Finding out that you are pregnant is one of the most joyous moments in a woman's life, so you can only imagine just how devastating it was for Linsey Sowinski to find out she had lymphoma before she was even out of her first trimester.
She and her husband Scott never thought what started out as lung inflammation would ultimately turn out to be cancer, which would wind up forcing them to make the most difficult and heartbreaking decision of their lives.
In order to save her own life, Linsey's only option was to go ahead and undergo chemotherapy treatment to attack the cancer -- all while knowing there was the potential for it to have devastating effects on the baby inside of her. (And she also feared that her pregnancy would have to be terminated.)
As her specialist, Dr. Douglas Barber, explained, "Pregnancy is a whole mass of rapidly dividing cells. And chemotherapy is not compatible with pregnancy. As she was being treated for her own symptoms, the baby was also getting the same chemotherapy load."
To hear more about Linsey's gut-wrenching journey, listen to her story in this video clip.
Wow. I mean, it's nothing short of absolutely wonderful that Linsey and her precious baby girl made it through their ordeal, and that it appears as though both of them are going to be ok.
But as a mother, and knowing just how worried I was about the health of my baby when I was pregnant -- I can't even begin to imagine how unbearable it must have been for Linsey to have chemotherapy all while knowing her baby would also be taking the treatment into her tiny body.
And then to have her baby born healthy only to land right back in the hospital with a serious infection due to the effects of the chemo on her immune system must have torn Linsey and her husband to pieces.
But even though their journey hasn't been an easy one, they did get their happy ending. And by sharing their life-changing experience with the world, odds are good that they are bringing so much hope to other pregnant women who are battling cancer, and are faced with choices they simply never imagined having to make.
Sometimes knowing that someone else has experienced the same struggles is all we need to give us the strength to face life's challenges -- and Linsey, Scott, and their gorgeous little baby are definitely an inspiration, and a reminder of where hope and faith can bring you.
Do you have any idea what you'd do if faced with Linsey's choice?
Image via NBC