Texas mother welcomes baby days after finishing cancer treatment

AUSTIN, KXAN — Austin’s mom has extra money to celebrate this Mother’s Day just months after successfully completing breast cancer treatment while pregnant with her second child.

Emily Williams had her first routine mammogram for her 40th birthday last March, and the results were clear. In May, after seven IVF attempts, she learned she was pregnant with her second child.

But in June 2022, she discovered a lump in her breast. After her biopsy was completed, she was diagnosed with stage IIB breast cancer.

“It’s like my happiness has changed 180 degrees.” [degrees],” She said, ‘We’ve been through so much, can I still have this baby? ‘ And it really was, it was shocking to me. ”

Williams contacted Dr. Debra Patt, a medical oncologist at Texas Oncology Austin Central. Pat told KXAN that pregnancy requires oncologists to take different treatment approaches, some treatments are safe and others should be avoided until after delivery.

“In many cases, patients can safely continue their pregnancies and receive cancer treatment. Communicate any complications to your doctor as soon as possible,” said Pat.

Normally, Williams’ treatment would have started with chemotherapy. She was nearing her second trimester, so a team at Texas Oncology started with a single mastectomy.

After surgery, Williams’ treatment regimen veered to chemotherapy using two options considered safe for use during pregnancy. Although she finished her chemotherapy two weeks before her scheduled C-section, her daughter had other plans and Ms. Williams gave birth to a healthy baby girl just five days after finishing chemotherapy.

In a beautiful blend of worlds, Williams’ obstetrician and oncologist were close friends and were out for brunch when Williams’ water broke. They both came to help give birth to their daughter.

“The day I gave birth was like two worlds coming together,” she said. “And it’s also just a surreal and wonderful experience, which made my delivery a really great experience.”

Not only did her dream of giving birth to her second child come true after chemotherapy, but Williams also set her sights on another milestone. Staying active through chemotherapy and pregnancy, Williams decided to set herself a new goal by running the London Marathon.

This achievement will be her eighth marathon and fourth major marathon. Two months later, and after six and a half weeks of radiation therapy, Williams crossed the finish line and won a medal.

“It was a really moving experience. I broke down in tears and thought, ‘This is it.’ I mean, it’s over,” she said. “I think it was the perfect way to end my whole journey.”

Looking back over the past year, Williams said she hopes to continue to advocate for people to actively manage their health, including regular monthly breast exams and exams. Her experience was living proof, and in just a few months she went from a clear mammogram to a tumor that was nearly five centimeters in her size.

“Early detection is really important,” she said. “If you see anything different, even if you think nothing is wrong, always see your doctor to check, because the sooner it’s caught, the easier it will be to treat.” .”

Pat echoed Williams’ advice, saying women should be monitored closely for breast lumps, discoloration, skin changes, nipple discharge or bleeding that may be prevalent.

Women with no family history of breast cancer should start getting mammograms when they turn 40, and Patt suggests annual screenings. If you have a family history or other high-risk breast cancers, talk to your doctor about the best time and strategy for screening.

For Pat, seeing Williams’ progress over the past year and the birth of her healthy, happy baby girl has been an inspiration to other cancer patients, as well as their own struggles with cancer. She said it’s a reminder that a pregnancy can last until delivery.

“Emily is a source of inspiration and an inspiration to everyone she touches,” she said, adding, “Throughout the treatment, she kept working, exercising every day, and was happy.” I’m sure she had a lot of fear about this, but she tackled it without fear, and I’m so happy to see her and her daughter grow up with our team at Texas Oncology. Her home team worked well together to get what she needed for great results.”

At the heart of Williams’ journey, she said, was a team that supported her both medically and behind the scenes. Joining her breast cancer support group and finding a community to support her at her local fitness her studio has given her strength and courage to follow through with her treatments, pregnancy, and marathon training. gave her

“To have a happy and healthy baby after overcoming all the obstacles is truly amazing. We can only hope that cancer treatments will continue to advance and one day we will find a cure for cancer.”

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