My Story

When I was 27 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I’d found a lump on my collarbone that just wasn’t shifting.
It didn’t hurt, but was quite big and bothered me. I went to the hospital to get my biopsy results without a worry, no one had mentioned cancer to me.
So the doctor told me I had a growth. Even naive old me knew what a “growth” meant but I made him say it just to be clear. Cancer. “But it’s ok, if you’re going to get it, this is the best one to get.” I was told. Err really. I batted back with “How about if I’m pregnant?”
He disappeared. Time seemed to stand still. Then John and I had to wade through a waiting room chocca with people to see another doctor. I got halfway down the corridor and burst into tears. A nice nurse took us into one of those relative rooms you see people get bad news in on Casualty and made me sweet tea. A lot was talked about, I didn’t take much in. We went home and rang our nearest and dearest. Surprise! I’m pregnant! Surprise! I’ve got cancer. NOT how we expected to be delivering our exciting news.
So we had to decide how to play this. No baby was no option. No treatment until after the birth? Very risky for me, couldn’t take that chance. In only a month since diagnosis it had started to spread a little. So begrudgingly and after much mulling over of statistics and outcomes we decided to go for radiotherapy at 16 weeks to stop it spreading, then chemotherapy after our precious baby was born.
At my first radiotherapy session I lay on the bed waiting for the beam, and felt her kick. It was all I could do not to cry. Felt so wrong putting an unborn baby through this.
But through it we got and Macie Alice O’Shea was born on 6th July 2004 a very healthy baby indeed! SO happy 🙂
6 weeks later…chemo. 4 months of going in for a day every 2 weeks, having horrible drugs stuffed up my hickman line (this was in my chest, not pretty!), getting infections, staying in hospital to get better, looking sunburned from the effects of one drug, peeing red from another, dealing with nausea, being totally knackered and trying to look after a newborn etc etc…
Christmas 2004 was Macie’s first and I just by the skin of my teeth finished chemo! We were on the road to getting better and being a normal family!

You can read about my journey for a second cancer diagnosis and the difficulties I encountered here.


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