By PAUL SIMS, Mail Online 28 August 2012
It is a decision no expectant mother should have to face. After years of trying for a baby, Jo Powell finally discovered that she was pregnant. But her delight turned to despair days later when doctors found she had breast cancer and advised her to sacrifice her unborn child’s life in order to save her own by beginning chemotherapy. Mrs Powell defied the doctors, however, and refused to start the treatment until much later in her pregnancy, in a gamble that could have cost her her life.
Miraculously, she and her husband Richard are now celebrating with their young son, Jake, after being told that she has beaten the cancer.
Mrs Powell, 41, an office administrator, said yesterday: ‘When I heard the word cancer my first thought was, “I’m going to lose my baby.”
‘It was like I was in a living nightmare. We had been trying for a baby for years, and we were convinced it wasn’t going to happen for us, so Jake was so special.
‘I knew we couldn’t give up on our baby. There was no way I was going to sacrifice him to save myself.
‘I knew that even if I didn’t make it, I would have brought a life into the world.’
The couple, from Newark, Nottinghamshire, discovered Mrs Powell was pregnant in 2010. But days later she found a lump in her breast. Doctors at Nottingham City Hospital warned that they could not begin chemotherapy while she was still in the early stages of pregnancy.
Mrs Powell was told that if she chose to keep her unborn child she would have to delay chemotherapy until later in her pregnancy when her baby would be strong enough to survive it.The doctors advised her to consider an abortion, explaining that her cancer was aggravated by her hormones and that the pregnancy could help the disease grow faster.