Making Strides: Pregnant women get breast cancer

Catherine, Levi and Joel Detty at Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Concord. Catherine was diagnosed with Stage 2b Triple Negative Breast Cancer shortly after her 18th week of pregnancy with Levi. Courtesy
Catherine, Levi and Joel Detty at Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Concord. Catherine was diagnosed with Stage 2b Triple Negative Breast Cancer shortly after her 18th week of pregnancy with Levi. Courtesy
Catherine and Joel Detty during her pregnancy when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Courtesy of Nancy Dion Photography
Catherine and Joel Detty during her pregnancy when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Courtesy of Nancy Dion Photography

I am a three-year survivor. This is my first year as team leader for Team “Surviving for Two.”

Our team was named as a tribute to my family’s journey through breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. In July 2014, I found a lump in my right breast, I was 17 weeks pregnant at the time. I couldn’t ignore it, “something” in me said this is not normal.

Thankfully my midwife listened, and ordered an ultrasound. In the same week an ultrasound revealed the gender of my baby, another revealed the cancer in my breast.

I was diagnosed with Stage 2b Triple Negative Breast Cancer shortly after my 18th week of pregnancy. My little survivor, Levi, was born healthy after surgery and four rounds of chemotherapy inside mom. He then cheered me on for four more rounds of chemotherapy, bilateral mastectomy and 28 rounds of radiation all before his first birthday! He is my co-survivor and hero.

We walk to support the ongoing research and development in the treatment of breast cancer. We walk to honor those who have walked before us as they undoubtedly laid the path for my successful treatment and survival.

I want my story to inspire women to advocate for themselves, if something feels wrong push for screenings. Young women get breast cancer. Pregnant women get breast cancer.

One in 3,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant. I am just one of those women.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my story.

Author: Catherine Detty

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