- Breast Cancer during Pregnancy
“We have your biopsy results back…its cancer.”
Welcome back to Season 3 of Fifty Shades of Motherhood! This week Carla talks to the brave Keisha Chadwick. Keisha discusses how she discovered a lump whilst pregnant and learning that she had breast cancer shortly after giving birth.
If you would like to donate to help Keisha please visit: https://gofund.me/2ccb6a94
Resources on checking your breasts:
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[00:01:55] Hello everybody. And welcome to Fifty Shades of Motherhood today. I am speaking to an incredibly brave lady Keisha Chadwick. Keisha has just given birth to her gorgeous, gorgeous little baby. And during pregnancy, towards the end of the pregnancy, she found a lump in her breast. Um, she has since been diagnosed with breast cancer and today she wants to share her story to raise awareness on checking your breasts. I hope you enjoy this episode.
[00:02:49] Hello everybody. And welcome to Fifty Shades of Motherhood. Today. I am joined by a very, very brave lady, Keisha Chadwick. Keisha was diagnosed with breast cancer after, after having her baby. And today we’re going to be sharing her story, um, and talking about her journey through pregnancy, right the way to where she is now.
[00:03:12] So hello, Keisha. How are you?
[00:03:15] Keisha: Hi, I’m fine. Thank you.
[00:03:17] Carla: Thank you so much for coming on. And talking about this, this subject. It’s very, very brave of you to do so. So thank you.
[00:03:23] Keisha: It’s ok. I just want to make sure people are checking their breasts more.
[00:03:30] Carla: Yeah, absolutely. It’s a really important subject. And I know what I said to you before actually checking breasts is almost like, I mean, I have, I do do it in the shower, but I, uh, I do kind of skim over it sometimes because I’m that, I’ve got really bad health anxiety you see? So I just worry so much about things that I’m almost scared to find something. And also, I did say to you, when we first started talking, I didn’t know how to properly check my breasts and you sent me this, this really good diagram. So we’ll put that on the link for people listening, but, um, let’s get started with a bit about you then Keisha. So how old are you? Keisha?
[00:04:10] Keisha: So I am 28.
[00:04:11] Carla: Yep. And you got pregnant at 28, didn’t you? It wasn’t a planned, planned pregnancy. Was it?
[00:04:17] Keisha: Yeah, no, it was, it was actually a shock, um, I’ve always said, That I didn’t want children. And I was sort of just focusing on my career. I was a student nurse. So when I got pregnant, I had to decide what to do with, with my university degree. Um, but I did decide to continue with it throughout my pregnancy. So, yeah, so because of COVID and everything, um, I was doing my placements at the hospital, but I had to finish at 28 weeks, um, just to protect himself from COVID.
[00:04:53] Carla: Oh yeah.
[00:04:55] Keisha: Yeah. So still doing all my online work and everything and, all my assignments.
[00:05:00] Carla: So how far are you in, well where you went to that? Um, into that course, your degree?
[00:05:06] Keisha: I was literally in my last year, so I was meant to qualify in January. So literally the next couple of months I was meant to qualify. But I have had to step off.
[00:05:17] Carla: Wow. So close to that end and that finish line. So when you found out you were pregnant, then were you excited or were you terrified?
[00:05:27] Keisha: I was in so much shock, I didn’t believe at first. Um, but then when I had got my head around it, I was so happy and excited to say as well, that I’d thought that I’d never wanted children. I was so happy to be pregnant. I was really looking forward to it.
[00:05:43] Carla: Aww. And how was your pregnancy then? Did everything kind of run smoothly? Did you find out the sex?
[00:05:50] Keisha: Yeah, it was, my pregnancy was amazing. I loved every minute of it. And I loved my bump. I absolutely loved, I just loved being pregnant. And we found out the sex, um, paid for a private scan, found out with sex. And I was so happy that I was having a girl. But yeah, everything went fine throughout my pregnancy. I wasn’t until the last couple of weeks I was having like reduced movements. So I’d been going into hospital quite a few times to be monitored. Um, and then it was towards the end of a pregnancy when Milana wasn’t meeting the criteria, when they was checking me so to decided to induce me at 39 weeks pregnant.
[00:06:32] Carla: That’s good for going in for reduced movement though, because it’s easy to put in your, it’s easy to say to yourself, isn’t it like? Oh yeah, they will be moving or putting it off, but you should always go in. So was she, was she okay then when, when they did that final, final check, just kind of.
[00:06:47] Keisha: So they did. Yeah, it was more like, so they didn’t, they did a scan and they weren’t, she wasn’t getting enough blood flow from the placenta. Um, so that, that’s why they thought that she was having reduced movements and then they needed to induce me quite quickly. Um, I was booked him for induction on the Sunday and had gone in for the scan on Saturday, but they just brought it forward to the Saturday night and just kept me in.
[00:07:15] Carla: Were you nervous about the birth or?
[00:07:17] Keisha: No. Do you know what? I wasn’t. I was really excited. Like I try not to think about anything until it’s actually happening. So no I was really excited for it all just from the start to finish. I was just really happy.
[00:07:33] Carla: And so the induction then, how was that for you?
[00:07:39] Keisha: I didn’t know what to expect. So obviously they induced me, I had the first like pessary, put in.
[00:07:48] Carla: Oh yeah.
[00:07:50] Keisha: So that was in for 24 hours. And nothing had really changed. So then I had to have another one, six hours for six hours and another one for six hours after that. And it wasn’t until the third one had gone in, my waters broke on their own. Um, so my waters broke and my show came and I was left with, my waters broken for 30 hours before they had space for me downstairs on the delivery unit.
[00:08:18] Carla: Oh god.
[00:08:19] Keisha: So I was literally in a bay with three other women. I was contracting and I was on my own as well because of COVID. I had nobody with me. Um, I w I was just having these contractions for 30 hours straight until they eventually came up to get me.
[00:08:36] Carla: Oh my God. Did you have any, any painkillers or anything during that time?
[00:08:40] Keisha: I did have, they did give me paracetamol but because I was up on the labor ward, and not on the delivery suite. I wasn’t able to have anything like gas and air or anything like that.
[00:08:51] Carla: Oh god bless you. Oh my goodness. Yeah. Especially when it’s first time and you don’t know what to expect. Yeah. That’s frightening. So you had your gorgeous little baby didn’t you? Um, and then, and then what happened after that? Because that, that wasn’t smooth, was it for you?
[00:09:10] Keisha: No. So, um, once I’d managed to go down to delivery suite. I was then I was on the hormone drip, um, and my contractions was literally back to back every 30 seconds. I didn’t have a break at all. They gave me an epidural and it only worked down one side. So literally I felt every single contraction down my left hand side. And I was on gas and air as well. And then before we knew that I was 10 centimetres, so they were like right we’re ready to push. But then I flagged for Sepsis. So they stopped me from pushing while they intervened and put all my iv’s in, give me my antibiotics and everything. And then I was allowed to push and I was pushing for about two and a half hours. And she just wasn’t like getting through a dip. She just kept going back up. Um, so baby had to be monitored and then her heartbeat was dropping.
[00:10:08] Carla: Oh its frightening.
[00:10:10] Keisha: I know, and eventually then I was rushed for emergency forceps. So I had my emergency forceps, Milana was born, but then she was taken straight away. Um, cause she needed to be treated for sepsis as well.
[00:10:26] Carla: Oh god. Is that how, I mean, just did it come from, from her or? Did you both have it?
[00:10:33] Keisha: Yeah, they treated us both for sepsis. So as soon as Milana was born, they took Milana away. So they could treat Milana for it and give her antibiotics as well, which they did through IV as well. So she had to have a cannula in bless her, um, and then they decided to keep us in hospital. While we were both treated for the sepsis.
[00:10:55] Carla: Oh, it’s frightening that like all of that happening. The whole thing, I think sometimes, well, I don’t want to put anyone off that’s pregnant at the moment, but it is just for some people it’s, it’s quite a traumatic experience having a baby, especially all the things that can, can kind of, I think it’s just the worry, isn’t it? Where they’re checking the heart rate. Oh, it’s dipped and then you are panicking aren’t you? But you are in the right place. When you are in hospital, I mean, you know, that that’s the thing. So they, they managed to stabilise your both then and you were both okay. Which is really good.
[00:11:27] Keisha: Yeah.
[00:11:28] Carla: So after that, then what happened? Cause you got COVID didn’t you?
[00:11:33] Keisha: Yeah, so Milana was born on the Tuesday and on the Wednesday I started to feel unwell. And like, my chest was tight and my throat was sore and I was questioning myself thinking have I got COVID our is it just literally, because of, you know, from the gas and air and everything, when I was having Milana I was put on oxygen as well. So I’m thinking about, maybe I’ve got a sore throat from that, but then it was just like, I just knew I had COVID I just knew from the way I felt. I, I felt so poorly and run down. Um, so then obviously I tested positive for COVID and then I was taken to isolate on my own. So literally, like I’ve got this newborn baby. They’ve put me in a room on my own, they was, I was having to ring the bell for them to come in and they was having put full PPE on and it was just horrible. The first couple of days, I just, I, to go home, it was making me feel so down and depressed that I had this newborn baby and I was on my own. I didn’t even have a tele in the bedroom that I was in like nothing. I felt like a prisoner.
[00:12:41] Carla: Oh, gosh. Yeah, because you’re on your own and you can’t even cuddle her? Like you just don’t know what’s going on do you?
[00:12:47] Keisha: No. I had a mask on, because I didn’t obviously want to pass it to the baby. So then I’m thinking, should I be holding her? Should, should I be leaving her you know, next to me and just touching her as and when I need to, I didn’t know what the best thing to do was.
[00:13:03] Carla: Oh, that’s good that they kept her with you though. Cause I, oh gosh, that, that would just blooming be awful. So, so were you quite ill with that then or?
[00:13:14] Keisha: Um, it wasn’t that bad. I don’t do you know what? Because of the sepsis and I was on the antibiotics and then I had COVID. I don’t actually know what I felt poorly with. And then I’ve just gone through such a long labor as well. Um it was just, just I’d lost my taste. I lost my smells. It was just a cough, a new constant headache. And I was just really tired.
[00:13:36] Carla: Yeah. And that, and I suppose, you know, after having a baby and like you said, all of that, that could just be all linked in with the whole thing. I mean, your whole body’s been through a lot there. So, so did you manage to get home? Did you get home before the COVID was over or did you have to stay there till you were tested clear?
[00:13:56] Keisha: No. So they did, let me go home because I was, I kept saying to them, I can’t be here on my own anymore. Like he, I needed to be in the comfort of my own home. Um, even though, then I had to go home and isolate on my own for 10 days.
[00:14:11] Carla: Oh gosh. Oh yeah. So you now you’ve had a baby and that time where people are like coming to visit, you miss out on all of that.
[00:14:19] Keisha: Yeah. So it’s like her dad didn’t even meet her until she was five days old. Cause we didn’t live together. I had to isolate on my own for the remaining time from the hospital.
[00:14:33] Carla: God that’s frightening. Isn’t it? God you poor thing. Bless you. Well, at least at least you got home in the end. I mean, I bet you didn’t even pack enough stuff.
[00:14:44] Keisha: I know, I asked to keep getting people dropping it off to the ward for me and they couldn’t even come on the ward to see me with the baby.
[00:14:51] Carla: Oh, bless ya. Obviously we’re going to be talking about the breast cancer side of things. Um, so, so you, you found a lump didn’t you at around seven to eight months pregnant. And was that from checking your breasts or how, how did you find that?
[00:15:09] Keisha: So I I’ll, I’m one of them, people thats guilty for never checking their breasts. And even to this day, I’ve still not checked my breasts. And I know I should. I was, I was laying on the settee. And it was just, I was watching tele and I’d literally, I must have just put my, my arm down at the side of my boob and I thought have I just felt a lump? So I’ve obviously had a little feel and it was quite clear that there was an obvious lump there at the side of my boob, but obviously I was pregnant. Um, your milks due to come in, your boobs change anyway, while you’re pregnant. I literally did not think anything of it. I remember texting my cousin saying, I’ve just found a lump. She was like, oh, probably be your milk. And I was like, yeah. And that was it. Didn’t think nothing of it. Didn’t even check it again.
[00:15:57] Carla: Yeah, because your boobs. I mean, I’m pregnant at the moment and your boobs are just forever changing. And honestly, it’s like. Just the pain and I mean, was it a painless lump or was it just?
[00:16:09] Keisha: Yeah, it didn’t hurt. There was, nothing hurt. It didn’t hurt to touch it. Like, I didn’t even have any pains throughout my pregnancy in my boobs. My boobs didn’t seem to grow or anything.
[00:16:21] Carla: No. Oh gosh. So, so, so at that point then, did you just kind of just brush it off as it probably was something to do with, with the pregnancy?
[00:16:30] Keisha: Yeah.
[00:16:32] Carla: Easy done. You would do wouldn’t you? So, so, so then, um, what, what happened and why did you then end up kind of talking about that lump once your little one had come then?
[00:16:45] Keisha: So I had Milana and, my milk hadn’t even come in till she was like four days old. So I was expressing for a little bit, and then literally I woke up, I tried expressing one day and my milk was just gone. Like I didn’t even get anything out of it. And it just felt, oh, that’s gone quite quickly. But then I noticed that my lump was still there and I really don’t know why. I know, I know you should go to the doctors when you have a lump, but I left it till she was 4 weeks old to go to the doctors. I just kept thinking, oh, it’s still there. It’s still there. So when she were four weeks, I went to the doctors, he obviously checked my breasts and he said, oh, you can move it. Which is a good sign. It doesn’t feel like it’s attached to anything. And he said to me, I do think it probably is a blocked milk duct. Um, I am going to refer to the breast clinic anyway, just to get double checked. He said, if there is anything else you can come back in here and shout out me but I’m more than certain it’s going to be a blocked milk duct.
[00:17:48] Carla: That’s what you wanted to hear as well isn’t it really?
[00:17:51] Keisha: Yeah.
[00:17:51] Carla: So, I bet you felt more reassured then, because, I mean, um, with my little boy, he was born like seven weeks early and my milk never, ever came in. Um, really. I think, I think maybe because he was born so early, but I imagine is that, is that a sign or like, could that be a sign for having breast cancer if your milk doesn’t come in or, or is it?
[00:18:16] Keisha: I don’t know?
[00:18:17] Carla: No.
[00:18:18] Keisha: I honestly don’t know.
[00:18:19] Carla: So, so from there, your doctor referred you, how long did you have to wait for that referral then?
[00:18:24] Keisha: So the referral came through quite quickly from seeing my doctor I was up at the hospital 10 days later.
[00:18:31] Carla: Right. Yeah. And you, at this point, I suppose, because of what your doctor said, you weren’t as worried about it.
[00:18:36] Keisha: No was not bothered at all. So I went, I went to the hospital on my own and I didn’t think anything of it. He checked me and drew a circle around it, like they do. And then they send you downstairs and for an ultrasound, because I’m only 28. All I was having was an ultrasound. I wasn’t having a mammogram or anything.
[00:18:53] Carla: Why do they not do that?
[00:18:56] Keisha: I don’t know I think, they only offer mammograms to women over a certain age. I think it’s 50.
[00:19:02] Carla: Oh, that’s frightening. Isn’t it? You know, we can still have breast cancer at 28 years old, but you don’t get any kind of checks for it. So, so, so you just went for the ultrasound then. Um, and then what was that like? Is it a bit like, um, a pregnancy scan, but over the boob?
[00:19:18] Keisha: Yeah. So they’ve just done an ultrasound over the area, where he’s circled, um, that you could see on the screen. And she was like, oh, it’s quite light in colour. Um, which obviously could show that it’s a blocked milk duct because with the lightness, it’s probably your milk. Um, so they was, they was telling me the exact same as what the doctors told me, it’s probably a blocked milk duct. She did say, she said, I’ll do a biopsy, on you now just to make sure and we can rule it out, that it isn’t anything else. So again, I didn’t think nothing of it. I was a little bit taken back when they wanted to do a biopsy, because I didn’t expect that they’d be doing that. Or they’d need to do it.
[00:20:00] Carla: Yeah, probably. I mean, it’s a good thing. They did really isn’t it? So, so at that point then were you sent home, you’d done the biopsy and, and you were sent home as, as normal?
[00:20:12] Keisha: Yeah they told me to come back two weeks later. For the results of it. So fast forward two weeks again, I didn’t expect nothing. Cause they said blocked milk duct as well. I had gone to the hospital on me own. I had took my baby baby to her Nana’s house to look after her. And then I drove to the hospital
[00:20:33] Carla: And the, and so they hadn’t rang you at this point or anything like that? That you’ve just been oh, right. So, so sometimes like, I mean, I. Everything I blooming go to the doctors. I’m like, they would have rang me if it’s something urgent, they would have rang me if it’s something urgent, but you didn’t get a call like that. So, so what happened when you got in there then?
[00:20:50] Keisha: So I was literally, I’ve just gone in and they’ve asked me to go into another room and just ask me to take my top off again, just to have another check and I thought. I didn’t. I just thought, oh, this must be normal. And then he checks me and he said, right, just get dressed and then come out and come into the other room. So I’ve gone out and it. when I’m looking back now. It was such a strange feeling because I could see people looking at me, you know, like the nurses and the staff that works there. And I were thinking, why are they looking at me? And I thought are they looking at what I’m wearing, like my hair? Like what they’re looking at before. And then I sat down in this room and I’m just sat there smiling away. And the doctors come in and he’s just introduced a nurse as well. And it even, even at this point, I have not thought anything of it. And it was literally until he said to me, we’ve got your biopsy results back and it’s cancer.
[00:21:46] Carla: Oh, god honestly sent a shiver down my back. That is awful. Um, what was your initial reaction?
[00:21:56] Keisha: I said to them you’re lying. I know you lying. And then it was the look on their faces. They just looked so sad. Like the doctor even said to me, he said, I’m really, really shocked that I’m telling you this news because you have just had a recent, you know, you have just had a baby. There’s no history at all breast cancer in my family. And I was saying I’m 28 years old. He was like, I know he said, that’s why we’re really really shocked. And then I just broke down crying and I just didn’t realize, I couldn’t take him what they were saying.
[00:22:25] Carla: I know I don’t blame you, because when you hear the C word, the dreaded C word, you just think the worst don’t you like I imagine like the worst came into your head well it would me.
[00:22:35] Keisha: Well, that’s what I was saying to him. I was saying to him, am I going to die? Am I going to die? Please tell me, I need to know am I going to die? But because I was on my own, I couldn’t take it anything in what they were saying to me anyway.
[00:22:47] Carla: Oh God. Yeah. Oh my god. You’d have just, oh, it’s awful. I can’t even, honestly, it makes me so sad thinking that you had to go through that on your, on your own as well, like that whole thing. So, so what happened that day? Did they kind of put plans in place or what was the next step from there then?
[00:23:06] Keisha: Well, it was on a Friday that they told me. And because I was so in like, I wasn’t in denial. I was just so shocked and I didn’t, I never, ever expected to hear that word. And I just said to him, I’m sorry. I said, I can’t take this in a need to go home. My mum was on holiday, so I’ve rang my mum while I was in the room. And she was like, right, right we’re going to get the next flight back, um, I stayed at my cousin’s house that weekend, but because I just thought breast cancer was breast cancer. I didn’t know. There were different types of cancer in your breast. So I’ve just left and I have not had any information off them at all. So they did tell me they was going to ring the back on the Monday and go through everything with me, when I was sat with somebody to take it all in properly. So from Friday to Monday, it literally. I had in my head I was going to die. I didn’t know, what type of cancer I had, I didn’t know what treatment was available for me. I didn’t know what happened, what was going to happen. It just felt like it was the longest weekend of my life.
[00:24:05] Carla: Oh, it sounds awful. And there are so many successful stories, but unfortunately, like, you know, the ma the main ones that make it, like out there, you know, that people read are the scary, scary ones, aren’t they? So that’s what you probably used to see in a lot of the time. And so, so, oh God, I bet. I bet you just struggle even to bloody function really that whole weekend?
[00:24:28] Keisha: And I did, I literally, I think I cried for like the full weekend straight, like a I’d just be, I’d be waking up in the middle of the night and I’d just break down crying. I’d be looking at Milana thinking, oh my gosh. Like, this is meant to be the happiest time in my life. And I’ve just been told I have got cancer with a seven week old baby.
[00:24:49] Carla: Oh God, God. So, so Monday came around then. Um, and what happened when they phoned you then?
[00:24:58] Keisha: So she, she phoned me, the Macmillan nurse. Um, she explained to me what, what had come back from the biopsy. And she told me what cancer it was that I had, it was a triple negative. And she explained that we’d probably be looking at doing chemo, surgery and radiotherapy as well. Um, didn’t know, we didn’t know what order at this point, so they’d literally got me back in. Um, to do more tests, which was obviously more ultra sounds, um, because I had been diagnosed with cancer. That’s why then was able to do a mammogram on me. And literally the same day on Monday, um, I was referred straight over to the fertility clinic to get my fertility treatment started straight away so I could start my chemo straight after that.
[00:25:51] Carla: Can you just explain a bit about why you have fertility treatment? Because I know, I think, I suppose people might think, well, it’s in your breast. Why why’d you have to kind of go for fertility treatment? So what, what does that mean?
[00:26:04] Keisha: So they said to me, um, with the chemo, there’s a chance it can leave you infertile. Um, obviously because of my age and only having the one child, they give me the option of doing like the IVF fertility treatments. So I went to St. Mary’s hospital where I started that process, where I had to inject myself twice a day for 10 days. And then after that, I’d had a scan to check if my eggs was ready. And then they operated to remove the eggs.
[00:26:36] Carla: Gosh, so soon as well after you’ve just had a baby. So oh bless you. So, so had your periods started as normal then as well. By this point?
[00:26:47] Keisha: I’d only add one period.
[00:26:48] Carla: Yeah. Oh goodness. So, so what happened at the ultrasound then from there? Did they, were they able to tell you more about like how your cancer was? Or whether it was anywhere else or did they do, what did they do?
[00:27:04] Keisha: So they did the ultrasound and they just looked at the area again. Um, the lump that I had. Got the size of it. And then I went around to have a mammogram the same day, the mammograms are more it’s like an X-ray of your boobs. So it’s more of in depth. When, when they did the mammogram, um, there was two other areas. Um, of cancerous cells that they found that hadn’t been picked up on the ultrasound, because it was so deep in my breast, there was only picked up from the mammogram. Um, and I could see them, I could see him like looking and, you know, sort of discussing this. And because at the time I just wanted to know what was going on and, and I could tell by the face that they found something else, I made him tell me there and then. I said, look, I said, it’s not fair. And I wanna know what it is, so he actually was, he was really nice and they got it up on the screen and they showed, they showed me the other areas in the breasts that had come up on the mammogram.
[00:28:05] Carla: Oh gosh. Because I bet it just feels like you’re just getting one blooming hit after another, at this point.
[00:28:11] Keisha: Yeah. Well then after that, they took me back round then to do another ultrasound. Cause they wanted to see if it spread to my lymph nodes. So when they did the ultrasound, they said, right, your lymph nodes are swollen. So we’re going to have to do biopsy on them as well. Right away, straight away, I was like right its in my lymph nodes, its in my lymph nodes. So they took a biopsy of my lymph nodes and all together, I ended up having 10 biopsies all together from, from a breast, my lymph nodes. My breasts was like oh it was black and blue. It was awful.
[00:28:49] Carla: It sounds it. And then, and then with the lymph nodes ones, did that come back straight away or did you, again have to wait for that?
[00:28:55] Keisha: No. Uh, I had to wait a week then for them results to come back. So the results come back, the confirmed the other two areas in my breasts was cancer. And luckily, thank God the lymph. It hadn’t spread to the lymph nodes, they were just swollen due to the biopsies that I had ,had the two weeks previous.
[00:29:17] Carla: Wow. So at this point they knew it was just in the breast then the cancer is that right?
[00:29:22] Keisha: Yeah, yeah.
[00:29:23] Carla: Oh, God, not, not that thats any constellation. Oh God, your mind must have been going absolutely crazy at this point.
[00:29:33] Keisha: It was awful.
[00:29:34] Carla: Did they, did they make a plan with you there and then, then about what, what happens next?
[00:29:40] Keisha: So I was then referred for a CT scan of my body to check that it hadn’t, it hadn’t spread to any other organs in my body. Um, and then again, I had to wait another week for that to come back. But in this time frame in this week they had to come up with a plan. I’d met my oncologist, um, which they decided to do chemo first. I start with chemo tomorrow. So my oncologist told me that my CT scan had come back negative and it hadn’t spread anywhere else.
[00:30:10] Carla: Yeah. I bet you’re so happy when that came back, but still, oh God.
[00:30:15] Keisha: Do you know why it was so strange because even though I’ve still got cancer, I felt like it was celebrating. Because it hadn’t gone anywhere else in my body.
[00:30:25] Carla: I know what you mean. Cause you must just get used to the idea of right. I’ve got it. And then you think the worst and then, and then that, oh God, I mean, it’s awful that you’re having to go through this at 28 years old, to be honest with you. It’s so bad. So at the moment, you’re waiting for your chemo, aren’t you starting that tomorrow?
[00:30:43] Keisha: Yeah. Starting chemo tomorrow , I had my bloods done today and my injection, which is, um, basically an injection in my tummy, which will shut my ovaries down. So, it will give me a better chance of, um, you know, trying to be fertile after my chemo. So it sort of like puts you into menopause. Um, while you’re having your chemo, um, I’ll start my chemo tomorrow, which will be every week for nine weeks. And then the second lot of nine weeks will then be a different kind of chemo every three weeks. So overall it be around 18 weeks that I’m having my chemo for. Um, and then after that, I will be having my breasts removed.
[00:31:29] Carla: Right. Yeah. God, it’s so much to think about, isn’t it?
[00:31:33] Keisha: Yeah. Um, I don’t feel like it’s real. I it’s just a strange feeling.
[00:31:40] Carla: Yeah. I can imagine. It’s just, oh, I bet. Like you said before, it’s like, like you’re talking about someone else sometimes. Cause you just don’t think this could ever happen to you do you?
[00:31:51] Keisha: Since finding out I had it. I haven’t been able to like cry. Like it don’t sit there. I can’t cry. I don’t feel sad about it because at the end of the day I’ve got cancer. Like there’s nothing I can do about having this diagnosis. Apart from having my chemo and having my surgery to beat it and get out of my body.
[00:32:10] Carla: Yeah. And now you’ve got actions in place that is hopefully going to do that. And, and they’ve caught it, uh, I mean, you’re lucky in a sense considering, I mean, say you’re lucky, you’re not, you’re 28 years old and you’ve got this, but I mean, in the sense that, you know, it’s something can be done. And thats it, but I mean, as for your uni and everything, that’s now completely on hold, isn’t it?
[00:32:34] Keisha: Yeah. I won’t be able to return to university til 2023 and I’ve got to do the full year of again, even though I only had like four months left.
[00:32:45] Carla: Oh, it’s so unfair. And money-wise, I mean, did you have any insurance or anything like that in place or. For this kind of thing?
[00:32:57] Keisha: No, no, you don’t. I don’t, you don’t expect anything like this to happen. Do you like? I’ve I’ve had to stop university, where I was getting an income of my student loan, which now I’m not able to get so on top of obviously having a diagnosis worry, you then have money on top of it, that you’re worrying about thinking, how am I going to pay my mortgage? How am I going to pay my bills?
[00:33:24] Carla: Yeah, of course, of course, because you know, these are the, these are the things a lot of people look, oh, well,I’ll start I’ll get life insurance or something once my baby’s born or whatever. But I mean, all of this, I mean you’ve just kind of had a baby and everything thrown at you? In one go haven’t you really?
[00:33:42] Keisha: I know. Well, I’m hoping now, cause well with me having like sepsis, COVID and now cancer they say it comes in three. So I’m hoping that this is the last, you know, thing what will happen to me really.
[00:33:55] Carla: Definitely. And, you know, Just you sharing your story is such a brave thing to do. Um, so, so tell me a bit about what your friends are doing for you, because I’m sure there’s people listening that would love to support you in any way they can as well for sharing your story.
[00:34:11] Keisha: Yeah. So this Saturday, the 25th of September, my friends are doing a sponsored walk from Tameside hospital at the MacMillan unit where obviously my journey started, I’d been diagnosed and they walking to Christie’s hospital in Manchester where I’ll be starting the chemo tomorrow. And then they’re walking back again.
[00:34:34] Carla: Oh wow. Oh bless them.
[00:34:37] Keisha: I know it’s going to, they’re going to be walking for about seven or eight hours. And so they, they, yeah, they’ve got that in place to, to happen on Saturday.
[00:34:47] Carla: Oh, amazing. And so they’re raising money for you so that you don’t have to worry about your finances during this time, and you can actually, you know, have, have a normal life during this time, I guess, without worry.
[00:35:01] Keisha: Yeah. It’s just to try and make it a little bit more easier for me. Um, obviously so I can buy myself a wig, um, cause they’re not cheap either. Um, and as a young girl, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s a hard thing the thought of having to lose your hair.
[00:35:17] Carla: You know, that, that’s the thing you, you know, we all worry about our hair and stuff like that. And these are all things that you’re gonna have to go through. I’m not meaning to make you feel even worse, but do you know what I mean?
[00:35:28] Keisha: Yeah. I mean, I said this to my friend yesterday. Like I’m so fixated at the moment on starting my chemo and, you know, losing my hair. I’ve not even thought yet about, I’m not going to have any boobs. Like I’ve got to have my boobs removed yet, and I’ve not, I’ve not even thought about that bit yet.
[00:35:48] Carla: I think it’s just one thing at a time, isn’t it at the moment. I mean, you’ve got a lot in front of you, but hopefully, you know, very soon you’ll be at the other side of this and, and, you know, I think what you said earlier about not thinking about things till they actually come round is probably a good, good way to be really.
[00:36:07] Keisha: Yeah.
[00:36:08] Carla: So, so what we’ll do is I’ll put the link in the comments to the go fund me page. Um, if you can send that through to me and then, um, and, um, perhaps we can have an update on where you’re up to maybe, maybe in the new year, once everything’s, once everything’s done and finished with, when, when do you think that will be?
[00:36:31] Keisha: So I do think, I think my chemo, if it all goes to plan, obviously with your bloods being taken every week, they need to keep an eye on like your white blood cells and everything, so hopefully if I don’t get delayed with any of my chemo treatment, I should be finished by the end of January. And then I’ll have like a four to six week break before they do my surgery.
[00:36:53] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. Just to get your strength up again and stuff like that.
[00:36:57] Keisha: Yeah. Um, so hopefully, um, I’m hoping then with me having my full breasts moved. I wouldn’t need radiotherapy at the end, but that is still an option that I might need to, to do at the end of everything.
[00:37:12] Carla: And, and how’s your little girl now, how old is she now?
[00:37:15] Keisha: She’s 12 weeks today.
[00:37:17] Carla: Goodness. You’ve been all through all of that in such a short amount of time.
[00:37:22] Keisha: I know it’s crazy.
[00:37:24] Carla: I just want to give you a big hug. Aww so, so she’s 12 weeks. How is she? I bet.
[00:37:30] Keisha: She’s amazing.
[00:37:32] Carla: Bet she’s keeping you busy.
[00:37:35] Keisha: Oh, she’s just the best thing ever to happen. Like I just, I just look at her and she just makes me so happy.
[00:37:42] Carla: Oh, oh, I’m so happy for you. Oh, she’s so cute. So yeah. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s such a brave thing to do. Such a brave thing to do. I don’t think I could do that, but thank you so much. And, and in regards to people checking the breast, really that that’s what we want people to be doing as well don’t we so. Anyone listening to this, please, please check, check your breasts.
[00:38:08] Keisha: Yeah absolutely.
[00:38:09] Carla: And we’ll put a diagram on, um, and everything and hopefully we can catch up soon anyway, and you’ll be on all the other side of this and back to uni before you know it.
[00:38:20] Keisha: Yeah, hopefully it goes fast for me and then I’ll look back and it would just be, just be a part of my life that I can get over.
[00:38:27] Carla: Yeah. Just a chapter in your book.
[00:38:29] Keisha: Yeah.
[00:38:29] Carla: And its closed. Yeah. No, exactly. Well, thank you so much for sharing your story today.
[00:38:36] Keisha: No problem. Thank you.
[00:38:38] Carla: Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode of Fifty Shades of Motherhood. Fifty Shades of Motherhood is all about being free, being real, being raw and saying what you want to say. Without fear of judgment. So if you have enjoyed today’s episode, please, please share it with your friends. You never know who it might help.
[00:39:13] Not everyone is so open about sharing their stories. So it’s really important to raise awareness around topics so that it can help other people feel less alone. And also, if you don’t mind reviewing us and subscribing, that would be amazing. It means the more listeners we have, the more podcasts that I can create.
[00:39:35] So thank you once again for listening. If you want to make any suggestions for future episodes, please pop me an email over my email. It’s [email protected] And I look forward to speaking to you next time on Fifty Shades.