"I Had a Mastectomy While I Was Pregnant."

An Added Challenge to New-Motherhood

During Addison's four-week NICU stay, I was on a break from chemo because my doctors wanted me to rest before I started Taxol and Herceptin, which are unsafe in pregnancy. I was allowed to nurse, but she was so little she couldn't latch, and I hardly got any milk from my one breast anyway. When we brought Addison home on Christmas Day, we were ecstatic, but our journey wasn't over. Caring for a newborn is challenging under any circumstances, much less when you're fighting cancer. In addition to the meds, I had radiation five times a week for seven weeks. My mom and mother-in-law would watch Addison when I went in for treatments. I was nauseated and unbelievably fatigued. Plus, being on Taxol left me in intense pain. My fingers were so numb, I couldn't snap Addison's Onesies.

Finally, I finished treatment, and Dustin and I dared to start thinking about having another baby. When Addison was 14 months, my doctor gave us the green light to try. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to conceive; I'd read that the chemo and radiation gave me up to a 75 percent chance of becoming infertile. But after four months, I got pregnant again. Our son, Chase, was born in January 2010.

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