Mom Delivers Healthy Baby on Final Day of Cancer Treatment

pregnantSarah Best got some of the worst news a pregnant woman can get when she was four months pregnant -- she had cancer. The only way to treat the tumor in her mouth and stop it from spreading was through chemotherapy.

Because cancer treatment is so potentially dangerous for the baby, the odds weren't good. According to a story in the BBC, only seven other healthy babies had been born in the world after such treatment. Best's son Jake was the eighth, and the first one born in the UK. Ironically, it was on her final day of treatment that she went into labor, and he arrived weighing 4 pounds, 10 ounces. Most importantly, he's healthy.

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She told the Telegraph, "He is so special to us and thankfully is perfectly healthy. He is healthy, smiley, and smart -- I couldn't be luckier."

It's such an encouraging story for the many women who face such a devastating diagnosis while pregnant. We've seen mothers deny treatment and sacrifice their lives for their unborn babies, which is amazingly beautiful, but how much better if no one had to make such a choice, if science could figure out how to treat cancer during pregnancy so that both mom and baby could live healthy lives.

Each woman who faces such a choice has a different story and different circumstances, so it's certainly not to say that everyone should attempt treatment while pregnant. But it does provide a certain amount of hope. 

I honestly don't know what I would do if I was given the choice. Seeing as how I wouldn't even breathe near soft cheeses or cold deli meat when I was pregnant, I can't imagine subjecting my baby to the poison of chemotherapy, but if it meant that perhaps there was a chance I could live longer to raise her, to love her, to give her a mother, then I don't know.

It's a choice I hope I never have to make, but one that I hope Best's experience and those of others like her make easier for women down the road.

If you were diagnosed with cancer while pregnant, would you undergo chemotherapy?


Image via zeeweez/Flickr

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