When Jade Devis of Rancho Cucamonga, California, found out she was pregnant in December 2018, the last thing on her mind was a cancer diagnosis. But that’s exactly what she got two months later when a biopsy revealed that a lump on her breast was stage 2 triple negative breast cancer, a rare form of the disease.
In an interview with TODAY, Devis revealed the fear she felt for her preborn child after receiving her diagnosis. “I felt trapped. The only way out was to do the one thing that I thought I wasn’t supposed to do, which is put my baby in harm’s way,” she said.
Devis’ doctors recommended abortion, telling her that her preborn baby was too small to withstand chemotherapy. Killing her preborn child was an option Devis refused to consider. “I wasn’t going to let anybody tell me his fate. I was going to do everything I could to save the baby. I wasn’t going to let a disease take the baby from me,” she said.
Instead, Devis waited to start treatment until she was about 25 weeks along when it was safer for her child to withstand some of the medication and radiation. According to TODAY, she underwent a treatment regimen called FAC (5-fluorouracil, adriamycin, cyclophosphamide), which is one that has been tried the most in pregnant patients. Still, she didn’t know what impact her stress and treatment would have on her child. After waiting on pins and needles for the entirety of her pregnancy, Devis gave birth to a healthy baby boy in July. He was full-term and weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces.
I felt like I’ve been holding my breath the entire time when he was trapped in my belly and I had to go to chemo,” she said. “I’m just happy he’s out of my belly. He’s safe now.”
Devis is still undergoing chemotherapy treatments, some of which leave her in so much pain that it is difficult to hold her new baby boy. A single mom, she is receiving support from her older sister who moved in with her to help. “She’s doing great,” said her oncologist, Dr. Gayathri Nagaraj. “We’re proud of how she handled everything.”
Nagaraj told TODAY that she has a message for other expectant moms who find out they have cancer: “There is hope.”
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