In 2007, 37-year-old Stephanie Hosford discovered she had breast cancer and was pregnant. Her and her husband, Grant, were devastated about her diagnosis, especially since they were also in final stages of adopting a girl from China. Unfortunately, doctors advised the mom to have an abortion so that she could start chemotherapy immediately.
According to the Daily Mail, Stephanie was almost certain she had to give up on her adoption dream and have an abortion. She said, “I was convinced I had to abort and probably give up on the adoption. I felt like such a failure. I was sobbing on the floor apologizing to both babies for letting them down. It was awful.”
However, before scheduling the abortion she decided to seek a second and third opinion from other doctors. Thankfully, she finally found a physician at City of Hope Medical Center who told her it wasn’t necessary for her to have an abortion. She explained, “My husband supported my decision [to continue the pregnancy] after the doctor allayed his fears that I would not be putting myself at risk by delaying the chemo for a bit. After we both knew I wouldn’t be at risk, we were on the same page and shared the same goals for our family.”
Stephanie did have some people tell her she was crazy to try and fight cancer, continue her pregnancy and adopt a child all at the same time. She said, “They were a bit on edge, of course, just like me, but overall very positive and supportive. One friend, however, told me I was insane to do everything – but that ended up making me fight even harder!”
As a part of her treatment, Stephanie had a lumpectomy and learned that her cancer was stage one. That news gave her hope and she started chemotherapy. Of course, the treatment was difficult but Stephanie pressed on with her plans to have her baby and go through with the adoption. She said, “My body was simply not my own. There was a battle being waged in there and it definitely wore me out! Also, there were a lot of needle sticks to endure with blood draws, infusions, glucose tests, and I hated every one of them.”
In March 2008, she welcomed her adopted daughter, Naomi, into her home. In fact, Grant went to China to pick up their daughter while Stephanie was having her last round of chemotherapy during her third trimester of pregnancy. Then, in May, the couple welcomed their daughter Samantha into the world. Stephanie said, “Seeing Grant come through the arrival gate with Naomi in the stroller, and hearing my OB tell me ‘She’s perfect’ after delivering Samantha, [were my best moments].”
After the birth, Stephanie had a double mastectomy to minimize her chances of the cancer coming back. Now the mother is 45-years-old and has been in remission for over seven years. Additionally, she’s written a book about her experience called, Bald, Fat a Crazy: How I Beat Cancer While Pregnant with One Daughter and Adopting Another.
Her hope is that her book will encourage other women facing similar circumstances to seek out all their options before making decisions. Stephanie concluded, “I really want women to know what their treatment options are. Get a second opinion, or even a third, and find the right doctor with the right experience for their situation.”