ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando woman is celebrating the end of her chemotherapy treatment after she was diagnosed with breast cancer during her pregnancy.
Ivette Bailey, 41, finished her last round of chemo on Thursday at the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute. She ran the "Cancer Free Bell," a tradition that marks the end of a patient's chemo treatment.
"I feel blessed that I accomplished a big goal today," Bailey said.
Bailey was surrounded by family, friends, and nurses. But her biggest cheerleader was the smallest one in the crowd.
"He was with me for the first portion of my fight. It was like having a special buddy there," she said.
Bailey was in the second trimester of pregnancy. She was preparing for her new baby boy when she was delivered terrible news.
"There was something abnormal on my breast. Something wasn't right," Bailey said.
Bailey was diagnosed with breast cancer last fall. Her doctor wanted to treat it fast.
In December she had one of her breasts removed and then she started chemotherapy. She was undergoing treatments all while she was still pregnant.
"I'm not going to lie to you, I was very afraid, very scared. I was thinking, 'Whats going to happen to me? Am I going to be able to make it? Am I going to be able to deliver my baby with no problem?'" she said.
Breast cancer during pregnancy is very rare, occurring in one out of every 3,000 pregnant woman. Surgery for breast cancer and chemotherapy is generally safe for the baby if given later in pregnancy and typically doesn't have an effect on the baby's well-being, according to the American Cancer Society.
Bailey's son, Jude, was born on Feb. 22. He was a healthy and happy baby boy, but Bailey's fight wasn't over.
Now a mother of two, she had to balance taking care of a newborn while taking care of herself.
"I just kept telling myself, 'It's one more round of chemo. We're going to get getting to the end of it soon. OK, we can do this,'" Bailey said.
Bailey received her chemotherapy treatment at the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute. She went to the hospital once a week for the past five months until her treatment ended on Thursday.
"I'm encouraged that she will be well and healthy in the future," Dr. Bob Reynolds, a medical oncologist with the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute said.
Bailey said her faith, her family, and her new son got her through this.
"This victory is not my victory. This is God's victory in me," she said.
Bailey said now that her chemotherapy is done, she will start radiation treatment soon.
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