Woman Diagnosed With Stage 4 Brain Cancer While Pregnant Shares Journey

Laura Mahon, a U.K. resident, received the devastating diagnosis that she had stage 4 brain cancer while 20 weeks pregnant. Initially attributing her symptoms to pregnancy discomforts, it took a sudden loss of mobility in her foot for her to seek medical attention.

Laura Mahon husband Danny and daughter Sienna

Image VIA @lauradowntherabbithole

Following a normal scan of her spine, doctors then discovered a tumor in her brain after conducting further tests at a neurological hospital.

“The plan was to get to about 34 weeks pregnant, and then have Sienna, and then have the brain surgery.”

“I couldn’t walk properly, and I was on crutches. Then one week, my arm just started going numb, and it started going to the leg, and I couldn’t grip things. I couldn’t hold things,” she recalls. “That’s when my surgeon stepped in and said it needs to be now or you might not survive and your little girl might not survive,” she revealed.

Baby Sienna arrived by c-section at 30 weeks weighing 3.4lbs. Laura had surgery just a week later.

baby Sienna born at 30 weeks

Image VIA @lauradowntherabbithole

While her daughter was fighting in the NICU, Laura and her husband learned that she had stage 4 brain cancer with only about a year left to live.

Christmas that year was bittersweet for the family as they celebrated their daughter’s first Christmas while grappling with the uncertainty of Laura’s prognosis.

It was also found that baby Sienna had a hole in her lung that the medical team needed to wait to repair.

In January 2022, Laura started chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions daily for six consecutive weeks.

Through it all, she reflects on how she and her husband managed as new parents amidst the physical and emotional toll of treatments.

“I was just so tired and so poorly,” Laura recalled. “Danny was getting up every three hours in the night to feed Sienna because he didn’t want me to do it because I needed my rest and I was so tired. Then my mom and dad or Danny’s mom and dad would take it in turns just coming over in the morning before we’d go to the hospital.”

In December 2022, it was discovered that the tumor had regrown on the other side of Laura’s brain. Despite this setback, she persevered and began her 18th round of chemotherapy in December 2023.

Throughout this arduous journey, Two-year-old Sienna remains unaware of her mother’s illness. The family prioritizes creating positive memories and maintaining separate spheres for hospital life and family life.

Laura also shares her story online so that she leaves behind a testament to their efforts to raise awareness about brain cancer. She hopes that their memory box and scrapbooks will serve as a legacy for her daughter.

In an Instagram post, Laura shared an update on her health, revealing that the chemotherapy is no longer effective and her tumor is spreading. However, she remains resolute in her determination to fight and views this as just another chapter in her story.

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About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!

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