A young mum has told of the “hardest decision” of her life after being forced to abort her unborn child just WEEKS after being diagnosed with cancer.
Laura Andrews, 24, and husband Dayle, 25, were given the bombshell news that she would have to have a termination in order to have bowel cancer treatment in the same month as the diagnosis.
The mother-of-one was given the devastating diagnosis that she had bowel cancer in mid-March – before discovering she was pregnant later in the same month.
Laura, a mother of one, said: “It is the hardest decision we’ve had to make in our life and no parent ever wants to imagine themselves having to make it.
“I found out that I had bowel cancer in mid-March, and it was at the end of the month that I discovered I was pregnant, and sadly told that I’d have to have a termination which I had in April.
“It’s extremely upsetting to lose a baby but we were told by doctors that if I didn’t have the termination, I wouldn’t be able to have any life-saving scans and treatment for my cancer.
“It was difficult though as in the space of a couple of weeks I’d been told I both had cancer and would have to terminate my baby.”
In May Laura, who has a two-year-old daughter Myla, had her eggs frozen to give her the chance to become a mum again.
She had to endure major surgery in Royal Blackburn Hospital to remove her rectum and the whole of her colon, which has been successful.
It has left her having to use an ileostomy bag, a special bag placed over the stoma to collect waste products that usually pass through the colon (large intestine) and out of the body.
Laura, from Blackburn, Lancs., said: “I will have to wear this bag for the rest of my life, which basically goes over my small intestine and sticks onto my stomach.
“It’s not easy but my husband has been really supportive about it, and also the surgery has seen the tumours removed and stopped them from spreading.
“But I’ll have to have more chemotherapy treatment next week in hospital to make sure the cancer doesn’t come back.”
To show his support, husband Dayle has now had a tattoo put on his tummy of the ileostomy bag.
The couple are hoping to raise awareness of bowel cancer through community events once Laura has finished treatment.
“Dayle has been great and really supportive about the ileostomy bag to the point that he decided to have the tattoo.
“It’s the shape of my bag and has wedding hands and flowers on it.
“My dad also did a charity swim in the Lakes a couple of weeks ago to raise money for Clic Sargent and Macmillan Cancer.
“We’d like to raise awareness of bowel cancer and are thinking about organising some community events to do this once I’ve finished my treatment.
“Bowel cancer isn’t very common in people my age, but people over the age of 60 are invited to take part in bowel cancer screening.
“We’d like to see that changed as it will help save lives.”