Alisha Diagnosed at 38

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't worry about the cancer coming back. Or something going wrong with the baby."

I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38. I was about to celebrate my second wedding anniversary and my son was only 10 months old. Ironically, I was about to start trying to get pregnant with our second child when I found the lump. So my diagnosis felt even more devastating because I thought that meant my dream of giving my son a sibling was destroyed. In fact, my oncologist made it very clear that carrying another biological child would be impossible. I did see a fertility specialist and we discussed our options for fertility preservation but ultimately decided I needed to focus on survival and doing everything I could to make sure the disease never came back. I buried my dreams of having another child and focused on surgery and treatment. But in the back of my mind it wasn’t something I was ready to let go of.

Once I was done with treatment I started thinking about it again. I figured there was probably no chance I was still fertile but I began doing research and consulted with doctors. My oncologist wanted me to wait until I hit my two year mark to start trying to get pregnant but the fact that she was supportive at all was wonderful. My fertility doctor told me my egg count was very low but it was worth trying. The most difficult part was deciding to quit tamoxifen. I felt like I was giving cancer a welcome mat to come back. I ended up having to take a break from tamoxifen anyway because it was giving me painful ovarian cysts. It seemed like a sign so I never went back on it. Much to my surprise we got pregnant immediately. For the first time in two years I was filled with so much hope. Sadly, I had a miscarriage a few weeks later. This was devastating but it did not detour me. We started trying again and seven months later we got pregnant. I am now well into my second trimester and everything looks good so far. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t worry about the cancer coming back. Or something going wrong with the baby. It’s definitely made it harder to fully enjoy my pregnancy. But I refuse to let fear win. I refuse to let cancer win. It took so much from me but now I am taking my life back. We will welcome our son in early 2018 and for the first time since my diagnosis I feel like I have some control over my life and my body again.

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