By James King
A mum who was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant shows she’s all clear – by posting three identical pics of her with her daughter over her eight-year journey.
Roisin Pelan, 40, was told she had a breast cancer diagnosis while 34 weeks pregnant with her first baby.
She then had to have a mastectomy just six days after her daughter Ivy was born – and fought to kick cancer with intense chemotherapy.
Despite the cancer going away after a year, it returned again in 2018 and doctors warned her she wouldn’t live past three years – but incredibly, Roisin got the all-clear again in February this year.
Now a mum-of-two and awaiting her wedding to partner Michael Brown, 37, Roisin told how her daughter, born days before her diagnosis, has never known a life without her mother’s cancer.
Roisin, from Preston, Lancs., celebrated her clear scan with a moving Facebook post showing three identical pictures of her and her daughter throughout the eight-year cancer battle.
The online business owner said: “These past eight years have without a doubt been the most difficult years of my entire life, but also some of the best.
“Dealing with your mental health is the hardest part – trying to believe you have a future when it feels like you don’t.
“Cancer is all my daughter, and later my son, have ever known. But having a cancer diagnosis twice really makes you want to live your life.
“We’re only here once and I have been given second and third chances.”
Roisin first noticed a lump in her left breast in May 2014 while moisturizing to help to avoid stretch marks during her 34th week of pregnancy.
She visited a doctor to check out the olive-sized lump, and ultrasound and biopsy revealed she had breast cancer.
She and now-fiance Michael were given options and chose to induce an early birth of their daughter, who they named Ivy, before having a mastectomy.
Just six days later, on June 6, Roisin had the procedure followed by six months of chemo as she juggled the grueling process alongside raising her baby daughter.
The year of her diagnosis, she had a photo taken with baby Ivy – which would later become an emotional reminder of her lengthy cancer journey.
The new family was thrilled to get a clear scan in January 2015, and began the process of applying to adopt their second child.
They believed a second pregnancy would risk bringing the cancer back due to the hormones and in November 2017 they were finally approved to adopt.
They planned to begin the matching process in January of 2018 – except at that point, things went downhill.
She said: “Days before I would have been celebrating three years in remission, I found another lump.
“I had been talking to someone and I just felt it, and my stomach lurched.
“I knew straight away the cancer had come back. When I went for a scan which confirmed it, couldn’t even look at Ivy.
“I didn’t know what I was about to put her through – usually when you have a recurrence, it comes back in the later stages.”
A week later Roisin was back in the chemo chair and was horrified as doctors told her it had spread beyond the original area, although not to another organ.
They warned her she would likely have just three years to live, and there would be little chance of surgery.
She said: “I walked out without an ounce of hope I would live. I thought I was dying, and that was it.”
But after going to a different hospital for a second opinion, different doctors agreed to continue with aggressive chemo and radiotherapy to eradicate the cancer a second time.
By 2019, she had a clear scan once more and was able to adopt her son at nine months old – and he and Ivy quickly became the best of friends.
And three years later she has proven the doctors wrong by outliving their three-year prediction – which she celebrated with a third identical photo with Ivy, who is almost eight.
While the first two photos from her cancer journey show her with no hair due to chemo, in this year’s photo she wears the biggest smile as she sports a full head of hair.
The trio of pictures serves as a reminder of how far she has come – a journey Ivy has been on alongside her from the very beginning.
She said: “Ivy knows words like chemotherapy, and she knows what CT and MRI scans are.
“At seven years old, she shouldn’t know these things.
“I will be on chemo forever but it’s just become our life now – it’s keeping me alive.
“These past eight years have without a doubt been the most difficult years of my entire life, but also some of the best.”
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