In this Pink Courage report Neile Jones introduces us a mother who found out- while she was just a few months pregnant- that she did, in fact, have breast cancer.
Cristy and Scott Norwood have been through an unimaginable battle to save not only her life, but the life of their unborn child. It was a fight that all started when Cristy found a lump in her breast. The couple would go to four different doctors, who all seemed to agree after looking at ultra sounds and MRIs, that Cristy did not have cancer.
Cristy says she was still in pain, "It was so bad, I couldn't lay on my side, couldn't wear a bra. I mean it hurt. Everything hurt to touch it. The skin was just so sore."
Nursing her youngest child and pregnant with another, the doctors thought Cristy's pain and swelling could be hormonal and possibly treated with antibiotics.
Her husband Scott says he tried everything he could to help, "I kept calling the doctor to try and get more antibiotics because every time she would finish the first round, the pain would get worse."
Finally Cristy had had enough and went to her surgeon's office demanding a procedure. She says she told him she wanted surgery, "He said we can do a needle biopsy and then we'll get some results back and I said no can you just take them out? Can you just go in there and cut them (lymph nodes) out?"
The next day she had surgery and then a few days later, she got a phone call telling her she had cancer. Already through her first trimester of pregnancy, Cristy, with the help of her medical team, was able to have a mastectomy and start chemotherapy. Then, right in the middle of her treatment, she gave birth to a baby girl; a moment of relief for a woman fighting for two lives.
She says it's a moment she'll never forget, "When they pulled her out I remember vaguely getting to touch her and I thought...Oh thank you so much she's perfect, she's just perfect."
A few weeks later when Cristy brought her newborn home from the NICU, she was also in the middle of even more intense chemo, battling Triple- Negative Breast Cancer, a rare form of the disease.
Scott says she spent 18 months fighting for her life, "She had 318 different doctor's appointments in an 18 month period, 18 surgeries, 30 chemos, 33 radiations."
Today, Cristy is cancer- free with five healthy kids and she has a whole new outlook on life, "Life is a very, very precious gift and we aren't promised today. And we're not promised tomorrow. And there are no guarantees. And so I don't think we should ever take anything for granted; ever."
Cristy was recently honored by The Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation at the Fifth Annual Peace, Love & a Cure Event, an amazing honor for an Amazing woman.