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Joy and heartbreak of first time mother with terminal cancer

True fighters: New mum Emma Grandison, who has terminal cancer, with daughter Erin

True fighters: New mum Emma Grandison, who has terminal cancer, with daughter Erin

To look at Emma Grandison’s big, beautiful smile you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong.

But the 31-year-old first time mum from Longton, near Preston, is battling terminal cancer.

The former Christ the King High School pupil should have been celebrating one of the happiest times of her life when she found out she was pregnant in June last year.

But the joy soon turned to heartache when she was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer just weeks into her pregnancy.

Emma said: “I had been getting a pain in my side. Normally I wouldn’t go to the doctors, I would just have a stiff upper lip, but because I was pregnant I was a bit more mindful.

“On doing a scan (for gallstones) they found loads of tumours in my liver. It was bowel cancer primarily but my liver was riddled.

“I couldn’t comprehend it at the time. It didn’t feel real. I felt like I was in a soap.”

Emma, who works in health and safety at Springfield Fuels at Westinghouse, Salwick, and her husband Ian then had a lot of decisions to make over whether she would have chemotherapy while pregnant.

Without chemotherapy Emma’s life expectancy was just six months.

She started the treatment and in November, fivedays before Emma and Ian were due to get married, baby Erin Rose arrived 15 weeks early.

Baby Erin is still in the neonatal unit at the Royal Preston Hospital 80 days after she was born on November 5.

She was due on February 16 and mum Emma says she is making good progress.

Ian popped the question to Emma in October days before they went to Iceland to see the Northern Lights, and three weeks later they married in a ceremony at Ribby Hall, organised by their close friends.

The pair had always planned to get married but Emma’s diagnosis meant that plan was brought forward.

Upbeat Emma has vowed to “defy the odds” and beat the disease. She said: “I have my bad days, but I always look for the golden nugget in every day. There is always something that makes me smile.

“Today is a good day, I am not in pain, my medication is working, I’ve started a brand new drug. They are doing everything to keep me going.”

Emma added: “I have always loved a challenge, I just see this as a challenge.

“I have always surprised myself by what I can do. This is a curve ball that I would never have expected to happen to me but it is happening.

“You can either sit in the corner and cry or get on with it.

“I’ve got a baby, a new husband, a new home, what is there not to fight for?”

Emma is currently having chemotherapy once every two weeks and she says the one thing that really scares her is not seeing her daughter grow up but is remaining positive for the future.

Speaking about her husband Ian, 31, who she has been with for three and a half years, she said: “He is my rock, he has been a huge pillar of strength.”

A group of 22 of Emma’s friends are currently raising money for Cancer Research UK by not drinking alcohol throughout January.

So far they have raised more than £5,000. To help them raise funds search Emma’s Temporary Tee Totallers at www.justgiving.com.

 

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