Queensland mother Sarah Shaddick was six months pregnant when she received the news that an aggressive and incurable cancer had spread throughout her body.
Now she’s made a bucket list for herself and her “miracle baby” to fill her remaining time with happy family memories.
The 28-year-old Jimboomba woman was determined to be a mother after beating the cancer she was diagnosed with when she was 25.
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“I had a mass of 1.4 kg, measuring 15 x 20 cm, growing on my stomach between my ribs,” Shaddick said.
“The mass grew so quickly – I had my left kidney removed because the cancer was spreading and now I have a scar running from the left side of my body to the right side.”
But just years later, mid-pregnancy, she was told that a rare and aggressive form of cancer called leiomyosarcoma had spread through her body — and would soon become drug-resistant.
“The cancerous growths have spread everywhere, including my back, neck and legs,” Shaddick said.
Since she was at the end of her second trimester, it was safe for Shaddick to undergo chemotherapy.
“It was important to me that Halle arrive safely and that I understand the risks associated with chemotherapy during pregnancy,” Shaddick said.
“It was reassuring to learn that chemotherapy is an option and safe during pregnancy.
“It’s not common knowledge, I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions.”
After several rounds of treatment, she and her partner Luke Hill welcomed their daughter into the 37.5-week pregnancy on March 9 at Mater Mothers’ Hospital Brisbane, supported by Maters Maternal Fetal Medicine Unit.
“I had about six rounds of chemo during pregnancy and tolerated it well, and then I gave birth to Halle, which was such a joy,” Shaddick said.
After the birth of her daughter, Shaddick made a bucket list of every state in Australia, hoping to be able to travel to each of them with her now eight-month-old Hall before her first birthday.
“We’ve only got NSW, Victoria and the ACT left,” Shaddick said.
“No mother should have to do that”
Esther White, Mater Cancer Care Center Coordinator and Clinical Nurse Advisor, worked with Barb Soong, Head of Clinical Midwifery Consultation for Maternal-Fetus Medicine, and five specialized medical teams planning Shaddick’s treatment and delivery.
“Sarah swung over the pendulum of being a mother and having a terminal diagnosis,” White said.
Soong said she has never seen a case like Shaddick’s in her 33-year career as a midwife.
She returned to chemotherapy just two weeks after giving birth to her daughter. “No mother should have to do that,” White said.
Shaddick takes each day as it comes, with Halle as her purpose for being present.
“Having her feels so right,” she said.
“I feel like we tried to live as normally as possible and also enjoy the simple everyday things.”
Shaddick said it was difficult to process her cancer while pregnant, but learning it was incurable was the worst day of her life.
“I know this cancer is incurable and no one can tell me what’s going to happen, so I’m enjoying the now,” she said.
“I’ve never felt like giving up, and I never will.”
https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/pregnancy/queensland-mum-receives-shock-terminal-diagnosis-while-six-months-pregnant-c-8980096 Queensland mother receives shock diagnosis at six months pregnant