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Losing a baby due to cancer

From Julie Coates

I was diagnosed in December 2005 at the age of 40 with a Grade 3 very aggressive triple negative breast cancer.

Initially I found a lump in my breast and was told that it was nothing to worry about as I was breast feeding my son at the time. Some months later a lump appeared under my arm, the lump was tested, and eventually it was discovered that 4 of my lymph nodes were infected with cancer.

At this stage my consultant could not establish the source of the cancer, so I was told that I would have to have tests all over my body to find the primary location. A nurse sat me down and advised me that I had to make sure that I did not get pregnant. The problem was, my partner and I were trying for a baby to join our son Leon, who was 1 years of age at the time I was diagnosed.

At this stage I was very confused and approached a family planning adviser who recommended that I have a pregnancy test. I will never forget the moment that the pregnancy test result showed that I was pregnant. My heart sank and I sobbed. I went to see my oncologist and he looked at me with so much sorrow and told me that my cancer is so aggressive that I needed to start chemotherapy immediately. He made it clear that I would not survive three months if I had the baby. My partner and I eventually made the decision to have a termination. I broke my heart when I was in the room waiting to have my baby Hope taken from me and to this day I cry when I think that I have taken a life for my own.

My cancer was detected in my breast. I received chemotherapy immediately had a mastectomy with a reconstruction then radiotherapy. I finished my treatment in December 2006 and in February 2007, accidentally fell down the stairs at home and caused myself a severe head injury and a blood clot to my brain. More surgery and rest then returned to work in July that same year.

Life can place us all on the edge of despair at times... however... I am lucky, I am alive and will always stay positive. I will always love and adore my lost baby Hope, but I am lucky I have got two daughters: Charlotte aged 20yrs, Alex aged 18yrs and Leon aged 3yrs.

There are many women and men who will not be able to have children because of cancer and my heart goes out to them.

Love to you all

Julie x x x

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Updated: 28 September 2009