OUR BABY JOY

Three years af­ter her can­cer di­ag­no­sis, the ac­tress and her hus­band are set to be par­ents

WHO - - Content - By Ka­rina Machado

Af­ter a can­cer di­ag­no­sis, ac­tress Tessa James gets some great news.

All eyes were on Tessa James at the David Jones Spring/sum­mer fash­ion show in Syd­ney on Aug. 9. It wasn’t just her bright-red Er­dem gown lighting her up. Two days later, a spokesman for the ac­tress con­firmed that the bil­low­ing frock hid a baby bump—the first child for James and her hus­band, NRL player Nate Myles. The happy news comes two years af­ter the for­mer Home and Away star went into re­mis­sion fol­low­ing her 2014 di­ag­no­sis of non-hodgkin lym­phoma. Through­out their or­deal, the cou­ple kept alive their dream of start­ing a fam­ily, as James told the Sun­day Tele­graph last year: “There are high stats of peo­ple my age hav­ing had treat­ment who have chil­dren, so I hope that is in the fu­ture for us.”

The 26-year-old, who is re­port­edly around five months preg­nant, may have dropped a hint in an Aug. 9 In­sta­gram post that drew a flood of con­grat­u­la­tory com­ments. “Bam­bini,” she cap­tioned a photo taken at Syd­ney restau­rant Bam­bini Trust (Bam­bini means ba­bies in Ital­ian). The news sig­nals a joy­ful new be­gin­ning for James and Myles, 32. Now, “they are en­joy­ing the mo­ment and tak­ing some time to them­selves,” a rep­re­sen­ta­tive for James tells WHO.

The ac­tress en­dured her share of chal­lenges be­fore reach­ing this wel­come next chap­ter. Prior to fall­ing ill, her fa­ther, for­mer AFL player Stephen James, was di­ag­nosed with non-hodgkin lym­phoma. Less than two years later, Mel­bourne-born James re­ceived her own di­ag­no­sis and went through 12 rounds of chemo­ther­apy in six months. “I knew she was go­ing to be back to 100 per cent, but when you’re watching them barely able to walk out of chemo, you think, ‘ Why can’t I do more,’ ” Myles told Daily Life in July 2016. “I got through it be­cause I had to get through it,” added James, who spoke about hav­ing a panic at­tack dur­ing her nadir. “What was the other op­tion? To sit and feel sorry for my­self? I think I had to hit that low point, to be in so much pain and so up­set and so trau­ma­tised, to then have that sense of em­pow­er­ment again.”

Learn­ing that she was in re­mis­sion in 2015 was a “huge relief,” James told Fair­fax Me­dia. “It was ex­cit­ing that I was able to start a new chap­ter of my life and move on.” Myles was by his wife’s side for every painful—and hope­ful—mo­ment of her or­deal. “He makes me feel like a bet­ter per­son, and strong, like I can do any­thing and be any­body I want,” added James, who in March took to the stage in Syd­ney to play a teenage rape vic­tim in Black­rock, based on a 1989 real-life crime. “I re­ally feel and know how much he loves me, es­pe­cially now we have such a strong, un­break­able bond. We’ve been through so much for such a young cou­ple.”

The pair met through friends in 2009 and ex­changed vows in an un­der-the-radar wed­ding on Dec. 23, 2011. To hon­our their fifth an­niver­sary last year, the cou­ple, who are based on Syd­ney’s north­ern beaches (James also spends time in Los An­ge­les for au­di­tions and coach­ing), shared throw­back pics on so­cial me­dia—james, a pretty wed­ding-day mem­ory, and Myles, a cheeky snap of James in her hos­pi­tal gown, with the cap­tion “Hope we make it to the 6th af­ter this post. Love you.”

In 2015, James gave a can­did in­ter­view to Sun­day Night, re­veal­ing that with her can­cer di­ag­no­sis, she and Myles were forced to choose be­tween start­ing treat­ment and their baby plans. At that time, “If I ever was to go down that road of freez­ing my eggs, I would ba­si­cally be do­ing a round of IVF, and it would be a month or bit longer, and that would have meant I wouldn’t have been able to get treated [straight away],” she ex­plained.

Two years later, the out­look is sunny, with James in good health and a sum­mer baby on the way. For the mother-to-be, who has said can­cer made her view the pas­sage of time in a new way, it’s a chap­ter she’s likely to savour. “I’m not so much in a rush any­more,” she told Daily Life last year. “I know what is meant to be for me will be.”

“We’re both from very fam­ily-ori­ented, lov­ing fam­i­lies,” added Myles, of the pos­si­bil­ity of hav­ing chil­dren. “We’re very ex­cited to do that.”

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