If Stacey Johnson had listened to her first doctor, her son William would not be alive today.
Diagnosed with breast cancer while she was pregnant, the Leawood, Kansas mother was told to consider aborting her unborn son, CNN reports. Instead, she got a second opinion.
Johnson, a nurse, said she found a lump in her breast not long after discovering she was pregnant. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and, at 11 weeks of pregnancy, was asked to consider having an abortion before beginning chemotherapy, according to the report.
Then, she went to a second doctor, breast oncologist Dr. Lauren Nye with the University of Kansas Health System, who renewed her hope for her and her unborn son.
“So then I met her and we talked about her options which none of them included terminating her pregnancy,” Nye said.
While pregnant, Johnson went through a mastectomy and chemotherapy. And in the late spring of 2017, she gave birth to her son William, who was born healthy, the report states. Next week, the family will celebrate William’s 1st birthday.
“Everyone I saw was so complimentary, like ‘How did you get through it?’ or ‘How did you do it?’” Johnson said. Her answer to them was “because I had someone else’s life to think about.”
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A growing body of research suggests pregnant women can safely undergo cancer treatments without harming their unborn babies. In 2012, a collection of stories from The Lancet found pregnant women don’t need to have an abortion to get treatment for cancer.