I was intimidated at the prospect of writing for a blog, probably the same fear my 86-year-old grandfather has when someone talks about sending him a text message. But here goes…
My name is Tricia. I am a 34-year-old mother of two. I have a five-year-old son, Alex, and a one-year-old daughter, Evelyn. My husband Jason and I planned very well for our first child because I am an obsessive planner by nature. Our second child was a complete surprise though. I still ask her on a weekly basis, “Where did you come from?” But thank God she is here.
The last year and a half has been a complete roller coaster ride for my family. Once I got over the shock that our second child was on the way, I started to get really excited about it. I found out the weekend of July 4, 2010 that I was expecting a baby girl. I was over the moon — couldn’t wait to buy pink. Despite my constant worry about money and how we would manage a second child, I felt like that luckiest girl in the world. That feeling, however, didn’t last very long.
On August 24, 2010, I went to my family doctor to find out the results of a biopsy from under my arm. I was told that I had stage III melanoma. I received a cancer diagnosis at 28 weeks pregnant. I immediately went home and looked up every bit of information that I could on my cancer… it’s good to be proactive, right? Turns out, no, not so good for me. All of the information that I found pointed to less than five years for survival. Only about 30% of the people with my diagnosis make it past the five year mark. This was not the most promising information but I kept searching for positive material. I never did any that was slightly helpful or uplifting, and I haven’t researched my cancer since that first dreary day.
Well, it has now been more than a year and I’m still here. I am not the same person that I was when I walked through my doctor’s office door back in August 2010, but I think I’m a better one. Definitely have a totally different perspective on life, family and what I want from myself and others. According to my medical records, I am “stage III with no signs of cancer at this time” but I prefer to describe myself as being cancer-free.
I look forward to sharing some experiences with those who want to come along with me. I would love to tell you that I’m a medical anomaly and no one but me has ever been diagnosed with cancer while pregnant, but as I sadly found out, there are a lot of us. Thanks for giving me a chance to share.
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