A 35-year-old woman who had severe back pain in her third trimester of pregnancy assumed, as most mothers-to-be would, that it was just a common side effect of being pregnant – but months after she gave birth, she got it shocking news that her back pain was caused by incurable cancer.
Jessica Sherrie from Glendora, California, never smoked, so it came as quite a shock when she was diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer last June.
But while her best hope is a chronic treatment to treat the cancer in the long term, Jessica said Today that she has maintained a happy mentality because of her one-year-old daughter, whom she is determined to be for.
Scary: Jessica Sherrie of Glendora, California, suffered severe back pain during her last trimester but thought it was the result of pregnancy
Jessica’s back pain developed in the last month of her pregnancy, but although it was severe, she believed it was caused by the pregnancy.
In April, she gave birth to a daughter, Regina, and found that the back pain was still there once the medication wears off.
Still, she attributed it to her “ bad back, ” after undergoing scoliosis surgery in 2018, and went to see a doctor who had her run several scans and tests.
“At one point the doctor started saying,” Oh, it could be cancer, “and I was hoping it wasn’t clear,” she said. In the back of my mind it started to creep up like, “Oh, I could have cancer.”
In June, a doctor gave her the shock of her life and determined that she had stage IV non-small cell lung cancer – a particularly big surprise, given that she had never smoked.
Diagnosis: Pain persisted after she gave birth to her daughter Regina in April 2020, and was diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer in June.
Traumatic: Jessica, a non-smoker, was shocked by the news and thought it was a death sentence
Jessica, whose in-laws had died of lung cancer, assumed it was a death sentence. Although it was a less aggressive cancer, it had unfortunately also spread throughout her body, with tumors in her brain, spine and hips.
Jessica panicked at the news that it was incurable.
But her doctor, Dr. Erminia Massarelli, the director of the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center’s lung cancer and thoracic oncology program, told her there are new treatments that may help make some late-stage cancers more manageable. by treating them. like other chronic conditions.
Jessica first started chemotherapy, but had a bad reaction that left her in the hospital for a month. Because of the pandemic, she had no visitors – not even her newborn.
“I was like, ‘I’m going to beat this. I’m getting out of here,’ she said. ‘That’s been my mindset all along. I have to get well. I have to get through this because I want to be there for my daughter. ‘
So she started another course of chemo and also went to see a physical therapist, who helped her get off the walker she was using.
Unfortunately, once she got off the walker, she broke her hip, leaving her in a wheelchair and unable to walk for three months.
Manage: The condition is incurable but can be treated, and Jessica has undergone chemotherapy, physical therapy, and started other medications
Love: Jessica, who has spent a long time not being able to see or hold her daughter, said she is determined to ‘beat this’ so she can ‘be there for my daughter’
‘[Jessica] She has faced all this with strength, determination, grace, light and humor, ”her sister-in-law wrote
‘I couldn’t enjoy wearing it [my daughter] and walk around the house. I should sit down … that was a tough time for me. I just want to hold my daughter, ”she said.
Jessica went through chemotherapy and stayed “motivated” – but then, around the holidays, she got COVID-19.
She has since recovered from COVID, and her cancer has even started to improve.
“The tumors in my brain have shrunk to the point where they’re microscopic, they can’t even see them, and most of the tumors in my lungs are gone, except there’s only one left,” she said.
But new tumors have grown in the liver and hip, forcing her to take new drugs.
As she continues to fight, her sister-in-law has a GoFundMe page, which has fetched $ 26,672 to date.
‘[Jessica] She has faced all this with strength, determination, grace, light and humor, ”her sister-in-law wrote.
Jessica noted that in the midst of her troubles, there was one bright spot: holding onto her daughter, who is now a year old.
“I can hold her all the time,” she said.