Polly on treatment

A woman sitting at a table, holding a cup.
A woman sitting at a table, holding a cup.

Polly was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant. She was given different treatment options, including ending the pregnancy. But she decided to go ahead with it and had a mastectomy and chemotherapy to treat the cancer. Having treatment was hard, but she found support through her family.

Polly's story

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on 12 December 2012. When I told the doctor I was pregnant, he talked about a termination but I didn't want to lose the baby.

On 27 December, I had a mastectomy. Going under anaesthetic was risky for my unborn baby, so I wasn't able to have a reconstruction. Afterwards, I felt groggy and sore. But all that seemed irrelevant when the doctor arrived with a monitor to check the baby’s heartbeat. It was such a relief to hear.

As my cancer wasn't triggered by hormones, I had chemotherapy while pregnant and was told I could have further treatment once the baby was born.

In the middle of January 2013 I began chemotherapy, finishing in June that year. The chemotherapy made me tired, left me feeling down, and my hair started coming out in clumps so I shaved it off.

When Alfie was born I wasn’t allowed to breastfeed, and just two weeks later I continued chemotherapy. Luckily, I didn't need radiotherapy as only one of 26 lymph nodes was infected.

It was hard looking after a young baby during treatment but my mum was a great help. My daughter also loves helping me look after him. One thing I have learnt along my journey is to be grateful for the simple things in life.