Like many moms-to-be, Rebecca Byrne keeps a blog about her pregnancy, detailing the kicks and discomforts, but she also details something only one in 3,000 women experience: breast cancer while pregnant.
After struggling to even get pregnant and going through IVF, Byrne found out at 13 weeks that she had breast cancer. Soon after, she started her blog and she is now a few weeks out from giving birth (she will be induced five weeks early).
I can't even imagine the choices she has had to make. One doctor told her she should have an abortion, but another gave her some options.
She chose to fight for her health and for her baby.
I have no idea what I would do if I was faced with that choice. Having lost my mother to breast cancer 17 years ago, I've always promised myself that if I'm ever diagnosed, I will attack it with everything I have from the moment I know it's there.
Since I have two children, there would be an extra incentive for me to live. Another promise I made to myself was to make every effort to be healthy for my children as long as they need me, which, really, let's face it, is forever.
I know I can't promise them forever, but I would owe it to them to fight it hard. Which may mean I would make the choice to terminate. I would feel I owed it to my existing children to do so. Of course, if it was my first, like Byrne, I have no idea what I would do.
Byrne had this to say about her fight:
One thing we both agree on is that moms, esp in 30s, are always so busy taking care of their kids, husbands, house that sometimes they neglect or push off their own health or doctor visits. Cancer is affected so many people and it seems at younger ages. To be sure we are there for our kids we have to remember to take care of ourselves! Give our monthly breast exams, go yearly for checkups, pap test, breast exams from doctors, or if something doesn't seem right, take the time to get checked out. You can never be too early when it comes to cancer or sickness. Taking care of ourselves is the best way to take care of our family!!! And we all want to be there as they grow up!
I was tremendously moved by Byrne's story and I wish her and her family all of the best in their fight.
What do you do to take care of your health?
Image Via Rebecca Byrne