We had just buried our three year old baby girl, Lauren, who died after complications of heart surgery. Precious Lauren had Downs Syndrome. My heart was broken. Just one year after her death, soon after Mother’s Day in 1990, I was five and a half months pregnant, and I found a painful lump in the upper outer area of my right breast. Doctor’s thought it was a clogged milk duct since I was pregnant & only 34 years old with no family history of breast cancer. An MRI showed a suspicious, irregular lump.
Next, much to my horror, a biopsy proved the lump was cancer! I knew that I was carrying a healthy baby boy. Initially, a doctor told me to abort the baby “to save myself.” I couldn’t bear the thought of doing so after having just lost my baby girl. “Why is God punishing me,” I screamed!
With the help and support of family, I wisely sought a second opinion. A more experienced medical team suggested a saner approach: I’d have a mastectomy and then the chemo “cocktail” of CAF would start in my last trimester. The doctors said, “he might be small and/or he might be slow, we just don’t have that much history of treating breast cancer on pregnant women.” I had four rounds of chemo while pregnant and needed four more after delivery. “How in the world will I pull all this off,” I thought?
Did I mention that I already had a toddler son who was one and a half when this occurred?
Bryan was born perfectly healthy. But for years I prayed and worried, for both of us to be healthy.
Back to the future now – Bryan has been a varsity athlete and an honors student since high school. Last week, on Mother’s Day, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in biology. He is headed to the University of Virginia on full scholarship to obtain his master’s and doctorate in neuroscience. After several sad Mother’s Days, this was the best yet!
Needless to say, “he isn’t small and he isn’t slow” doc!
Instead, he has been amazing and an inspiration to me these past 21 years!
I thank God every day for him and I know that our Lauren is watching over all of us now.
I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY BLOG AT WWW.CHANGEDBYCHANCE.COM TO READ MORE.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.