'a baby is life changing, so is cancer' Martina's story

Martina was diagnosed when she was just 24 weeks pregnant with her first baby.

In Martina's case the pregnancy had helped reveal the lump in her breast at around 20 weeks. She was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. This is her story…

'It was an incredibly scary and unsure time. I felt real fear with the pressure of having my first baby whilst also going through treatment. I was worried if I'd be able to look after my baby once she was born. You are scared that this cancer diagnosis will damage your baby, but thankfully it didn't. My treatment felt terrifying. I was so concerned about being able to cope and look after my baby at the same time, but at each stage it was fine and I didn't feel that it hindered me in looking after her. I felt lucky, because I know that certainly isn't the same for all mums in my situation.

Having a baby is a life changing experience, but so is cancer. My advice for anyone else going through this is to focus on something positive. For me, it was my baby because she was my new normality. Although, her journey into this world was not easy, she helped me through my treatment. I didn't have normal maternity leave, it was spent having my my treatment and unbelievably my identical twin sister had also been diagnosed with cervical cancer a few months prior to me, so our family had to come to terms with that too and pull together to get on with it. I think I'd also say that if you have chemo where you'll loose your hair, shave it off before, because the trauma of losing my hair was far worse than not having hair!

Mummy's Star has brought so many people in the same situation together. I started my journey thinking that I was alone and now I know that I am not. I haven't written much on the forum, but I have read people's comments and have learnt so much from them. The support I received has made me feel able to deal with and understand the new me. I also received a grant from Mummy's Star as I was not receiving maternity pay, which has helped lesson the financial worry. I know my journey is not over yet, but I know that with the support of Mummy's Star I will be able to cope and deal with it.

As they say, life does go on…'

Martina x

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