“Breastfeeding saved my life”: Woman discovers she had deadly cancer thanks to feeding her newborn
A mum-of-two has beaten deadly cancer all thanks to BREASTFEEDING.
Nicola Reeves, 37, from Buntingford, Hertfordshire, had been more aware of changes in her breasts since she began feeding her new-born baby, Eleanor, now 18 months.
The mum-of-two first noticed a lump in her breast – which she assumed was a blocked milk duct – when little Eleanor was just 11 weeks old.
But shockingly, after visiting her doctor, Nicola was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer.
After six gruelling rounds of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery to remove and reconstruct her left breast, Nicola has finally been given the all clear.
Nicola said: “Breastfeeding Eleanor has definitely helped save my life as it enabled me to catch the cancer early.
“I was much more aware of changes in breasts as I was feeding my baby.
“I was shocked to learn that I had breast cancer – the doctors think it developed when I was pregnant.”
After initially assuming the lump was harmless, Nicola visited her doctor who referred her to a breast unit at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridgeshire.
After various investigations and tests, Nicola was given the earth shattering news that she had a cancerous tumour in her breast that measured 6cm in diameter.
She said: “Me and my husband, Martin, were devastated when I was diagnosed.
“I was utterly crushed to the point where I thought it couldn’t be true.
“I was so scared of leaving my Martin and children – that was the main thought in my mind before I could even try and digest any of it.”
Despite her worries, Nicola tried to focus on the success rates of beating cancer.
She said: “I would wake up during the night praying that it all been a horrible nightmare but it was my reality.
“But I soon realised I needed to just get on with it, I had my family to think of and they needed me.
“I had my blonde hair cut short to deal with the after effects of chemotherapy.
“After my mastectomy and reconstruction, the healing process was actually better than I had expected.
“Once I finished my treatment I was cancer free.
“It was the most amazing news, it was fabulous to hear.
“I’m so thankful I breastfed Eleanor as being more aware of my body saved my life.
“I have a future to look forward to now and I’m so grateful to have caught my cancer early.”
Throughout her battle Nicola was keen to find others in the same position and came across ‘Mummy’s Star,’ – an amazing charity dedicated to supporting women with cancer through pregnancy and beyond.
Nicola said: “It was such a relief to talk to other women who were in the same position.
“The support the charity provides is fantastic, I can’t thank the founder, Pete, anymore for setting it up.
“He is such an wonderful person who has helped me through the worst time in my life.”
Pete Wallroth, the founder of Mummy’s Star said: “Receiving a cancer diagnosis either during pregnancy or shortly after a birth is a situation that affects women across the UK every year but yet which there is very little awareness of or recognition.
“The trauma and challenges this places on a family are devastating, during a time when they should be excited about the prospect of a new birth or celebrating a new arrival.
“I recently met Nicola at a charity ball she hosted to raise money for Mummy’s Star.
“She is such a selfless woman who was keen to help fundraise for us from the moment we started talking.
“Nicola has found our support and forums a massive help and we are just glad that we are now there for women and families like hers.”