‘I was diagnosed by breast cancer in August 2007 when I was pregnant with my third child. I was 36 and happily married with 2 little girls, Hannah,3, and Emma who was 15 months old. I was fit, didn’t smoke and there was no history of cancer in my family.Ann Sandeman
The cancer was aggressive, so I had to make a decision as to whether I terminated the pregnancy, delayed my treatment till after the baby was born or had the surgery and chemo during my pregnancy and hoped for the best! I went for the last option and had surgery to removed the lump and then chemo when I was 5 months pregnant. We didn’t know what impact this would have on my unborn baby and they warned us that at the very least, baby would arrive very prematurely, would be tiny and have severe breathing problems. Nobody told my baby though because Ben arrived naturally on his due date, weighing 7lb 5oz and was and/is perfect healthy.
I had radiotherapy after Ben was born and then received the good news that the cancer had been removed. Amazing! Life carried on for 2 years and everything seemed perfect. But the cancer wasn’t finished and in 2010, it returned with a vengeance in my chest cavity. This meant that the cancer was now incurable. Incurable but manageable. I had more chemo and radio over the next few months and this held the cancer at bay a while. Over the next 4 years, the cancer continued to spread and I had more and more chemo. During this time, my husband left, and I was medically retired from my job. It was a tough time but my kids kept me smiling.
More cancer meant my sternum was removed at Guys hospital and since then have constantly been on either a drugs trial or chemotherapy. I’m currently on my 8th type of chemo. It’s also the last available to me so I don’t know what the future holds for me. But I keep fighting because I have my children and I really don’t have time to die!’