The birth of a baby invariably brings joy and excitement to the parents and family members alike. The Lintner family is jumping with joy following the birth of baby Maia, after her mother successfully underwent radiotherapy treatment a relapse of Hodgkin's lymphoma. She would not let anything come between her baby and self.
This time, the cancer turned out to be more aggressive and was staged III Hodgkin's lymphoma. She was required to undergo pelvic irradiation treatment for the same. This raised dilemma regarding proceeding with the treatment as radiotherapy has been documented to result in birth defects.
"With the radiation therapy, there was a huge concern that Carrie's fertility may be significantly impacted, particularly since her recurrence manifested itself in her pelvic area," Advincula says, one of her treating physicians.
Though the situation initially seemed grave, the stubborn mother soon recovered to explore the available options. She even undertook a small research that gave her many promising alternatives for restoration of fertility. Ovarian transposition, a surgical technique in which ovarian relocation behind the uterus is done to help preserve fertility seemed feasible. Robotic surgery, which had significant advances over conventional laproscopy, was undertaken. This allowed the uterus to act as a shield against radiation.
There was however no guarantee that the technique would be successful even if technically performed right. The surgeon actually hoped that his patient would at least preserve her ovarian function and not enter menopause at an early age. To her surprise and joy, she soon conceived following the surgical procedure.
"I had a very, very easy pregnancy. I loved being pregnant. I had an easy labor, too. And on Feb. 25, Maia was born and everything went smoothly. She was just a healthy kid and I immediately said, 'Are you OK?' That was the first thing I said to her," she says, tears streaming down her face. "She is an absolute joy. She is the light of my life, and I feel complete. She was meant to be. I feel very much like it's a miracle.," recalls Carrie.
A follow up PET scan revealed a complete clearance of the tumor, adding another reason for holiday celebrations. The researchers, following success with this case have expressed hope regarding the options of pregnancy left for women with cancer with such significant advances in the near future.