‘I had someone else’s life to care about’: mom battling breast cancer refuses to have an abortion

‘I had someone else’s life to care about’: mom battling breast cancer refuses to have an abortion May 25, 2018

And now, a year later, she has an amazing story to tell:

The joy of a problem-free pregnancy faded to fear when Stacey Johnson felt a lump in her left breast. Yet today, she has a healthy baby boy after seeking a second opinion and putting her trust in The University of Kansas Cancer Center.

Stacey’s journey began 10 days after she discovered she was pregnant with her second child. She felt the lump while showering and told her obstetrician about it.

Her doctor suggested an ultrasound, which led to appointments with other specialists. None of them suspected cancer based on Stacey’s age, 31, and lack of family history, but they recommended a biopsy to give her peace of mind.

When the biopsy came back positive for breast cancer, Stacey was advised to consider terminating her pregnancy.

“Understanding that my case was unique, but not fully understanding all the options, this was a scary first opinion,” recalled Stacey, who is a neonatal intensive care nurse at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

She turned to The University of Kansas Cancer Center for a second opinion. There, she found herself in the expert hands of medical oncologist Lauren Nye, MD, who assured Stacey she could undergo cancer treatment without terminating her pregnancy.

Dr. Nye said while cancer during pregnancy is rare, it’s becoming more common as women choose to have children later in life. Termination of a pregnancy is not always necessary to deliver appropriate treatment and care.

“Women can safely undergo chemotherapy and surgery during the second trimester,” she said. With calm confidence and straightforward advice, Dr. Nye guided Stacey through cancer care and a successful pregnancy.

Read on to learn about her treatment.

And there’s more: 

While Johnson said she’s “been through the ringer” — she underwent a single mastectomy and chemotherapy while pregnant — she doesn’t regret her decision.

“I had someone else’s life to care about,” Johnson told KCTV-5, referring to her nearly 1-year-old son, William.

After giving birth to William on May 30 of last year, Johnson continued chemotherapy and began radiation treatment, which she recently finished. Once she completes her targeted therapy treatment this summer, Johnson hopes to have breast reconstruction surgery.


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