MOTHER’S DAY MIRACLE
New mum counts her blessings with baby Lena after enduring cancer treatment through pregnancy
DARWIN mum Fanny McKenzie was seven months into her first pregnancy when she realised something wasn’t quite right.
Her knee began to swell and became more and more painful the larger her belly grew.
“I was struggling to carry myself around with the pain, to the point where I almost couldn’t climb the stairs in our house,” she said.
Her husband Alex ended up taking her to see five different GPs who all told the couple that it was probably a cyst and to wait until after the baby was born. Determined to investigate further, she had an MRI scan without contrast.
The results changed her life forever.
“I was told that I had a stage two synovial sarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer sitting behind my right knee,” Mrs McKenzie said.
“It was almost 6cm long. I had to ask the doctor to repeat it a few times, I just couldn’t believe it.”
The expecting mum was advised she had to start aggressive chemotherapy straight away in Adelaide. FANNY MCKENZIE
But after the first cycle of treatment, her placenta was damaged and doctors had to induce the child’s birth.
“I wasn’t due for another six weeks and was terrified that maybe the chemo did hurt her,” she said.
She started having contractions, and then without warning, the baby’s heart rate dropped and the doctors decided to perform an emergency C-section.
Mrs McKenzie was given a spinal epidural and was conscious the whole time.
“They lifted the baby out and she was wasn’t breathing,” she said.
“It was like time stopped. It took eight minutes of oxygen for her to breathe on her own.
“I just cried. I was so overwhelmed. I remember thinking: she’s been through so much already, and this is just the first day of her life.”
Despite being born underweight at only 1.8kg her baby, Lena Coco McKenzie, was safe and untouched by the chemo.
Now, after five months of treatment, Mrs McKenzie is looking forward to spending her first Mother’s Day with her new family at home in Darwin.
With more treatment ahead she said that she hopes through sharing her story, she can help raise money for the Cancer Council to support other families like her own.
“It took eight minutes of oxygen for her to breathe on her own”
New mumm Fanny McKenzie will celebrate her first Mother’s Day with baby Lena after undergoing chemotherapy in the finalal stages of pregnapregnancy Picture: : KERI MEGELUS