A Rare Cancer Post Birth, Chelsea’s Story

4 Posted by - October 3, 2015 - Birth, Breast Feeding, Cancer, Motherhood
Chelsea and June by Jade Beall

Chelsea and June by Jade Beall

When June was 6 months old, I went to the doctor to have a cough and minor chest pain checked out.  After a whirlwind of a few days, including a false-positive pregnancy test, I was diagnosed with a rare cancer called gestational trophoblastic disease.  Essentially, a small handful of cells remaining from my placenta had became cancerous.  I fell into the high-risk category because I’d carried June to term (the biggest blessing in all of this), the cancer had spread from my uterus to my lungs, and my hcg levels (the pregnancy hormone produced by the cancerous placenta cells) were astronomical.  We began intense chemotherapy immediately after a surgery to remove any cancerous tissue from my uterus.

Chelsea and June by Jade Beall

Chelsea and June by Jade Beall

 The hardest part was the abrupt end to breastfeeding.  I’d honored and treasured breastfeeding, and had hoped to do so as long as June desired.  On the morning before I went to the gynecological oncology clinic for the first time, something told me to sneak into June’s nursery and feed her.  I did.  Unbeknownst to me, in just a couple hours, I’d be told I would never breastfeed her again.  She was a champ about it, though, and after a couple heartwrenching moments when she tried to nurse and I had to stop her (my breastmilk had turned toxic), we both learned to move forward.
Chelsea and June by Jade Beall

Chelsea and June by Jade Beall

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At this point, we’re hopeful that active treatment is nearing its end.  As cliche as it sounds, we’re grateful to have this opportunity to take stock of what matters in life.  We’re also grateful to have so much positivity in our corner: June is a true brightness, our family and friends rallied by our side, and my husband and I are facing and conquering another challenge together.  We have hard moments, of course, but we know we’ll all be stronger, closer, and hopefully more mindful for having had this experience.

Chelsea and June by Jade Beall

Chelsea and June by Jade Beall

Chelsea and June by Jade Beall

Chelsea and June by Jade Beall

5 Comments

  • Alaina October 3, 2015 - 7:01 pm Reply

    Wow. So crazy how life can change in an instant. I wish you a full recovery to put this past you. You’re beautiful and so is your June.

  • Jill Bacharach October 3, 2015 - 11:27 pm Reply

    You are a warrior of love and life- giving
    , love- giving energy to June and to the world! Thank you. I feel nothing but love for you. #iloveyouprogram

  • Hannah Richards October 4, 2015 - 3:43 pm Reply

    Beautiful images! Chelsea I wish you the absolute best in your recovery x

  • Camila Valério October 29, 2015 - 5:07 pm Reply

    Oh Chelsea, I understand you so much! When my first (and only) daughter was 6 m.o. I also was diagnosed with cancer. It was not a rare type and I was told the treatment was “easy”. I felt like dying, not because of the cancer itself, but because I was terrified by the idea of leaving my baby behind in this world. I alwaus wanted to be a mother and then, when I suceeded, I was diagnosed with a mortal disease. Life is so strange sometimes…
    When I went to the clinic, for the chemical treatment, I knew the hardest moment had arrived. I was supposed to be completely away from my baby for 15 days. I could not even kiss her goodnight or to put her to sleep. I was toxic. Even my touch in these 15 days could be harmful to her, so fragile!!
    The Good news Chelsea, is that I’m fine now! it all happened from August 2014 to February 2015. I’m fine now and my baby is turning 2 years old in few days. I was afraid to never be able to celebrate her birthday, but no ! now and I’m fine and recovered, and I’m sure you be over it soon! We got the chance to live again, so, lets make our best this time and love, love, love,love very much!
    All the best for you!

  • Wahida November 1, 2015 - 8:09 am Reply

    Hugs dear Chelsea and Jade

    Luv You

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