A Pregnant Mother's Struggle with Cancer

A Pregnant Mother's Struggle with Cancer

A few days after Sarah's 12 week scan she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Sarah shares the concern she felt being pregnant and having to deal with the chemotherapy. Despite it being a confusing, tough time, she also shares how this struggle has actually led them as a family to rely on God more. And how it's caused them to look forward with renewed confidence to an amazing eternal future where there will be no crying, sickness and cancer.


My name's Sarah and a few days after our 12-week scan for our second child I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

At 29 and healthy and just feeling quite young & fit you don't really expect that sort thing to happen to you. My first reaction was probably, mainly just confusion at what that meant for being pregnant and having this little baby growing inside me who was suddenly gonna have to deal with all this as well. I'd go into the clinics and I'd be known as the person who was pregnant. Or I'd go to my chemotherapy sessions and all the nurses would come and enquire and so it did feel like it wasn't normal.

And when you told not to eat salami and brie and stuff to then be pumping you a little 20 week old unborn baby with chemotherapy drugs, it just feels wrong. It feels like you must be doing something harmful. So the chemo was on two weekly cycle so the weeks in between I was going to work the weeks in between and I was feeling all right on those weeks and then it would come around to the next Tuesday and I'd have to go in for it and you'd kind of know that it would then wipe you out for a few days. And I think just also just sitting there and being attached to this drip with drugs with big toxic signs on going into your body. And your baby doing a lot of extra kicking that he didn't normally do. The first one seemed pretty manageable and then by the time we got to the eighth one I think my body had basically decided it had had enough by that point. Which was lucky because that was the last one, when it really kicked in. Then they held off on doing radiotherapy until after I’d had Josh because you can't really do that when you are pregnant.

I think we would really have struggled to do everything that we had to do without the amazing support of our family and also for our church family. Who between them looked after Zoe brought us food took me to home from hospital held babies and prayed for us. We have been overwhelmed by the fact that Joshua has been such a prayed for baby by so many people in our church family and wider.

When you are trying to deal with a toddler and be pregnant and Jim had just started a new job and we had a lot going on and not really any kind of emotional or I didn't have a physical capacity to be doing everything that we were trying to do so I think it made us rely on God. The theory of you can trust God and God will look after you was there you read it in the Bible and you know in theory that you can rely on God but I think this was one of those moments where it was really practically rammed home to us that you can rely on God and God will look after you and even though it was rubbish at times, he never let us completely fall.

Josh is great, he's had surprisingly little interest from the doctors. He was born completely healthy, they induced him a couple of weeks early but apart from that he was absolutely fine. It felt very emotional when he was born. I was expecting there to be something wrong with him at that point even though the scans all seemed to show there was nothing wrong and there didn't seem to be an effect I think I did expect there to be still something wrong the point where he came out perfectly healthy and fine was an amazing moment and yeah he's developing well he's starting to try and walk doing lots of falling over pushing trolleys making noises. He's doing really really well and we're feeling amazingly blessed to have two healthy wonderful beautiful children.

I think through this it's really reminded us that life is full of uncertainties and life is fragile and you never know what is gonna come, we don't know what a trip to the doctor might bring but I think we've been really really reassured that through all of that through whatever happens we can have confidence in God and whatever happens even if the news from the doctor is the worst possible situation we can have a real grounded confidence that because Jesus has died we have this amazing eternal future where there will be no more crying there will be no more sickness there'll be no more cancer, we have this real guarantee that even though everything else in life is potentially uncertain, if we trust in Jesus we're definitely going to make it to that amazing future.

Even if things had gone differently even if this does come back and it's not such a good prognosis even if it doesn't end so well for a worldly point of view we're promised this amazing future where everything will be perfect where he will continue to look after us for eternity and there will be no more cancer there will be no more pregnancy worries there'll be none of the other horrendous bad stuff that happens in the world that is probably much worse than what we've had to go through in our lives so far. So I think it's helped us to really fix our eyes on that future and trust that God will get us there and God will look after us in the meantime. 

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