Jade Devis was only a few months pregnant when she first noticed pain in her breasts.
Her doctor told her not to worry and that it was most likely a clogged milk duct, which can be common during and after pregnancy. However, when a visible lump popped up, she became more concerned.
She went to see the doctor again
Again, they told her not to worry and recommended scheduling a follow up for after the birth of the baby. That’s when she said no. She demanded a biopsy of the lump, and it’s a good thing she did.
The biopsy would help the doctor discover that Jade had stage 2 triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of cancer. If she had waited six months, it probably would have been too late.
Chemotherapy while pregnant
Most women who undergo chemotherapy are not pregnant at the time. However, there was no time to waste and wait to give birth. Jade still wanted to be a mother, but more importantly, she wanted to be a cancer-free mother.
When doctors suggested terminating the pregnancy, she refused their advice for the second time.
She had surgery to place a port so that she could begin receiving chemotherapy. The chemotherapy type chosen for her was called FAC. It is a combination of 5-fluorouracil, adriamycin, and cyclophosphamide. It is also the type most commonly given to pregnant oncology patients. She completed three rounds of the treatment while pregnant.
Then she gave birth
Bradley was born full-term and weighing 6 pounds and 11 ounces. He was happy and healthy.
Jade remained concerned that he might end up with health complications due to the chemo, but he continued to grow and develop normally over the next few months while his mom would continue her chemotherapy.
Now that she was no longer pregnant, Jade was switched to a stronger type of chemotherapy to finish eradicating the rare and aggressive type of breast cancer. It wasn’t easy, going through chemo while taking care of a newborn. Each thing on its own can be exhausting. Together, they can be beyond exhausting, but she kept pulling through. Her sister moved in for a while to help her with the baby so she wouldn’t be left alone to struggle.
It is several months after the birth, and baby Bradley is now 14 pounds. He is hitting all his milestones and still developing normally. As for mom, after completing her last round of chemotherapy, she has had a full body scan confirming that she is cancer-free.
She will continue to be scanned every six months to make sure that she stays the healthy mom that the happy and healthy Bradley deserves.
A lesson worth remembering
Jade knew when she needed to assert herself for her health as well as for her child. While doctors weren’t that concerned about the original pain and lump, she knew that something was wrong and pressed them to discover what it was.
She also took advantage of the option that was available to allow her to go the route that she had decided was best for her – to both receive treatment and become a new mom.
A cancer diagnosis can lead to difficult choices and so can becoming a parent. Jade did the best she could with what she had access to in an unfortunate set of circumstances, and she is glad she did.
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