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Presented by: Sarah Degarmo
Did you know it is possible to receive treatment for cancer while pregnant? I didn’t know that until I had to face it at age 34. I had no family history of breast cancer and absolutely no reason to think I would be at risk for developing it, but it happened anyway. Ten days after receiving the terrible news, I would have something that would encourage me to fight even more, I found out I was pregnant. Who knew two life changing moments would take place in such a short time.
Terrified, not knowing what to expect, what this pregnancy meant, what my options were as a pregnant woman with breast cancer, I saw my OB the day after I found out I was pregnant. She soon put my worries at ease. My doctor assured me that I would be able to receive treatment and that my baby would be fine. Later, my oncologist confirmed it, as long as we waited until after the second trimester to start chemotherapy.
I had 4 rounds of Adriamycin and Cytoxin (AC) over a span of 12 weeks. As my belly grew, my hair fell out and I was certainly a sight to behold. I was always exhausted, which is a common side effect of both chemo and pregnancy. Luckily that was the worst part of it for me. I didn’t get sick, I didn’t have pain.
Of course, I was concerned for my child. We all were. The big concern with chemo during pregnancy was that it would cause the baby to fall behind in development, so my son was constantly monitored. He was growing right on schedule, and he looked healthy throughout the entire treatment process. Then on November 3, 2015 at 8:44 p.m. he was born, and he was perfect! He is now an incredibly smart, funny, loving toddler and is truly our family’s miracle.
Originally published March 16, 2018
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