Two days before Alice’s wedding day, she found a lump on her breast. After her wedding, she sought multiple doctor’s opinions. In the 3-4 weeks waiting for her appointment, her and her husband were delighted to find out they were pregnant.
Alice was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the doctor strongly advised Alice and her husband, Danu, that they terminate the pregnancy.
Alice travelled from where they were living in Indonesia back to Australia for her treatment.
“The day after landing back into Australia, I embarked on what has now been nine months of treatment; cared for, treated by, cried to, and laughed with a formidable medical team at Barwon Health’s Andrew Love Cancer Centre.” – Alice
Further tests by her surgeon and oncologist confirmed she had a form of cancer called triple negative, however the gestation of her pregnancy was advanced enough to be deemed safe for general anesthetic surgery. After this, the fetus was developed enough post first trimester to endure chemotherapy.
“I remember my oncologist saying with a smile on her face, ‘We can do this!’. As so we were doing this with the pregnancy!”
Alice was responding well to her treatment and on her 36th week of pregnancy, she sat her 10th and final chemotherapy treatment. As usual, at the end of her session she had to run to the bathroom as she’d been pumped so full of fluid over the space of a few hours. Though when it kept happening for a few hours, she called her midwife because she wasn’t sure if she’d just had a failed bladder or if her waters had broken.
“Fourteen hours later, at 8.37am on Tuesday 12 February, my first-born son was born by natural birth. Miraculously, he was strong and chemo free.”
“We had 7 glorious weeks of freedom – my husband and I – with our newborn to adjust to our new family dynamic. I was even successfully able to breastfeed, and I loved it. But we couldn’t lose momentum of the treatment we had completed to date. There was more to do, in effort to provide me the best opportunity for a long life ahead without any secondary recurrence of cancer. So, at the beginning of April, I had a mastectomy of my right breast.”
Alice’s surgery went well, and she has almost finished her treatment.
By supporting Barwon Health this Dry July, you are raising funds for the redevelopment of the Andrew Love Cancer Centre.