have breast cancer. 1 in 3 pregnancies will end in a miscarriage. Am I lucky, or what?!
Family: My mother had DCIS, stage 0, 7-8 years ago. My father had suffered from prostate cancer for 15 years before succumbing to the cancer in 2006. They are now saying his cancer was related to him being in Vietnam around the time of my birth. One sibling, 6 yrs senior in age, 10+ yrs junior in behaviour (but that's another story).
My husband and I married in '93, started trying for our babies after 6 yrs and completing our house. It took us nearly 3 yrs to admit defeat and see an RE. We were told having a baby without some help was impossible (multiple fertility issues). After one miscarriage, 8 IUIs, and 2 surgeries, we finally conceived and delivered Kathryn. I was 35. She was a breast fed baby.
Around 6 months after her birth, while breastfeeding, I found a lump that was not mastitis. Had it checked, rechecked...mammogram and ultrasound in June/July of 2005...lactating adenoma, return 3 months.
Went to visit RE in late July 05 to get the "plan" for baby #2 to be. Not 3 weeks later, called their office to inform them that miracle of miracles, I was pregnant. How'd that happen? Went right in for my bloodwork, still the same issues with Kathryn...40 nights of progesterone shots, again! Ugh. Take one of those in the buttocks while in the hospital recovering from a mastectomy!!!
Scheduled visit with surgeon just before Labor Day (ok, I put it off a month!). Informed him we were pregnant, he wants to do a biopsy immediately, if not sooner, me...not so happy about that..went to ask ALL my docs OB/RE/GP. Finally did the biopsy a week later, and then ticked him off again by waiting 3 more days than he wanted to get the results (family plans).
Found out it was probably a large Stage II, Nottingham 9, very aggressive, ER+, HER2-. Scheduled mastectomy (only recourse I had since I was 8 weeks pregnant and very happy to stay that way) for Sept 19th (day after hubby's bday). Cancer upgraded to a stage III due to size with 1 lymph node positive.
Got call from onc stating surgeon wanted me to have an abortion so I could start chemo early. Cried my heart out that he could suggest that knowing what we had gone through to be where we were. Began chemo at week 13, with OB's approval. Said a tearful farewell to RE and his office (lovely folks).
Did 4 rounds A/C during my second trimester. My father passed away from advanced prostate cancer Jan 20th of 2006, just 2 months before Lauren was scheduled to be delivered at 33 wks 5 days.
10 days after my c-section and Lauren FINALLY got to come home (she had a sucking/eating issue, in NICU for 8 days)....started Taxol and found out that I was allergic. 2 days later started Abraxane. Wonderful drug, no pre-meds, takes 30 minutes to administer, very little side-effects. Last dose was on 6/6/6. That was a good day.
Radiation followed (that was fairly easy and rather uneventful). Oh, and I changed surgeons as soon as I could. Got a wonderful team at UAB who are now taking good care of me.
Finally got my new breast May 2007 from Dr Fix at UAB. Love his name. He did good. After seeing mom's failed TRAM, I was really worried over this surgery. Turns out, mine was picture perfect. Thank the good Lord!
So far, still have no indications of the cancer's return. UAB knows there stuff, so I anticipate that any future worries will be handled forthwith.
Can't have any more babies the natural way, but that's ok. I've almost learned to deal with that. I just now want to make sure I'm around to see my babies have babies.
There are many details to this story that looking back were the hand of God guiding this entire process. It amazes me still how all this managed to just "happen" as it did with the outcome I had. Makes me thankful.
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