SANANTONIO -- A San Antonio woman and her daughter have a lot to celebrate this Mother s Day. Theirs is a story of shared survival and triumph over cancer.
Maternal cancer bond extends from womb to treatment room
A diagnosis of cancer during pregnancy occurs in about one in every 1,000 women. That was the frightening scenario for a local woman who is beating the odds along with her daughter.
Julie Louviere, 47,has been battling breast cancer almost two decades, three different times. Her daughter, Alis, has been at her side for the last 14 years. Julie was pregnant with Alis when she got news of her first scary recurrence.
I find out later that they had only given me two months to live and for me to terminate my pregnancy, Julie said.
That child received the same chemotherapy, explained medical oncologist Dr. Sharon Wilks. And we found that things are safe in the second and third trimesters to use certain medications for cancer fighting without harming the fetus.
The baby came through with flying colors. She was a child of love born on Valentine s Day, perfectly normal.
Alis, now an eighth grader at Bush Middle School, noticed patients get cold during cancer treatment. So she and her mother make cozy fleece blankets to give away.
It s her small way of showing patients she cares what they re going through. After all, she went through chemo in the womb.
Oh, it s very interesting, Alis said. But it s something that I ve been around ever since I was little, so cancer s not really scary to me, I guess. I ve kind of been around it since I could remember.
At the Cancer Care Centers of South Texas, Julie is being treated with targeted therapies that are less toxic than drugs she took 10 or 15 years ago. Cancer that had spread to her liver has disappeared for now.
She s in complete remission right now, Wilks said. On her recent reports there s no trace of her disease.
Julie s philosophy is simple.
At the end of the day you have to have a feisty, sassy attitude, she said. Because cancer doesn t like that.
Julie is taking part in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to raise money for breast cancer this weekend. Her team of 45 people is called Julie s Sole Sisters and Brothers.
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