LEAWOOD, KS (KCTV/CNN) – When a Kansas mother found out she had breast cancer 10 days after learning she was pregnant, she went through a mastectomy and chemotherapy in order to deliver a healthy baby boy.
Stacey Johnson from Leawood, KS, went from experiencing one of the highest highs that life can offer to one of the most terrifying lows in a matter of weeks.
You’d never know it by looking at nearly 1-year-old William, but Johnson’s little boy went through an awful lot with his mom before he was even born.
"I've been through the ringer," Johnson said. “Everyone… is so complimentary of ‘how did you get through it?’ or ‘how did you do it?’ Because I had someone else’s life to care about.”
Not long after she'd taken a positive pregnancy test, Johnson found a lump in her breast. Just a couple days after Thanksgiving 2016, she found out she had cancer.
As a NICU nurse, she didn’t waste time getting into a doctor to decide a course of treatment, and at 11 weeks, she was told she should consider terminating her pregnancy.
“Understanding that my case was unique, but not fully understanding all the options, this was a scary first opinion,” said Johnson in an interview with the University of Kansas Cancer Center.
That’s where Johnson went to get a second opinion.
"So, then I met her, and we talked about her options, which none of them included terminating her pregnancy," said breast oncologist Dr. Lauren Nye.
As long as a woman is into her second trimester, emerging research is showing it’s OK to treat several cancers, especially breast cancer.
Johnson underwent both a single mastectomy and chemotherapy while pregnant. The drugs not deemed safe were saved for after William’s birth.
Now, as William prepares to turn one at the end of May, the Johnson family is enjoying life and loving every minute of it.
Copyright 2018 KCTV via CNN. All rights reserved. Raycom News Network contributed to this report.