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Topic: Pregnancy after Stage IV diagnosis

Forum: Stage IV/Metastatic Breast Cancer ONLY —

A place for those managing the ups & downs of a Stage IV/metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. Please respect that this forum is for Stage IV members only. There is a separate forum For Family and Caregivers of People with a STAGE IV Diagnosis.

Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 11:20AM

Jejik wrote:

I was just wondering if there is anyone out there who has gotten pregnant after a stage four diagnosis. I have been in remission just under a year, and found out a couple of months ago that I am pregnant. I am 33 yeas old, and always wanted children, but after my diagnosis of metastatic disease last year, I gave up on the idea of ever having a child. But here I am. I have decided to have the child, and an ultrasound at twelve weeks shows the baby doing good. I, on the other hand, am a wreck and would give anything to have someone to talk to who has been where I am at. I have to decide what to do about my treatments (have stopped for now), feelings of helplessness over my future, feelings of guilt over the fact that there is a good chance my child will grow up without a mom, the list how's on and on. Even if you have not been through it, if you have any inspirational stories, words of wisdom or hope,,,I would appreciate it so very much.

I am a breast cancer fighter, not a survivor. Dx 9/21/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 1/10 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Mar 19, 2012 11:34AM raro wrote:

I have not been in your position, but God bless you for trying to do something so amazing. I am sure a lot of people will disagree, but I think it's wonderful. In the midst of despair and sickness and fear and frustration, there is a little light of life and love. I would assume that the fact that your cancer does not feed on estrogen/progesterone is a good thing, yes?

You do what you feel is best for you and your little one. You're trying something very daring and brave and there will be a lot of people who will assume you are selfish at best and stupid at worst. Don't listen to them. You have the chance of bringing a little life into this sad world, and I say, go for the stars. You are not dead yet, you are alive and nobody can tell you when you will die. So you have the baby, and if things go downhill, you write her a bunch of letters and scrapbooks so that she/he will always know how much they were loved. You could live for decades, for all anyone knows!

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Mar 19, 2012 11:50AM LilSchatzie wrote:

Good luck to you!! I know it must be a rough road you are traveling, but I'm stage iv and my 3 little ones are my life. As much as it hurts me to think they may have to live without me, I couldn't imagine doing this journey without the love and happiness they bring me. I don't personally know anyone that got pregnant stage iv, but I do know of some that found out they had cancer or stage iv during pregnancy. Make sure you look into an OB that has dealth with this. I would guess it's good that you are ER/PR -.

diagnoised with cancer 6/1/11, Stage iv - 7/28/11 - ER/PR + Her2 - lung mets Hormonal Therapy 7/31/2011 Chemotherapy 8/1/2012 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 8/19/2013 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 8/19/2013 Afinitor (everolimus)
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Mar 19, 2012 11:55AM reesie wrote:

I can't imagine what you are going through. I know Katie31 was dx Stage IV while pregnant. She had her baby about 6 monthe ago and they're doing well right now. You should try to PM her.

Gfood luck.

Marie - It's A Great Day To Be Alive. Dx 10/29/2010 ER+/PR+, HER2- Stage IV mets to bones, liver, lungs, skin, pleural effusions
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Mar 19, 2012 12:27PM JustJudi wrote:

My daughter was Stage 111 when diagnosed and was also pregnant, The Drs. wanted her to terminate at the time, because then they could throw everything at her in the way of treatment. She chose to go through with the pregnancy and gave birth to a little boy, she had chemo during the pregnancy , leaving out the harsher chemo until after she gave birth. She had the same thoughts was it fair to have a child who may lose their mother at an early age, as she has an aggressive form, but they wanted another child and they are happy with their decision, you cant put your life on hold, in case of the what ifs. a child could lose their parent because of an auto accident, things in life are not guaranteed. If you can have some joy in your life, live your life to your ability, go for it.  I wish you all the best.

Dx 8/18/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, mets, ER+, HER2+ Hormonal Therapy 10/8/2009 Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy 2/6/2010 3DCRT: Bone Radiation Therapy 6/10/2012 Bone Chemotherapy 9/5/2012 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Mar 19, 2012 12:48PM 33skidoo wrote:

Congratulations!  I have no words of wisdom for you, but hey, at least you are PR-!!!

Dx 8/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 19, 2012 01:03PM Jaimieh wrote:

There was a woman who stayed on herceptin while pregnant.  I will look for her blog to see if I can find it for you.  Congratulations!

Dx 12/24/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Dx 3/25/2014, IDC, Stage I, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 19, 2012 01:38PM CoolBreeze wrote:

Are you married? You haven't mentioned a husband....this sounds terrible, but it's an idea I have to throw out there....have you considered putting the child up for adoption?  I can't think of anything worse than my child watching me die; it's my worst nightmare played out and my son has to live with that fear. I am just trying to hang on until he goes to college - he is 15.  

Maybe you can do an open adoption and visit your child but you will know he/she has parents when you die?

I know that Katie was diagnosed Stage IV in the middle of her third (?) pregnancy so she can talk to you about the fears you are experiencing.   I'm sorry you are experiencing this - it should be such a happy time for you.

Ann's cancer blog: www.butdoctorihatepink.com .....multicentric/multifocal IDC/ILC+DCIS/LCIS/ADH Official dx? "Your breast was a mess." ~UniMastectomy/Chemo/Herceptin/Tamoxifen/Recon Almost Done! Oh wait. mets to liver 5/21/11 Now Stage IV Dx 8/17/2009, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 19, 2012 02:05PM Jejik wrote:

Thank you all so much. I will definitely try contacting katie31. Jamieh, if you do find that blog please let me know, that would be super helpful.

My oncologist told me that I should look at this like a gift from God, and I do. But knowing that the Lord givers and the Lord taketh away gets me super anxious sometimes. But I have never wanted anything more in my life for this baby to be born healthy and for me to be able to watch it grow. Cool breeze, I don't think that sounds terrible, especially coming from a mother who worries about hanging on for her son's sake. I didn't mention it, but I am married to a wonderful guy who is already an awesome father to two girls. This baby will have him and two half sisters and lots of extended family that loves it besides me.

Maybe it is selfish of me but I cannot imagine giving the baby up for adoption. Just as no matter what doctors said it never crossed my mind to terminate.I already love it do much, and want to be a part of its life for as long as possible. I am doing the journal thing so that if the worst does happen the baby can at least know how much I loved it and what I am like and my thoughts on things.
I am just wondering how to cover it all!!

I hope to get to know y'all better as I navigate the site more. Thanks again.

I am a breast cancer fighter, not a survivor. Dx 9/21/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 1/10 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Mar 19, 2012 02:39PM ICanDoThis wrote:

You know, when my husband and I were first married, we were friends with a couple who were stuggling with multiple miscarriages, as we were. And then there was the healthy pregnancy that stuck. About halfway into it, Mary was diagnosed with advanced brain cancer. She chose to continue the pregnancy, despite termination recommendations.

She has been gone for a long time, now, and Seth is graduating from college. I can see Mary's face in his graduation picture, and I know how grateful his dad and brother and sisters are to have him in their lives. Thanks for sharing.

You are giving your family, and the universe, a great gift.

Sue - Proud to be Krista's Mom Dx 12/28/2007, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
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Mar 19, 2012 03:02PM anonymice wrote:

Congratulations, Jeljk!  Even this agnostic would agree with your oncologist about it being a gift from God.  

My cousin also quickly became pregnant when her husband was diagnosed with an (unquestionably) terminal form of cancer...about 25 yrs ago.  He died prior to her birth.

She grew up to be a beautiful, strong, brilliant, and incredibly successful young woman for one so young who, obviously, is so thankful for her parent's decision.  As are we all.

And...you may live to see your grandchildren.  It simply can't be known, for anyone, but it absolutely does happen and will continue to happen in greater and greater numbers.

But regardless your child will have a warm and loving environment and that, that is truly the only thing a child really needs.  

Dx 9/22/2010, IBC, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 19, 2012 03:03PM cookie97 wrote:

My younger sister was dx'd with pancreatic cancer at 33 yo on 34th bday gave herslef a huge Bday party. She conceived her 3rd child around this time. She didn't think she could get pregnant! She experienced all the fears that you are having now, this child is now a thriving 13 yo and I'm happy to have my sister.

Her onc and onc nurses at Mayo were all so happy for her; they considered my sister to be a miracle herself and then to have a miracle baby. However her particular type of cancer is not hormone driven, only you know BEST!!!

Luck to you Sweetie, wishing all the best to you,

Edie

Dx 5/6/2010, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 19, 2012 03:04PM - edited Sep 14, 2012 05:06PM by katie31

This Post was deleted by katie31.
IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Mar 19, 2012 03:12PM Patriotic wrote:

God bless you. I think what you are doing is inspiring. It's the cycle of life; birth and death. Cancer takes so much from us. There's a tendency not to take chances and risks and really continue to LIVE your life. That is the hardest part for me. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn'tt terminate the pregnancy. I am sure you're scared; that's normal. Try to enjoy it because it goes so fast. I find my kids and my job keep me so preoccupied that the dark thoughts only tend to creep in at night after my kids are in bed.

Congrats on your remission. You're where so many aspire to be. None of us knows what the future holds. Even if, and it's a big if, the beast comes back, it sounds like you have a loving and supportive family that will do their best to keep you happy, healthy and supported.

All the best.

Get busy living or get busy dying~Shawshank Redemption Dx 3/23/2011, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 3/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Mar 19, 2012 04:41PM LuAnnH wrote:

What exciting news, timing is a bit off but still exciting!  I hope everything goes well and know there are alot of people who get pregnant and are on chemo that who have had healthy happy children!

LuAnn -- Dx 7/2/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Mar 19, 2012 05:58PM bestfriend05 wrote:

Jejik..i feel your dilemna and agony..it is not an easy decision to go through...at the end of the day..yes practicality matters a lot..!! raising the child, making sure they have a secure future, but if u think on the other hand nothing is guaranteed..

I wish there was an easy answer for this and wishing you to be at peace with what ever decision you take...

Also my mum says have faith in your God and if you do go ahead with preganancy may the child  bring u a lot of luck..

hugs and loads of love..

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Mar 19, 2012 06:43PM loligag wrote:

Jejik, congratulations on remission and your pregnancy. It's never a mistake to bring a new life into this world. You may be in remission for a very long time. Sounds like the baby will be well loved and cared for in the event you are called home to heaven. Get the guilt out of your head. Stressing out over it is not helping you or your baby. Don't go by "what if's", focus on "what is." Look after yourself. Praying for a great outcome for you and your baby. Blessings xoxox

What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them - Mark 11:24 Dx 7/29/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 19, 2012 07:47PM CoolBreeze wrote:

I am glad you weren't offended.   It was just an idea, but since you have a loving family and husband than it sounds like your child will be well cared for.  I'm sure he or she will bring you tremendous joy.  Katie will be able to tell you about the treatment she got during her pregnancy.  There are some chemos that they can do that won't hurt the baby.  

Just wanted to say that Stage III is not the same as Stage IV.  Taking a risk at Stage III is not the same as when you already have metastatic disease and there is a 100% certainty that you are going to die from cancer. It's not a fair comparison, and yes, anybody can get hit by a car, but the vast majority of people live long lives and don't get hit by cars. 

Sorry but it's just a fact.  I've never been one to pretend.

I would never advocate for terminating a pregnancy though.  It's not the child's fault and I know that you will be a wonderful mother, Jejik, and I hope that you get to be one for many years.  Knowing your disease, you have the opportunity to surround your child with many people who will love and support her, and who knows?  Maybe she'll end up having a better life because of it.  And, who knows, you could be a miracle like Kathy36, who is on year 20 with bone mets.

A baby is a blessing no matter what, so congratulations are in order.  I can't wait until you share the photos!  :) 

Ann's cancer blog: www.butdoctorihatepink.com .....multicentric/multifocal IDC/ILC+DCIS/LCIS/ADH Official dx? "Your breast was a mess." ~UniMastectomy/Chemo/Herceptin/Tamoxifen/Recon Almost Done! Oh wait. mets to liver 5/21/11 Now Stage IV Dx 8/17/2009, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 19, 2012 09:41PM nancyh wrote:

Jejik,

Congratulations!!  I am so happy for your pregnancy (so sorry you have to deal with cancer, especially being so young, but hope you will get loads of information and support here on the boards).  I pray you will have many years of joy and happiness with your baby.  I get the feeling you will be a wonderful, amazing mom. 

Be sure to check YoungSurvivalCoalition at youngsurvival.org).  They have a lot of information specific to the needs of younger survivors.

Welcome to the boards and best of luck on your pregnancy,

NancyH 

Stage 4 in 2009, mets to liver, lungs, bones, and brain. Dx 8/12/2002, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIB, 3/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/1/2002 AC Chemotherapy 1/1/2003 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 5/1/2003 Dx 4/2/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/1/2007 CMF Dx 9/1/2009, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone/liver/lungs, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Targeted Therapy 9/1/2009 Avastin (bevacizumab) Chemotherapy 9/1/2009 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2010 Femara (letrozole) Chemotherapy 9/1/2011 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2012 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 6/1/2012 Navelbine (vinorelbine) Chemotherapy 5/1/2013 Gemzar (gemcitabine) Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2013 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 8/1/2013 Afinitor (everolimus) Chemotherapy 10/28/2013 Halaven (eribulin) Chemotherapy 11/12/2014 Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 10/1/2015 Adriamycin (doxorubicin) Targeted Therapy Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Mar 19, 2012 09:47PM apple wrote:

jejik - first of all - super warmest congratulations. may you live long.,. and may things work out for you.

peace and love, apple - ..... Mary Magdalen Dx 4/10/2008, IDC, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 4/9 nodes, mets, ER+, HER2+
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Mar 19, 2012 09:47PM Fitztwins wrote:

Congrats!!!
You know, you might be around for a long long time.! A true gift from God.

Enjoy Every Sandwich. Dx 12/12/2004, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/lungs, Grade 2, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 1/19/2005 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap Chemotherapy 2/1/2005 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 5/1/2005 Breast, Lymph nodes Targeted Therapy 6/1/2005 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2006 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 6/2/2008 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 7/1/2008 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 6/15/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Targeted Therapy 9/5/2015 Perjeta (pertuzumab)
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Mar 20, 2012 12:28AM texasrose361 wrote:

I just want to say congrats!  I am actually giddy with excitement for you!!!!!!!!!!!

Honestly my onc told me "you cant get pregnant" i dont know if he meant i physically am unable to or if i shouldnt, well he did caution for me to use birth controll (non hormonal of course) but eh... LOL

Who cares youre gonna have a baby! Update OFTEN! 

Children 10g, 10b, 8b :) Mets to ribs, sternum, femur, esophagus, retroperitoneal LN, lungs, ocular nerve, brain. Dx 7/22/2010, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 20, 2012 12:48AM cookiegal wrote:

One of the most inspiring books I have ever read is by Darcy Wakefield.

It is called "I remember running, the year I got everything I wanted and ALS."

She is a writer who was pregnant with Lou Gherig's. It is such a sweet book. 

You deserve a cookie!
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Mar 20, 2012 12:56AM justjudie wrote:

Congratulations jejik. I wish you the best. Welcome to the board.


Judie

Judie Dx 3/31/2010, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 20, 2012 01:41AM 3littlegirls wrote:

I am so happy for you. I hope you stay in remission for many years. Until they give us the magic "all better pill". 

I hope it all goes smoothly for you and the babe.

Congrats!!!!!! 

Michelle Dx 4/19/2010, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, 5/18 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 20, 2012 02:14PM - edited Mar 20, 2012 02:14PM by apple

many of us have children.. and just because yours is not born yet... is really no different.  Perhaps it is not what you would have planned but what a wonderful wonderful gift.  I think all the time about preparing my children for life without me.. they are thankfully older.. the youngest is 12 and I've been stage 4 for a while and we are all comfortable talking, and being frank, and discussing options..

I hope it all goes smoothly.. that you have a wonderful long life with the child and can contribute much..   I am really excited for you... (with a few scary tears.. you must be going nuts)

Oh i guess i have already commented above.. can you tell i love babies?

peace and love, apple - ..... Mary Magdalen Dx 4/10/2008, IDC, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 4/9 nodes, mets, ER+, HER2+
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Mar 20, 2012 02:55PM china wrote:

Congratulations on your pregnancy. It is a gift from God and a miracle. Wishing you a safe, healthy pregnancy and delivery. Trust in your oncologist and your Ob/Gyn, they will provide you with excellent care, knowledge and keep you and your baby safe as possible. Hugs Dawn

Dx 4/6/2007, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 20, 2012 03:00PM china wrote:

CoolBreeze, I think you need to apologize for your first comments. They were not very nice and you should not be judging her. It is her lifestyle and choices. We are here to offer support. Dawn

Dx 4/6/2007, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 20, 2012 07:36PM - edited Mar 20, 2012 07:38PM by CoolBreeze

 china wrote:
CoolBreeze, I think you need to apologize for your first comments. They were not very nice and you should not be judging her. It is her lifestyle and choices. We are here to offer support. Dawn

What do I need to apologize for?

She said she gave up the idea of having a child, is a wreck at the idea of being pregnant and is feeling helpless over the situation, along with feelings of guilt that her child will grow up without a mom.  She sounded desperate in her first note.

I shared my very personal experience of agony over what this is doing to my own child and gave her the suggestion of thinking about adoption, as an offering.

Since when did adoption become a bad thing?  When is it judgmental?   Many women have given up children over not having money, not having a husband - feeling helpless in their lives.   That is a loving thing to do.  They are heroes

She wasn't upset at my note, just didn't feel my idea was for her and so then I congratulated her and told her she would be a great mom, which I'm sure she will be.  How is that judgmental?

 I am not judging her - YOU are judging me, it's so hypocritical.

I use the plural because NancyH also seemed fit to chastise me in a nice long flame-fest and I'm sure she's not alone. 

Support takes on many forms, and not everybody sees things the same way. That's why an internet board can be so useful. 

Honestly, I have about had it with the women on this board.  You want to accuse me of being judgmental when that is what you are being yourselves. Some of you are the most close-minded women I've ever met, or you are stuck in middle school and anybody who doesn't wear the right clothes you feel the need to chastise.   Anybody not in lockstep with a certain idea of support, way of writing,  or a particular method of saying things is always treated badly or called out.  

Last time I said something a little different (but with a kind heart), I was told I didn't belong on this board because the surgery I had removed my cancer.  (Apparently temporarily)  Several people kept asking me to come back so I did, but I think that was a mistake.

I owe no apologies because I meant no harm, I called no names, I wasn't judging her and I don't think badly of her no matter what she does.  I feel like we are all in this together.

Or, at least some of us are.

Ann's cancer blog: www.butdoctorihatepink.com .....multicentric/multifocal IDC/ILC+DCIS/LCIS/ADH Official dx? "Your breast was a mess." ~UniMastectomy/Chemo/Herceptin/Tamoxifen/Recon Almost Done! Oh wait. mets to liver 5/21/11 Now Stage IV Dx 8/17/2009, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 20, 2012 07:44PM 33skidoo wrote:

If someone wants to advance the discussion, fine.  If you want to criticize someone you should PM them or let it go.  My 2 cents worth.

Dx 8/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 20, 2012 07:56PM Nel wrote:

Jejik,

Congratulations and remind yourself every baby is a blessing.   No matter the circumstances of their birth , their health whatever.  Breathe and hold on to the hoepfull expectaions as often as possible

Gentle evening

Nel

You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf Dx 9/27/2011, IBC, Stage IIIB, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Dx 8/6/2013, IBC, Stage IV, ER-/PR-, HER2+

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