In the United Kingdom, 33-year-old Seema Tailor-Bulsara was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was five months pregnant with her son, Jai. Initially, Seema thought the lump on her left breast was a blocked milk duck but went to have it examined anyway. Unfortunately, doctors discovered that it was indeed cancer and she would need to undergo a mastectomy as well as have aggressive chemotherapy treatment.
After the diagnosis, Seema and her husband, Manesh, were at a loss of what to do because they were worried about their baby. Seema said, “I was in complete shock. I was terrified what it would mean for my baby. As I got into the car with Manesh I just burst into tears and said ‘I’m too young to die. Then we went home and broke the news to my family. I realized my baby might have to grow up without me.”
However, Seema followed her doctor’s advice and within a week of the diagnosis, she had surgery at Good Hope Hospital to remove her left breast and seven lymph nodes. Seema said, “The breast care surgeon, anesthetist, obstetrician and oncologist worked closely together to achieve one outcome: To save our baby and me. But when I came round after the surgery he started kicking, so I knew he was OK.”
According to the Mirror Online, now Seema credits her baby for saving her life. “In a way Jai has saved my life. The tumor was heavily dependent on hormones and the pregnancy fuelled it. So Jai helped me detect it, otherwise it could have been too late before I did,” said Seema.
Seema also encourages women to seek medical advice if they notice anything different in their bodies. She said, “Cancer can affect anyone at any time. If you suspect something isn’t right then don’t just ignore it and hope it will disappear. Unfortunately, there are no mammograms routinely offered to young women, and often the younger you are the more aggressive the cancer can be.”
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In December 2014, Seema delivered Jai at 34-weeks via emergency Caesarean section after his growth started slowing down. He weighed a tiny 3lbs 14oz but is a healthy baby boy. Seema said, “We decided to name him Jai, which means ‘victorious.’ We never thought we would see that day, so when we did it was a victory for him and us. I couldn’t believe that he was really here. He had little pink hands and was just adorable.” She added, “It was an incredible day for us. That day we didn’t think about the cancer. We were just elated and it was all about him.”
Three days before Christmas Seema’s doctors called to tell her that she was in the all clear and on the road to recovery. She concluded, “I grabbed my little boy and said, ‘Mummy’s going to see you grow up and get married! I plan to do whatever it takes to keep my promise to my son.”