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Janie Woolsey – Breast Cancer Patient Success Story

How Methodist Richardson helped a woman battling breast cancer have a safe pregnancy

Cancer was the last thing on Janie Woolsey’s mind.
She was six months pregnant with the sibling that she and her husband, Jason, had wanted for their then 1-year-old son, Kaden. The pregnancy had been an answered prayer after losing their 12-year-old daughter to acute respiratory distress syndrome just a few months earlier.

It had been a relatively easy pregnancy — until Janie noticed swelling in her left breast. After a mammogram and biopsy at Methodist Richardson Medical Center, she got a shocking diagnosis: breast cancer.

“I was scared to death,” Janie says. “Cancer is not something anyone wants to hear, especially when pregnant.”

A difficult decision

Janie Woolsey – Breast Cancer Patient Success Story Janie Woolsey found support through her
cancer journey from both Methodist Richardson
and her husband, Jason, who was by her side
at every appointment.

Janie was 35 years old and facing a very difficult decision. Should she put off treatment until after the baby was born? Her oncologist, Alan Trumbly, DO, on the medical staff at Methodist Richardson Cancer Center, assured her chemotherapy was the way to go.

“Certainly in the third trimester, it is safe,” Dr. Trumbly says. “Janie had an aggressive breast cancer, so the best option was to allow the fetus to develop before beginning treatment.”

After weighing her options, Janie agreed.

“I’m thankful to have doctors who know so much and who were there for me in some of the toughest times in my life.”

Under Dr. Trumbly’s close supervision, Janie underwent three doses of chemotherapy before taking a break. While chemotherapy is considered safe for the baby in the final trimester, Dr. Trumbly says there are still risks with regards to birth weight and potential premature delivery. But, he says, “Janie did great.”

Kaden’s brother arrives

In her 37th week of pregnancy in May 2015, Janie delivered a 5-pound-3-ounce boy they named Kasen.

“We were lucky enough that he was born healthy with no issues,” Janie says. “It was just a miracle.”

The week following Kasen’s birth, Janie continued chemotherapy.

As a third-grade teacher in Mansfield, there was no summer vacation for Janie. She endured 12 more rounds of chemo. When school started in August, she was back in the classroom, even though she faced a lumpectomy and six weeks of radiation. She says the kids gave her motivation.

“It was a blessing to get up every day and to get to see them,” Janie says. She adds that they understood why she lost her hair, but it made them anxious when she had to be out for a few days at a time

A parent’s perspective

It’s been a trying two years for the Woolsey family. They endured the death of a child, the excitement of bringing a new life into the world, and a devastating diagnosis. Janie persevered with a positive attitude that is evident to anyone who meets her. Dr. Trumbly says her prognosis now is very good.

“It’s been a pleasure and a privilege that I could help Janie through this,” he says.

Janie is thankful for every day she is given and for what she hopes will be many, many years with her family to watch her babies grow up.

“God doesn’t give you more than you can handle,” Janie says. “He gives us strength to get through it.”