Woman finds out she is pregnant two days after receiving cancer diagnosis

Elle Halliwell delayed treatment to carry pregnancy to term

Lydia Smith
Sunday 27 August 2017 01:55 BST
Elle Halliwell was diagnosed with a terminal illness last year
Elle Halliwell was diagnosed with a terminal illness last year (Instagram/Elle Halliwell)

A woman found out she was pregnant just two days after being told she had cancer.

Elle Halliwell, a 32-year-old journalist, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia last year.

When she found out she was expecting a baby two days later, she was forced to decide whether to start treatment immediately - which would mean terminating the pregnancy - or delay medical support and have the child.

Halliwell chose the latter and gave birth to son Tor Felix in December 2016.

“I just thought, that poor life inside me living in this sick body,” Halliwell said, according to Australian magazine Kidspot. “I thought it had no hope anyway.”

​Halliwell began treatment shortly after giving birth.

“The chemo I’m on doesn’t make you lose your hair,” she said.

“I’ve been pretty lucky but I’ve had my days when I’ve had the bone pain and the skin rashes and the fatigue. But if that’s the price you have to pay to stay alive, anyone with cancer would say they’d do it in a heartbeat.”

Halliwell added people assume she is healthier than she actually is.

“People will say ‘Oh wow, you look great!’ and I know it comes from a good place, and is meant to be uplifting,” she said.

“But others can look at you strangely as if to say ‘You don’t look that sick’. Sometimes that can really bring you down.”

Halliwell recently became Australia’s Daffodil Day ambassador, a fundraising event for cancer research and patient support.

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