A heartbeat of hope

Getting cancer was just the beginning...

Published by: Laura Hinton and Emma Shephard
Published on: 24th August 2010

Throwing up for what felt like the 100th time, my boyfriend Keith mopped my brow.
He’d been my rock
since I’d been diagnosed
with breast cancer.
He’d been the first to tell me I looked beautiful after my partial mastectomy, the one who was always there when I was sick after chemo – and he was great with my girls, Tia, nine, and Tamera, four.
‘Feeling better?’ he whispered, helping me back to bed.
I nodded feebly.
Days later, though, I was still being sick. ‘I don’t understand – I was getting better,’ I croaked.
I’d been on the cancer drug tamoxifen since the doctors had found some remaining cancer cells after my operation. But my check-ups had been reduced to once every three months.
I’d been making progress, but now I felt sicker than I had for a long time. Could this be the end?
Worried, Keith called the doctor, and I was taken in for tests. Hours later, the nurse came in. Was it my imagination, or did she look really serious? My heart thumped…‘Tell me the worst,’ I said.
‘Don’t worry, your test results are normal, your treatment’s on track.’
‘So why am I throwing up still?’ I said, confused.
‘Maybe you’re pregnant?’ she smiled.
‘No chance,’ I shook my head sadly. ‘The chemo and radiotherapy’s made my ovaries pack in. I can’t have any more kids.’
Gently, she laid me back on the bed, prodded my belly… ‘I can feel something,’ she said.
‘Oh God, is it another tumour?’ I cried.
She put sensors on my tummy. Suddenly, there was a bleep.
‘A heartbeat…’ I gasped.
It was a miracle, but…
‘The cancer… will the baby be okay?’ I worried.
‘I’d say you’re about five and a half months along, so we’ll take you off the drugs and monitor you regularly,’ she explained. ‘We can only hope.’
Hope. For the next three and a half months, I was torn between that and worry. Would the baby be all right? Would the cancer come back? Would the birth go smoothly?
Thankfully, Tyrese was born healthy on Christmas Eve. Two years later, here I am! And I’ve just been told I’m in remission.
Sadly, me and Keith are no longer together, but we’re still firm friends and Ty adores his daddy.
My baby was the extra ray of light I needed to encourage me to carry
on fighting.
Battling cancer was terrifying, but I want the world to see how lucky I am – me and my three beautiful children.
• Visit
Lynette Ellis, 35, Manchester