A pregnant woman with stage 4, terminal breast cancer has started a blog with the hopes of having something to preserve her memories to leave for her three children.
Caitriona O’Loughlin, 31, is due to give birth to her third child in November. She was first diagnosed with a curable form of breast cancer, but after it spread to her liver, she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at stage 4. Stage 4 means that it’s incurable and is spreading.
On receiving her terminal diagnosis, she recalls that she was “absolutely devastated...I couldn’t even think, I just didn’t want to believe it.” She says that she remembers feeling some guilt about leaving her young children without a mother. However, she know that "You have to keep positive...You just can’t sit around and think about it. You have to keep everything normal for the kids."
O’Loughlin claims that she wants to have the blog for her kids so that they can see for themselves what happened to their mother and how she was feeling throughout the entire process.
"One of my biggest worries about dying is that because they are so young they might not remember me,” she explained. “I hope that by having this blog to read when they are older it will help them to understand what happened." Her children are Caitlin (3), Daniel (18 months) and the one that she’s currently pregnant with.
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As for her prognosis, the young mum says that it is “not great to be honest...I’m just hoping that I stay alive long enough so that a new treatment will arrive.” She also recently found out that one of the tumors in her liver is increasing in size, a sign that the cancer isn’t slowing down.
As if worrying about her own health isn’t enough, O’Lughlin also has her unborn child to think about.
"It’s really hard to cope when I think of all the poison I’m putting into my body being pregnant at the moment. The treatment I’m on is safe, but still, it’s hard to put these things through your veins, as well as take a cocktail of drugs, when normally when pregnant, you wouldn’t take so much as a paracetamol. But I’ve no choice. I’m guilty that the baby has to go through it all with me.”
O’Loughlin hopes that her blog will inspire and help other cancer sufferers dealing with their families. As she puts it, “...at least they can read it to see exactly what I went through and hopefully it will help them.”
On her blog, O’Loughlin retains a surprisingly cheery, witty outlook on her prognosis. She writes that “New medicines are being invented all the time. So if I can make it to 5 years who knows what will be available? Who knows what the statistics will be then? If the treatments that are currently available can keep me alive till the next new treatments are invented, and the new treatments can keep me alive until the next treatments are invented, then before you know it I will be a 90yr old woman in my rocking chair with all the grandkids around me.”
She concluded her last entry with this: “So right now my aim in life is this. To stay alive. Because my mother always says “where there is life there is hope” and let’s face it, a bit of hope wouldn’t go astray around here..."
Click here to view Caitriona O’Loughlin’s blog.