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One day after giving birth mom finds out she has breast cancer
Her family didn't have a history of breast cancer so it caught her completely off guard when doctors gave her the news.
Jaclyn Abergas
01.24.23

April Addison had just given birth to her second son, Ashton, by caesarian section.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 5 Atlanta
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YouTube Screenshot - FOX 5 Atlanta

But April and her husband weren’t prepared for what they would find out shortly after giving birth.

A day after giving birth to Ashton, April was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer.

She first felt the lump on her breast during the early stages of her pregnancy.

Since she was pregnant, she assumed it might have been a clogged milk duct.

“With breast cancers, it can be really hard during pregnancy, because there are so many changes that are happening in your breast that you just have a hard time knowing, is this normal or not normal,” Dr. Amelia Zelnak, President of Atlanta Cancer Care, explained.
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 5 Atlanta
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YouTube Screenshot - FOX 5 Atlanta

But the lump became painful and she finally told her obstetrician at her 39-week check-up.

Her doctor was concerned and ordered a breast ultrasound.

April was about to give birth and anything that could be out of the ordinary needed to be examined.

That’s why a biopsy was also ordered.

April works as an oncology nurse so she knows a thing or two about cancer.

But it’s always a different story when it comes to your own experience and it terrified her.

“I started crying,” April shared. “Being an oncology nurse, I’m like, ‘Oh goodness, I have no family history of breast cancer. So what could possibly be going on?'”

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 5 Atlanta
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YouTube Screenshot - FOX 5 Atlanta

Even though she had no family history of breast cancer, it was, unfortunately, breast cancer.

And since she was already in the hospital, she underwent her first mammogram and first breast MRI. Dr. Zelnak also went through the treatment options she could choose from, which included surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 5 Atlanta
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YouTube Screenshot - FOX 5 Atlanta

April and Leo were looking forward to sleepless nights with their newborn sons, not chemotherapy.

There was nothing they could do but move forward, even though it was confusing and painful.
“I was, you know, hurt,” April said. “I was confused. I felt like, man, I had been given a bad hand. I’m like, ‘Why is this happening to me, you know, right now?'”
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 5 Atlanta
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YouTube Screenshot - FOX 5 Atlanta

April decided to start with chemotherapy, which turned out to be a good decision.

It brought her enough time to think about the next step, which is breast cancer surgery.

April will be able to consider her choices and make the right informed decision because she had months to do the research and analyze it.

If she had chosen to start with surgery, she would only have maybe a week or two to make a decision that will last for the rest of her life.

She chose a bilateral mastectomy surgery, which will remove both breasts and lower the risk of cancer coming back.

And once she’s healed from the surgery, she will start radiation therapy.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 5 Atlanta
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YouTube Screenshot - FOX 5 Atlanta

It’s a hard journey to go from cancer nurse to cancer patient almost overnight.

But her family and friends have been supporting her all the way.

One more thing she is grateful for is that her sons are happy and healthy.

They laugh constantly and take away her pain.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 5 Atlanta
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YouTube Screenshot - FOX 5 Atlanta

By sharing her story, April hopes that other young women, especially those who are pregnant can learn from it.

“Never think that you’re too young,” April said. “…that, because you don’t have a family history of it, that it can’t happen to you. If you feel something, you know, speak up. You need to say something. If you see something, if you see changes or, you know, not right in your body, you need to speak up and say something.”

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 5 Atlanta
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YouTube Screenshot - FOX 5 Atlanta

Learn more about April’s story in the video below.

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By Jaclyn Abergas
[email protected]
Jaclyn Abergas is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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