I’ll always remember the day I came upon I had breast most cancers. It was the primary week of October 2022 — the very starting of Breast Most cancers Consciousness Month.
I’d simply realized that I used to be roughly six weeks pregnant with my second little one in September. So, I solely bought to savor that information and be actually enthusiastic about it for a few weeks.
Happily, I went to MD Anderson for my breast most cancers remedy. Because of them, my second son was born completely wholesome on Might 23, 2023. And, I’m on my technique to being cancer-free.
Instilling confidence from the very starting
On the time of my prognosis final yr, my husband and I had been already within the strategy of transferring from Phoenix to San Antonio to be nearer to our households. However I had lived in Houston for 5 years earlier than that, and I used to be born and raised in Texas. So, I knew all about MD Anderson’s popularity because the nation’s No. 1 most cancers hospital.
Folks come from everywhere in the globe to be handled at MD Anderson. Now, I do know why.
From the minute my physician in Arizona referred me, I’ve acquired world-class service. I may really feel the distinction throughout my very first telephone name. The consumption specialist taking my name was extraordinarily encouraging — and he was simply processing my insurance coverage info!
My nurse navigator, Sarah Roder, was additionally extremely supportive. She gave me some nice assets throughout our very first assembly that I discovered extraordinarily useful. So, I felt assured I might be in good arms.
Experience in treating most cancers throughout being pregnant reassured me
At MD Anderson, I met first with Dr. Oluchi Oke, who makes a speciality of treating pregnant breast most cancers sufferers. She confirmed the prognosis of stage I invasive ductal carcinoma in my left breast. Then, she really helpful surgical procedure to take away the tumor, adopted by chemotherapy and presumably radiation remedy, relying on what kind of surgical procedure I selected.
I used to be just a little nervous. However Dr. Oke assured me that pregnant ladies endure surgical procedures on a regular basis, for issues like gall bladder removals. And, neither a lumpectomy nor a mastectomy ought to pose any threat to the newborn.
She additionally mentioned that pregnant ladies had been receiving chemotherapy efficiently because the Eighties and that whereas it was doable a small quantity of these medicine could possibly be handed by means of the placenta, there was no conclusive proof displaying that this was dangerous.
I’d heard that MD Anderson treats extra pregnant ladies with breast most cancers than anybody else. So, I felt like I used to be getting actually good info and will belief Dr. Oke’s suggestions.
My breast most cancers remedy, throughout and after being pregnant
I had my breast most cancers surgical procedure at MD Anderson in December 2022, once I was 4 months pregnant. Dr. Elizabeth FitzSullivan carried out the lumpectomy, and Dr. Bryce Olenczak dealt with the reconstruction proper afterward. It went very easily with no problems.
I began chemotherapy the next month and had 4 rounds of it earlier than taking a break to offer beginning. I resumed chemotherapy a couple of weeks later and needs to be completed with it by the tip of August. Then, I’ll begin radiation remedy.
Physician’s flexibility made each my life and my labor much less anxious
Testing revealed that my breast most cancers was estrogen receptor constructive, so Dr. Oke really helpful my labor be induced at 36 weeks gestation. This may each decrease the quantity of estrogen circulating in my physique (and, presumably, feeding microscopic most cancers cells) and permit me to get again on chemotherapy as shortly as doable.
However I didn’t desire a lengthy labor or any further stressors. It was essential to me to let the newborn come when he was prepared to come back. My native obstetricians mentioned we may wait and see how issues went, so long as my well being and the newborn’s well being remained steady. I actually appreciated Dr. Oke’s willingness to work with us on that.
Fortunately, I went into labor with my second son simply sooner or later earlier than my scheduled induction at 40 weeks. The supply was so fast, I barely made it to the hospital in time. I used to be ecstatic.
Excellent being pregnant regardless of a breast most cancers prognosis
Discovering out that I had most cancers so quickly after studying I used to be pregnant was extraordinarily scary. It got here as such a whole shock, I nearly didn’t imagine it. Most cancers doesn’t run in my household. I used to be solely 31 on the time. And, I knew lots of ladies who’d had breast lumps that turned out to be nothing.
However I wept once I realized it was true. I used to be frightened I’d be too frail to choose up or play with my 10-month-old firstborn. This was not how I envisioned my life going as a younger spouse and mom.
Happily, I didn’t expertise any excessive unwanted effects throughout remedy. I did have hair loss, pores and skin and nail adjustments, fatigue, nausea and meals aversion. However these final two points are fairly frequent in pregnant ladies anyway, particularly in the course of the first trimester. And, because the mom of a small little one who nonetheless wasn’t sleeping by means of the night time, I used to be used to being drained. I realized to roll with it.
I additionally leaned closely on my religion in God and the various associates and familymembers who shared this burden with me. They taught me to not fear, and to take every day because it comes.
Fortunately, the nausea went away after I ended chemotherapy in the course of the third trimester, so my child had an enormous progress spurt in these final 5 weeks. He ended up weighing precisely 8 kilos and being completely wholesome. I couldn’t have requested for a greater end result.
Request an appointment at MD Anderson on-line or by calling 1-877-632-6789.