A mum diagnosed as terminally ill who refused chemotherapy so she could have a baby has had a Christmas miracle and been told she is now – cancer free.
Police officer Heidi Loughlin, 35, was three months’ pregnant when she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive inflammatory breast cancer in 2015.
She turned down super-strong life-saving treatment and ignored doctor’s recommendations to have an abortion in order to give her baby a fighting chance.
Baby Ally Louise Smith was born 12 weeks early via c-section on December 12, 2015 – but tragically passed away just eight days later after developing an infection.
And to make matters worse, Heidi, from Portishead, Bristol, who is also mum to Noah, 4, and Tait, 3, was told in September 2016 that her cancer was terminal, and she had four years to live.
In response to the devastating news Heidi wrote on her blog, Storm In a Tit Cup, that she felt like she was “swimming in the wake of a ship wreck” and “fighting an impossible battle”.
But this week, police officer Heidi received miraculous news – in an incredible turn of events, Heidi’s latest scan has shown her body to be currently free of the disease.
Thrilled Heidi has said she is “so grateful” for the precious time she has been given back to spend with her sons and her partner Keith.
She said: “Knowing what it feels like to say goodbye, the thought of having to go through that again is absolutely unbearable.
“I can dare to dream that I’ll be here for a really long time. I’m only 35, I feel great. The world’s my oyster now.”
Heidi first noticed something was wrong when she was breastfeeding youngest son Tait in February 2015, and noticed a rash.
But doctors said she had mastitis – a common condition for new mums where breast tissue becomes painful and inflamed.
She thought nothing more of it, and was overjoyed to learn she had fallen pregnant with her third child months later.
But in September she was left devastated when tests revealed she had inflammatory breast cancer, a rare form of the disease with a typical prognosis of two to five years.
And a year later, in September 2016, she was dealt a further blow when she was told she had four years to live.
Heidi, who had been documenting her cancer journey on her blog throughout this time, began compiling a bucket list of things to do with her family before she died.
These included a Christmas trip to Disneyland Paris, road trips across Australia and the USA, getting married, and living to see her sons start primary school, secondary school and university.
And now that Heidi is cancer-free, she still plans to throw herself into life as much as possible – as doctors suspect her cancer may eventually become active again.
She said: “Next year that’s going to be my main aim, I’m going to start thinking about what I’m going to do with the rest of my life.
“A lot of people are terrified to do that, because they think it will come back to get them.
“But actually it doesn’t change – whether I spend the entire time terrified and wasting time on feeling terrible about what might happen to me, or I spend the entire time embracing the time that I’ve got.”
Heidi has won a legion of fans online for her up-front and brutally honest blog, called Storm in a Tit Cup, about the disease.
She has also been ticking items off her bucket list – including marrying her fiancé in February and taking a road trip across America in May.
Her blog can be found here: http://storminatitcup.blogspot.co.uk/.