By Dave Andrusko
“I did not know how I felt about the pregnancy until I was told I should not continue my pregnancy,” Jade Devis said. “That is when something rose up inside of me — I wanted to keep my baby because I would not allow a stranger to tell me my child’s fate.”
All of us perhaps are occasionally guilty of casually talking about “medical miracles.” Overstatement won’t be a risk with Jade Devis, a woman who early on in her pregnancy was shocked to learn she had with Stage 2 triple negative breast cancer, one of the rarest forms of breast cancer. That both she and her baby survived with good prognoses going forward is a miracle.
Originally misdiagnosed as a lump in her breast associated with her pregnancy, Devis pushed for further testing. In her story, Fox News’ Alexandria Hein explained
About 10-20 percent of breast cancers are triple-negative breast cancers, which means that the growth of the cancer is not fueled by the hormones estrogen and progesterone, or by the HER2 protein, so it will not respond to hormonal therapy medicines or those that target HER2 protein receptions, according to BreastCancer.org.
What to do? Writing for Loma Linda University News, Heather Jackson recaps Ms. Devis’ arduous journey in detail, insight, and empathy.
First, Devis,36, was told she was so early in her pregnancy, there could be no guarantees she’d give birth to a healthy child. “Her doctor said if she wanted to keep the baby she would need assistance from a specialist,” Jackson writes.
“I did not know how I felt about the pregnancy until I was told I should not continue my pregnancy,” Devis told Jackson. “That is when something rose up inside of me — I wanted to keep my baby because I would not allow a stranger to tell me my child’s fate.”
“Devis immediately had to undergo a lumpectomy. Although she was fearful that going under general anesthesia would affect the baby, she was reassured there were nerve blockers to help protect the baby. The surgery was successful.”
Devis found the specialists she needed at “Loma Linda University Cancer Center under the care of breast cancer specialist Gayathri Nagaraj, MD,” Jackson explained. “She learned that this was the beginning of her journey — she would need to undergo several rounds of chemotherapy because of the triple negative nature of her breast cancer, which has a high risk of cancer recurrence in other organs.”
Devis, a single mother, was the beneficiary of an entire team of specialists at Loma Linda University Health, including a pharmacist, dietitian, nurse, social workers and high-risk obstetricians, and cancer team nurse navigator Amanda Edwards .
But going through chemotherapy “is tough for anyone, and we do our very best to support our patients in every way we can at Loma Linda University Cancer Center,” Nagaraj said. “In Jade’s situation we had to be doubly cautious and alert to ensure the safety of the patient and the baby. I am extremely glad to be working with an amazing team who all came together to make this possible.”
Happily, “Devis gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy, Bradley, at the end of July of 2019, thanks to the orchestrated care at Loma Linda University Cancer Center,” Jackson writes. “Devis finishes her final rounds of infusion therapy at the end of November, but she’s grateful to have her son. Her doctors are confident she will be cancer-free at the end of her treatment. “
“Loma Linda University Cancer Center team gave me more than my son,” Devis told Jackson. “They picked up my spirit and rejuvenated my soul.”