Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Faces of Cancer - Breast Cancer While Pregnant

In July of 2009 our 28 year old daughter was 20 weeks pregnant with her second successful pregnancy after four miscarriages. She had also just been diagnosed with breast cancer. In the ensuing days of shock and disbelief, she found that local doctors could not present her with an acceptable course of action. By the grace of God she was able to find doctors at MD Anderson who assured her that maintaining her pregnancy and treating her cancer were possible. Her healthy daughter, Rachel, was born on the following Thanksgiving Day.

Fast forward almost three years and Erika found herself nominated to become one of the 'Faces of Cancer' for a local cancer group. Last night a reception was held in honor of the dozen or so survivors and their official 'Faces of Cancer' portraits were unveiled. These photographs will be seen at the local hospital and cancer center.

As an almost 7 year survivor myself, I look at my daughter in awe. She has overcome so much in her 31 years and she has done so with grace. Unfortunately her journey is not over and her 'new normal' has not yet presented itself. Although her cancer is in remission, she suffers from neurological damage resulting from her many cancer related surgeries. I pray that some day she will be pain free and that those who are unkind to her due to her ailments will find it in their hearts to respect her efforts to live as normal a life as is possible.

God bless you, honey, and I pray that your 'new, pain free normal' will come soon.

Below you will find her official 'Faces of Cancer' portrait and the accompanying biographical paragraph.

Faces of Cancer: Erika Vandiver

Life Motto: Life is a bumpy road, but God is the ultimate shock absorber! 

Erika Vandiver was diagnosed at age 28 with Breast Cancer, while 20 weeks pregnant with her second successful pregnancy after multiple miscarriages. She is the 5th generation diagnosed with breast cancer, only she and her mother have survived. She is happily married and the mother of two be
autiful children, a boy and a girl. She took chemotherapy while pregnant and delivered a healthy baby girl, who has been dubbed "the miracle baby". Erika is active at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church and Right to Life of Owensboro. As a self-professed science nerd, Erika makes her career as a Forensic Biologist.

Find Erika on her blog: Erika's Miracle Journey

Or on her Facebook Page: Erika's Miracle Journey Continues

Erika is eager to share her story and hopes to be instrumental in educating many women who are faced with similar situations. Her goal is to save as many babies as possible by telling her's possible to treat cancer while both mother and baby survive!