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Rachel found out she had cancer the same day as her 20 week scan.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2016. I was also pregnant with our beautiful Evie.

I had found a lump in my breast and went to the Hospital to have it investigated. Following a biopsy I was told I almost certainly had breast cancer which was confirmed a week later to be a grade 3 and very aggressive.

That morning we’d found out we were having a baby girl and I’d been on cloud 9. I’d previously had a miscarriage and was on IVF treatment. Then in the afternoon my world fell apart. It was a roller coaster of emotions. I just thought ‘what have I done to deserve this.’

I had my first treatment a few days before Christmas eve. I had 4 chemotherapy treatments while pregnant, followed by a stronger course of 4 chemotherapy treatments after the baby was born as well as a lumpectomy and surgery to remove 19 lymph nodes. I also had radiotherapy which finished in October 2017.

I could feel her moving inside me when I had the treatment and I just thought, oh, she’s not liking this. It was awful, I was so sick, but didn’t know if I was sick from the treatment or morning sickness. The specialists were wonderful though and really looked after me.

The sad thing is, I missed out on all the best parts of pregnancy, that’s the hard part. I was so anxious I couldn’t get excited, we just kept going. When Evie came out she screamed and held her head up straight away. I couldn’t believe she was really here, we had our baby.

We had ups and downs. I remember crying when I was feeding her a bottle in the middle of the night because I didn’t know if I would be alive in a year’s time. Evie got me through it. I remember cuddling her to keep me warm while I was in hospital having the cold cap treatment. I’d be listening to the Rocky sound track, to get me through. That seems silly now but it really worked at the time!

Mummy’s Star have been an amazing source of support for us. They gave us hope, just to know somebody out there cared for us and to realise there were other people going through the same thing as us. We felt so alone, even though our families were around to help. After my maternity leave ran out things were so difficult financially. Mummy’s Star gave us a grant to help pay for childcare, supported me when I returned to work and I really wanted to be able to give something back and raise awareness. It has made me a better person and now I want to help others in my position. I have been very lucky.

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