Mum risks her life for miracle baby after doctors warned her being pregnant could cause cancer
A mum has risked her own life to have a miracle baby despite being told her pregnancy could cause cancer.
Rachel Kierstenson, 37, from Hertford, was diagnosed with cancer after finding a lump in her right breast.
Rachel was given the all clear just months later but the damaging effects of chemotherapy meant her chances of having a family were slim.
Doctors warned that even if Rachel did fall pregnant, the cancer, which is triggered by a change in hormones, may return and put her life in danger.
Despite the risks, Rachel and husband, Michael, 36, were desperate to have a baby and began trying to conceive naturally.
Two years later the couple turned to IVF and after just one round, Rachel fell pregnant and gave birth to their miracle son, Logan, on June 21.
The mum-of-one says that starting a family was the best thing she’s ever done – and despite not wanting to push her luck she’s not ruling out
having another baby.
Rachel, an estate agent, said: “Having Logan was worth risking my life for, he is our little miracle.
“Before all of my treatment I was given the option to freeze my eggs as the high dose of chemo would more than likely damage my ovaries.
“But I was worried that the high levels of hormones used to retrieve eggs would aggravate the cancer further.
“I was then placed on the hormone drug, tamoxifen, for five years to keep me in remission however I stopped it after two and half years as I wanted to try for a baby and knew I couldn’t whilst I was taking it.
“Stopping tamoxifen was risky in itself, I knew the cancer could return at any point but I also knew that I was getting older and I wanted to
become a mum.
“Mike and I tried for two years but I couldn’t fall pregnant, my doctor had warned me that the chemo may affect my fertility and he was right.
“We were referred for IVF but the drugs most clinics use to stimulate egg production would affect the balance of hormones in my body and could
cause the cancer to return.
“I found a clinic that used a lower dose of these drugs but the risk of my cancer returning was still there, but despite this I wanted a baby more
“When I became pregnant with Logan I was over the moon, thankfully the cancer hasn’t returned and we couldn’t be happier.”
Rachel was diagnosed with stage two grade two breast cancer in November 2010 after finding a lump in her right breast.
Rachel’s cancer was hormone-receptor positive meaning that the cancer cells were growing in response to the levels of the hormone estrogen in
She added: “Mike and I had just booked our wedding when I found the lump, after my diagnosis we put everything on hold and focused on getting
“I made the tough decision not to freeze my eggs as my cancer was hormone receptive I didn’t want to mess with my body any more than I needed to.
“I was ready to start a family and had to put this on hold with the knowledge that I may not be able to conceive at the end of the treatment which was heart-breaking.
“I then had a lumpectomy to remove the lump and underwent six rounds of chemo and radio therapy before being placed on the hormone drug
“I was cancer free but was taking the drug to keep me in remission.
“After two and half years of taking tamoxifen, I realised time was getting on and told my oncologist I wanted to try for a baby and chose to come
off the drugs.
“I knew how risky this was as you are supposed to finish the course to ensure the cancer doesn’t return, but I was willing to take those risks.
“A year and a half later I was still struggling to fall pregnant and finally tests revealed that my egg supply was low which was caused by the
Rachel was referred for IVF but worried that the drugs used in traditional IVF to stimulate the ovaries would affect the balance of hormones in her
body and could cause her cancer to return.
Concerned for own health but desperate for a baby, Rachel found CREATE fertility who advocate natural and mild IVF.
Rachel and Mike were able to receive one round of NHS funding and decided to go ahead with the treatment despite the risks.
Rachel said: “We knew the risks but felt more reassured knowing that they would be using a gentler form of treatment which is known as modified natural IVF.
“Our doctor was amazing, we had a specially tailored treatment plan just for me, it was still a huge gamble to take but we were doing it in the
safest way possible.
“When we found out that the IVF had worked we couldn’t have been happier, Logan is now three months old and is our little miracle.
“I was given the all clear last year and thankfully my cancer has not returned since.
“Mike and I are not planning a second child just yet, we know how lucky we are to have Logan and don’t want to push our luck, but we have frozen one egg just in case we change our minds in the future.”
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