Mum of three praises pregnancy for saving her life after spotting deadly tumour – and now she’s cancer free
A mum of three is praising pregnancy for saving her life after she spotted a deadly tumour – and now she’s cancer free.
Justine Cheadle, 38, from Northampton, was forced to give birth at 34 week’s pregnant after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Doctors had brushed off the lump in her right breast as pregnancy related but she pushed for further tests.
Because Justine was pregnant she was taking extra care of her body and while moisturising, she detected the tumour that save her life.
The full time mum has undergone two operations and six cycles of chemotherapy in a bid to save her life since January – and even moved her 2017 wedding to husband, Mark, 37, forward to this April.
But after gruelling treatment, Justine has been told she is cancer free and will start radiotherapy next month.
Justine said: “My pregnancy was amazing until I found the lump, it filled me with dread and I was terrified.
“When you’re carrying a baby you’re more conscious of your health anyway but I was moisturising when I felt the lump in my breast and pushed for tests.
“Doctors assumed it was pregnancy related but I kept going back and asking to be referred.
“It was after my ultrasound and biopsy, that I was told the dreaded news, I had cancer and needed to start chemotherapy straight away.
“But I was pregnant and I needed to give my baby the best chance of survival so we waited until she was 34 weeks old before I was induced.
“Verity was born weighing a healthy six pounds but her birth was overshadowed by my cancer diagnosis.
“With my breast cancer team present at the birth, I was discussing my treatment plan right up to the point of delivery. ”
“I had no idea if I was going to live to see this Christmas, let alone any of her birthdays or first day at school.
” After diagnosis I needed to prepare for battle, I had my eyebrows tattooed and bought a wig to maintain my femininity.
“We decided to bring our wedding forward to April 2016 as I needed something to look forward to and plan while going through chemotherapy.
“My dark days all seemed worthwhile as I has three healthy kids and I knew they needed their mummy back.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled that I’m now deemed cancer free, I hope other pregnant women remain vigilant and press for tests if they suspect something is wrong.
“Me, Mark, Verity and our boys, Rudy, two, Cassius, five, are going on a ‘familymoon’ next month to St Tropez in France and we cannot wait.”
Justine was diagnosed stage two breast cancer that had spread to her lymphodes and needed chemotherapy, surgery to remove the breast and reconstruct, followed by radiotherapy and drug Herceptin until Spring next year.
She added: “My mum, Valerie England, 73, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 so I was even more anxious of it being something serious when I found a lump.
“I have no idea if I would’ve been moisturising or checking my breasts if I wasn’t pregnant but I’m thankful I caught it when I did.
“My future could’ve been a lot different if I hadn’t of been able to seek treatment straight away.
“I hope other women read my story and if they’ve noticed a change in their breasts to push for a mammogram, if I hadn’t I’m sure my cancer would’ve spread further and my children could’ve lost their mum.
“I have been through the worst possible few months but my supportive friends and family have got me through.
“My best friend, Hannah Walker, is also a professional photographer, we were pregnant at the same time and she has captured my journey with cancer and pregnancy perfectly.
“From my baby shower before diagnosis, wedding and now after chemo and hair loss, I couldn’t thank her enough for everything she has done.”
Justine is now looking forward to the future being cancer free and creating memories with her family.
She added: “The past nine months have been a whirlwind of emotions but we made it through and once I finish radiotherapy I can start rebuilding my life and forgetting about my diagnosis.
“I will need check-ups every three months for the next five years but I’m optimistic that our cancer ordeal is over.”
Justine has been supported throughout her journey by Mummy’s Star and the Young Breast Cancer Network.
She added: “I couldn’t have gotten the support I needed without those two charities, Mummy’s Star gave me a grant for my hair wig, something that helped me feel feminine and confident even on my lowest days.”
To read more visit: http://www.mummysstar.org/
Do you, or someone you know, have a similar story to tell? Get in touch today to earn £££ and raise awareness.