A “brave” woman from Liverpool urges others to “check their breasts” as she embarks on a grueling cancer battle in one of “most magical times”.
Gemma Parry, of WaltonShe has been on a “pretty long journey” all of her life but received a devastating diagnosis in December 2021.
Gemma said it ECHO she “never checked her breasts” but one day she was lying on the couch with a cup of coffee on her chest and when she went to pick them up she felt a “big knot”.
After starting chemotherapy on December 30th, she hopes that the treatment, along with the surgery and radiation therapy, will give positive results so that they can get on with their lives and enjoy the “most magical time” with their miracle baby.
She said, “Just check for yourself. If I hadn’t felt this lump, I don’t know where I would be in a few months. It is frightening.
“I was very tired, but I put it down to the depression, but now it could be the cancer.”
In 2016, Gemma met her partner Deji Ogunbiyi and “clicked” and started having a baby.
However, due to a recently diagnosed endometriosis at the time, Gemma was unable to conceive naturally and therefore needed IVF.
The 31-year-old “put her life on hold” and finally received the good news in 2019 that treatment could continue.
But the couple faced more bad news in 2020 when they were told their IVF transfer could be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said, “It was three years before I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I was regularly sick, in severe pain, and cried.
“Nothing could alleviate the pain.
“Some symptoms are painful intercourse, constant cramps, fatigue, and often it has been passed off as intestinal problems.
“I was 24 when I was officially diagnosed, but one of the problems with endometriosis is not getting pregnant.
“After two years of trying, I was referred for IVF but kept pushed back because of my weight. Everything was put on hold, even our wedding.
“We finally started IVF in December 2019 and we could do the transfer in my next cycle in March.
“In March we were on our way to the transfer and we were told that it could be postponed due to the pandemic as it was not known at the time how this would affect pregnant women.
“We decided to keep doing it and were literally one of the last. The next day they postponed all transfers, but luckily it was successful and we were pregnant with our miracle baby Ebony.
“I saw all IVF trips being canceled and we thought it would be ours, so we were made up. Many tears flowed. “
However, motherhood “was not what she hoped it would be” as she was eventually diagnosed with postnatal depression and anxiety.
The Walton mother then went on sick leave from her job as MDT cancer coordinator at Aintree Hospital after “hiding it for seven months.”
Gemma said, “Ebony had some health issues too and kept screaming and not going to anyone but me, it was a nightmare.
“I went back to work for a few months but was fired because I had too many irrational thoughts.
“Unfortunately, during my absence, while I was trying my best to regain the joy of life, I was diagnosed with stage 1, grade 3 triple negative breast cancer in December 2021.
“Ironically, I started chemotherapy on December 30, 2021, two years to the day I started the stimulation that would bring us our miracle baby.”
She added, “The first week of chemotherapy was terrible. I had to live with my mom and dad and feel guilty about not being able to properly take care of the baby.
“It’s been quite a journey.”
Gemma has now settled down Fundraising Page to raise £ 100 to help the family.
She said: “I would be happy if we can finally buy some wigs at the end of the treatment and finally take a little vacation.
“My partner and I were planning another IVF transfer, which is currently free, but this could change and we will have to drop out by the end of treatment and I will hopefully have the all-clear so that hopefully the money raised is also possible. ” can be used if necessary. “
The 31-year-old also documents her way from IVF to motherhood and now to cancer – you can see it on Instagram with the handle ebonyeverafter2020.
Papa Shaun Parry said his daughter was “the bravest person I have ever met”.
He said, “She was diagnosed with endometriosis many years ago and struggled with the chronic pain that it brought with it. Often times, even prescribed morphine could not relieve the pain she was suffering.
“Gemma was desperate to have a baby, but as a couple they couldn’t get pregnant naturally so she stopped all of her pain medication and started IVF just when the Covid infection started and when she’s not the last person IVF is given to Liverpool / UK, then she is close by.
“We were told she had breast cancer. She is ready for it. She is ready for battle. “
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