Mother hospitalized for months hoping baby daughter will survive suffers brutal blow of cancer
Nicole Austin spent 130 days in the NICU hoping that a young, premature baby, Bowie, would survive.
And two weeks after they got home, the new mother was devastated by a severe health problem herself. She was diagnosed with terminal incurable cervix. cancer.
The symptoms were there – fatigue, nausea, weight loss – But the mother of two and her wife, Christy, dismissed them as a side effect of a hospitalized newborn.
In an interview with FEMAIL, Nicole said the Sydney-based family, including infant Liv, are ready to return home on December 20 and close the door on the most frightening time of their lives.
They were overjoyed to be discharged from the hospital just in time for Christmas, four months later.
“We relied so much on our doctors and nurses that we were quite nervous about leaving the hospital. Coming home with a baby who needed oxygen was very scary,” she said.
Nicole Austin pictured with daughter Bowie wanted her to live after being diagnosed with cancer two weeks after a newborn was hospitalized for 130 days
The mother, pictured with wife Kristy, infant Liv, and newborn Bowie, was checked for stomach symptoms eight days after the family was discharged from the hospital.
“It was a big day for us and we were so excited to be spending the holidays together.”
But fate didn’t end with the family, and on December 28th, it was Nicole’s turn to head to the hospital after suffering stomach symptoms she simply couldn’t shake.
“I was in so much pain that I could only describe it as a tightness in my abdomen,” she said.
The family had just celebrated Christmas, and when they were discharged from the hospital, their lives were turned upside down again – her “stomach” symptoms exploded on December 28th.
“Liv handed me a doll and kind of threw it down my stomach and I went through the roof,” she said.
The pain was excruciating and the rest of the family had their stomachs released, so she decided to have it checked.
“If it wasn’t gastrointestinal, I thought it must have been some kind of parasite or something,” she said.
However, doctors decided to have an ultrasound just to be sure, and on January 4th they found a mass in my liver.
“Technologists said I couldn’t get home and needed a CT scan. That’s when they found tumors in my lungs and ovaries,” she said.
Nicole has been struggling with her pregnancy since the 20th week when doctors discovered a shortened cervix
At this point, Nicole knew something was wrong, but she hadn’t even thought about cancer.
“The imaging specialist told me to go straight to the doctor. I asked if my wife could go to work that afternoon and they said no.” she said.
An anxious 38-year-old woman went to the doctor herself while her partner was with the children.
“He said, ‘This is not an easy thing to say. You have cancer.'”
“I don’t remember much about that night, but I was walking in the house and Christie knew right away that it was really bad. I told her, and we We just hugged each other.
Their little daughter was born at 22 weeks and 5 days, six days after Nicole’s waters broke.
The cancer, a squamous cell carcinoma that originated in the cervix, started growing less than nine months before it showed up on scans.
“It all happened so quickly that I don’t know when it started growing, but I know it didn’t exist nine months ago.
They know this because Bowie got pregnant using IVF, an invasive process, and they saw a tumor in the area.
The mother had been under a microscope since 20 weeks, so it would have been picked up later.
“I was diagnosed with a short cervix during my 20 week scan and was referred to the Royal Women’s Hospital in Sydney.
At 22 weeks and 5 days, we received the devastating news that Nicole’s waters had broken and the pregnancy had not yet materialized.
Nicole, who has always led an active lifestyle, is afraid of her partner Christie.
“It’s only when something like this happens that you realize the importance of counting days,” she said.
Everyone worked hard to keep the baby inside and each day increased their chances of survival.
“I thought I was in labor when my water broke, so I was naive at the time, but I kept her indoors for another six days,” she said.
“The professor explained that miracles don’t happen in the middle of the night. She had to be in the room every minute,” she said.
Bowie was born in September, and all of Nicole and Christy’s energies went into caring for the toddler and wanting him to survive.
Looking back, Nicole said she should have realized something was wrong in November, but by then everyone was focused on Bowie.
She is also devastated that she may not be able to see her daughters grow up and “leave her mark” on them.
“I was lethargic and had night sweats, and around that time I started to lose weight,” she said.
Doctors have not told Nicole that she is terminally ill, but explain that there is no cure for her illness.
They prescribed 18 weeks of chemotherapy and told her she could be “re-evaluated” after it was finished.
“I was fine for a day or two, but then I got really nauseous, and by the fourth day, I was sick with fatigue for a few days. It didn’t help much,” she said.
“By the seventh day, I was able to contribute as a member of the family, but the nausea was long-lasting and can last forever.”
Although it is difficult for me to eat, I am conscious of the need to maintain my current weight of 46 kilograms at a minimum and increase my weight if possible.
“My liver was enlarged by a tumor and started to press on my stomach, so when I ate and my stomach grew, it hurt a lot.
Nicole is sometimes attacked by extreme pain in the middle of sandwiches.
She feels positive about chemotherapy and her body’s ability to fight disease so she can spend more time with her family.
But that doesn’t mean she’s not afraid.
Her fear is for her family.
Nicole is currently undergoing chemotherapy – she’s undergoing chemotherapy every three weeks in hopes of shrinking her rapidly growing tumor.
“I can’t help but think of Christie, who will be left as a single mother to these two children,” she said.
“And even if I wasn’t there to leave a mark, they would grow,” she added.
she is grieving herself
“I would never think it would happen to me. I try not to complain. I try to stay positive, but there are little voices saying it’s just unfair,” she said. said.
“I want to see my daughters grow up, I want to be there for Christie.”
It also breaks her heart that she doesn’t have as much energy as she used to.
“I can’t pick up Liv, and Bowie’s squirming, so I don’t think it’s safe to hold her,” she said.
“It’s really hard to ask if I’m sleeping again because Liv is starting to notice that I’m sick.”
Nicole and Christie went on extended service leave, maternity leave, and sick leave to be there for Bowie, and are now together as a family.
Nicole and Christie took extended service leave, maternity leave, and sick leave to be there for Bowie, and are now together as a family unit.
One of their friends started a fundraiser to help them when they finally ran out of income.
Nicole hopes to return to work soon, but there are no guarantees.
Mothers want other women to be aware of the signs and to go to the doctor as soon as something is wrong.
She regrets putting her health aside, but didn’t realize what she was doing at the time.
“I was lucky. “I’ve met people talking,” she said.
What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?
Precancerous changes in cervical cells rarely cause symptoms. The only way to know if you have abnormal cells that can develop into cancer is to have a cervical cancer screening. If early cell changes develop into cervical cancer, the most common signs are:
vaginal bleeding between periods
Menstrual bleeding that is longer or heavier than usual
pain during intercourse
bleeding after intercourse
Changes in vaginal discharge, such as increased discharge, or it may have a strong or unusual color or smell
Postmenopausal genital bleeding.
These symptoms can be caused by other conditions, but if you’re concerned or the symptoms persist, talk to your doctor. This is important for anyone with a cervix, including heterosexuals, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders.
typical symptoms of cancer
Unexplained aches and pains.Pain can be our body’s way of telling us that something is wrong
Weakness and dizziness in the limbs.
Abnormal sweating, especially at night.
Unexplained weight loss.
An unusual lump or swelling.
sauce: cancer council