I was excited to be pregnant but scared to fight cancer

To: To my four-month-old son, Ethan

From: Jordana Beck (As told to Lauren Brill)

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To my 4-month-old son, Ethan,

I am sure you have seen that sign in your nursery or maybe you noticed the necklace I often wear. You can’t read yet, but both say, “Warrior.” That’s the nickname you earned on your way here…

pregnant woman
Jordana was 11 weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed with Breast cancer.

Last September your father and I were over the moon when we found out I was pregnant with you.  We couldn’t wait to expand our family and give your big sister, Emmy, a sibling.

Just a few short weeks later, I was in the shower and I felt a bump. When I showed the doctor, she said it was probably nothing. However, after expediting the necessary tests, she called me and told me I had Breast cancer.

I was just 11 weeks pregnant and I didn’t know what stage cancer I had, if it spread or the size of the two tumors.

While a million thoughts ran through my head, my very first thought was you. I had no idea if I could get treated and keep you. The following week, I met with several specialists. It took a few days, but finally my doctor told me they could keep you safe.  When I found out I was so relieved that I fell into your father’s arms and broke down into tears.

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That’s when our fight together officially started. We went through surgery and chemotherapy. Every step of the way I was concerned for your well being. I had a fetal heartbeat test before and after every chemo session. I would do stress tests. You just kept fighting along beside me.

Jordana says her husband Jonathan supported her every step of the way.

We found out I had the BRCA gene, which is a gene that increases the chance of Breast cancer among other cancers. Even through that news on top of all the procedures and drugs, you motivated me to stay positive. I didn’t feel like I had any other choice except positivity, because I knew that if I felt stressed then you would be stressed. You pushed me each and every day, helping me put one foot in front of the other.

It wasn’t easy.

I was fighting cancer. I was pregnant. I was holding a full-time job, while also being a mom to your two-year-old sister. I didn’t take one step back but I also wasn’t alone.

Thankfully we have an amazing and supportive family, especially your dad.  He came with us to doctor’s appointments. When I would wake up in the middle of the night crying, he was right there to comfort me and keep me upbeat. Your dad went through cancer with us, bringing love and light to a dark situation.

Together, as a family, we made it to nine months.

It all hit me the first time I held you right after you were born. I cried hysterically. It was the most beautiful moment to see you and to know that I brought you into this world healthy. I was so happy.

I was fighting cancer. I was pregnant. I was holding a full-time job, while also being a mom to your two-year-old sister. I didn’t take one step back but I also wasn’t alone.

Ethan, you are the most amazing miracle.

You’re four months old now and I am in remission. I beat cancer with grace and a good attitude. For that, I am so proud of myself but I am also so proud of you.

There is a mantra I have lived by this past year which is “You never know how strong you are until strong is the only choice you have.”

Jordana and Jonathan now have a family of four

While cancer revealed my strength, it also showed me yours.

Most children don’t go through what you went through. And I don’t want you to ignore that.

Instead, as you grow, embody the strength that both you and I exhibited throughout this last year. Go through life standing a little taller and a little prouder, knowing what you had to withstand. Whatever dreams you develop and whatever goals you set, always keep pushing, recognizing that you can accomplish whatever you want in life.That is because before you even took your first breath, you endured your first fight. Before you stepped foot in the world, you already proved you have the spirit to conquer it.

Ethan, getting you here may have been a battle for us all but I want you to make your life our winning celebration.

I love you always my little warrior,

Mommy (Jordana Beck)
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