Pregnant w/ Stage 4 Breast Cancer

I immigrated in Canada over three years ago as a skilled worker. I have diligently contributed to stroke research with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. 

In November of 2017, it was a miracle to find out I was finally pregnant with my first baby which is already almost 14 weeks (36-38 weeks full-term) at that time.  At the age of 37, it is considered high risk. Sadly, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes along with my congenital heart problem, yet, my hope and joy kept me strong.

During my second trimester, I  discovered a lump in my right breast that is not there before I get pregnant and brought this matter to my family doctor. After being referred to Ob/Gyn, I was scheduled for breast ultrasound and mammogram because the size is very concerning. Biopsy was recommended right away and results came out quickly. Initially, it was stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer, grade 2 of 3 including metastatic axillary lymph node. Then succeeding tests resulted to stage 4 as 1 spot metastatic bone disease is present in T6  spine. There is also 1 suspicious nodule in right lung that has to be recheck after delivery. After consultation to a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, surgeons, and high risk Ob/Gyn, my best option is urgent mastectomy, then wait for full term baby with induced delivery by the end of April. As soon as recovery is reevaluated, restaging will be done before chemotherapy starts for a period of 4 months in every 2 weeks.  Radiation follows for 5 weeks daily (Mon-Fri) except Sat-Sun. It will also take 5 years for anti-receptors pills (estrogen and progesterone receptor positives, HER2 negative) with expected 5-20% relapse of cancer. 

My situation is very overwhelming. My husband is self-employed and with our combined income, we make ends meet. Yet, in the current situation, the financial aspect is completely changed. Cancer treatment is not fully covered in Canada,  it can incur out-of-pocket expenses such as prescription drugs, hospitalization bills and expenses for frequent hospital visits. Being out of work for uncertain period that includes treatment and maternity leave, these situations will make living very difficult for my growing family of three. As an immigrant, I rely on friends and colleagues serving as my support system.

I highly appreciate all the support from friends and colleagues. All the donations in this platform will be use to help me overcome this long battle of cancer. I also humbly ask for prayers to be able to combat this battle. Hoping for the best outcome and be able to be there for my son. Truly grateful for all the support and may God bless you a thousand fold. 

28525652_15215610510_r.jpegIt's a boy! Baby Jonathan at 14wks❤️❤️❤️ Turning 32wks on March 25, 2018.

28525652_1521597[phone redacted]_funddescription
Letter from colleagues❤️

28525652_1523314281.712_funddescription.Baby Jonathan at 34wks and 1day❤️❤️❤️


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Shelly Abad Cruz-Duldulao 
Ottawa, ON
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