A primary school teacher has given birth to a healthy baby girl despite bravely undertaking a whopping TEN chemotherapy sessions during pregnancy.
Lindsay Uphill-Robson, 31, was dealt the devastating blow that she had blood cancer Hodgkin lymphoma while she was just 14 weeks pregnant with her first child.
However, despite rounds of brutal chemo, she gave birth to daughter Aria just three days after her tenth session.
Mum-of-one Lindsay had initially gone to the doctors with her husband DJ, 32, after she couldn’t shift a nasty cough.
She was then sent for an X-ray because her GP thought it was pneumonia, but a scan revealed she had a mass of tumours on her chest.
The couple, who were in the process of moving house at the time of the diagnosis, had an agonising two-week wait as doctors debated whether they could safely continue with the pregnancy.
Lindsay, of Poulton, Lancs., said: “We have been positive all the way through my treatment and expecting Aria gave us something different to focus on.”
Lindsay, who teaches at Hawes Side Primary School, was told she had Hodgkin lymphoma, a form of blood cancer, in February this year.
Doctors told the mum-to-be that her baby would be smaller in size due to the bouts of chemo.
However, Aria was a healthy size – despite being born four weeks early and weighing 5lb 4oz on July 29.
Lindsay still has two more chemotherapy sessions to complete next month but has been told by her consultants that the tumour has now significantly reduced in size.
Speaking about her diagnosis, Lindsay said: “I went into the walk-in centre with a cough and was sent for an x-ray because they thought I had pneumonia.
“But then they found a mass on my chest.
“We had a couple of weeks when we didn’t know if we would be able to go through with the pregnancy due to the treatment I would need.
“But my consultant liaised with Christie Hospital in Manchester and they said it would be okay to carry on with it.
“The two concerns were the baby would be born smaller than usual, or would be premature.
“But doctors reassured me she would most likely be fine.”
Doctors had to carry out blood transfusions, a lung drain, baby scans and a biopsy under general anaesthetic, which could have been a risk to the unborn baby, as they battled to make Lindsay well.
Lindsay said: “She was born just three days after I had my last scheduled chemotherapy before I was due to give birth.
“I was meant to have a month off the treatment first, but she arrived four weeks early.
“She had jaundice and we had to stay in hospital for five days, but now she is doing fine and we are so happy to have her.”
DJ, who owns an abrasive blast cleaning company, said there had been “lots of tears, anxiety, sleepless nights and bedside vigils”.
He added: “From the moment we found out, our mindset was this was something we had to beat and our goal was to get Lindsay well and look forward to having a baby.
“Lindsay has been unbelievable, I have never met anyone as strong in my life.”
Lindsay is due to have two more bouts of chemotherapy in September, but halfway through her treatment doctors told her the tumour had already shrunk up to 90 per cent in size.
One in 800 pregnant British women are given the devastating news that they have cancer every year.
Figures show that only one in five foetuses exposed to chemotherapy before 12 weeks’ gestation is born with abnormalities.
But new medical research indicates there are no known longer-term side-effects for babies whose mothers have undergone treatment after the first trimester.
However, newer chemo drugs, including Herceptin and Tamoxifen, are avoided in the treatment of pregnant women because their effects on the foetus are unknown.
The family, who have raised £6,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, now hope Lindsay can fully recover and get the all clear by the end of the year.
To support their cause, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lindsaytobeatcancer
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