Shelly Batista welcomes twin girls after aggressive breast cancer led to loss of ovaries and fallopian tubes

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A woman has received two bundles of joy after battling aggressive breast cancer that led to the removal of her fallopian tubes and ovaries.

With her newborn at home, Shelly Batista was returning to work when she noticed something was wrong.

“I was pumping more at work and that’s when I noticed a lump in my breast,” Batista said.

At first she thought it was a blocked milk duct, but a biopsy revealed something devastating. The new mother was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and a BRCA1 mutation.

Despite the lack of family history, Batista said it was shocking. “What a 34-year-old woman thinks, ‘Oh, I must have breast cancer.’ So it was very surreal. Very shocking,” she said.

With that diagnosis came the devastating thought of not having any more children. So, before starting chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and a fallopian tube removal, Batista met with Dr. Kara Goldman of Northwestern Medical Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine.

“She knew that this chemotherapy would save her life, but it would probably rob her of her fertility,” Goldman said. At the same time, eight healthy embryos were frozen.

A year after cancer treatment, Baptiste was allowed to become pregnant.

“There’s a huge misconception that you have to have ovaries to carry a pregnancy, but in reality, the ovaries and uterus function completely separately from each other,” Goldman said.

Nevertheless, it was a difficult process. Batista had undergone two failed embryo transfers, but the third time was the charm.

“We didn’t want to get our hopes up too much, did we? So when Dr. Goldman called us, she called us herself. We were very, very excited,” Batista said. When they went for their first ultrasound, they were in for another surprise.

She moved the doppler a little and said, “Oh, look! There are two of them,” Batista said.

Batista welcomed twin girls, who were born two years after Batista was declared cancer-free.

“I’ve always wanted at least three kids, so this was amazing,” the now-mother-of-three said.

After finding out through genetic testing that she had the BRCA mutation, Batiste convinced her mother and sister, who also had the mutation, to get tested as well, according to test results.

And thanks to this, they were able to provide preventive care.

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Shelly Batista welcomes twin girls after aggressive breast cancer led to loss of ovaries and fallopian tubes

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