The way this new mom found out she has breast cancer is frightening
Imagine going into the hospital to give birth and leaving with a breast cancer diagnosis. Sounds scary, right? That’s exactly what happened to Ruth Taylor, from Wales in the U.K., when she welcome her second baby girl into the world last fall.
During her pregnancy, Taylor was still breastfeeding her firstborn daughter, Anni. She’d noticed that one of her nipples had become inverted, but didn’t think much of it. Which is totally understandable. If there’s a universal truth out there about breasts and pregnancy, it’s that boobs change during the process. Like, a lot. (Just ask Chrissy Teigen.) Also, inverted nipples are not too uncommon and are typically not a cause for concern. Plus, Taylor didn’t find a lump or anything else that seemed odd.
Still, while she was in the hospital for the birth of her second baby, Harri, Taylor asked the midwives to take a look at what was going on with her breasts. You know, just in case. It’s a good thing that she did, because the hospital staff did find a lump. After diagnostic scans and a biopsy, Taylor learned she had a very aggressive form of breast cancer.
Needless to say, she and her family was stunned. According to Cosmopolitan, Taylor told the Mercury Press, “I couldn’t feel a lump, so I wasn’t overly concerned. If I hadn’t pestered the midwives to examine me while I was in hospital giving birth, chances are I would have just gone back to my busy life and ignored it for even longer.” She went on to explain, “So, to say the diagnosis rocked our world is an understatement – we were in shock, petrified, it felt surreal. Cancer was definitely something that happened to other people. We couldn’t believe we were holding a newborn and a toddler feeling completely vulnerable and uncertain about our future.”
Taylor began chemotherapy treatments when her newborn daughter was only five weeks old. Two operations later — one to remove the cancer in her lymph nodes and another to remove the lymph nodes altogether — and after 20 radiation treatments, Taylor is cancer free. Now that her ordeal is over, she says, “Having two children under the age of two and dealing with the side effects of chemo was a struggle and there were days I felt so unwell it was hard to get out of bed. I made it through by focusing on one hour at a time. I had to; there was no other choice. Being a new mum with cancer could be quite a lonely place to be, but the children definitely encouraged me to focus on getting better. They kept us busy, sane and positive, and I am really proud of how our family got through it together.”
We’re so glad this story has a happy ending, and we wish the best to Taylor and her sweet family. You can learn more about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer here. And always remember, if you suspect there might be something wrong, never hesitate to ask for help! Taylor’s awareness about her changing body is what ultimately saved her life. The best advocate for your health is yourself.