Pregnant...With Breast Cancer

By: Malorie Maddox, Wayne Martino
By: Malorie Maddox, Wayne Martino

Having a baby. Being diagnosed with cancer. Two life-changing events. A doctor at Jennie Edmundson hospital found herself dealing with both - at the same time.

Dr. Lori Platt is passionate about her work. After all, as an OB/GYN, she gets to bring beautiful babies into this world.

But back in October, it all came to a screeching halt.

"It felt like my whole world was crumbling in on me," said Dr. Platt.

She never imagined the birth of her own daughter would be so difficult.

"During one of the deliveries I started having contractions and my patient looked at me and said, 'Are you OK Dr. Platt?'"

She wasn't. More than a month before her due date, she was in preterm labor. Dr. Platt was admitted to Methodist Women's Hospital because she was early.

That's where she made a devastating discovery.

"I was taking a shower in the morning and I went to reach for a towel. I noticed a little bit of pain in my breast. I saw my breast in the mirror and realized something was very wrong," said Dr. Platt.

Her fears were confirmed. She had Stage 3 breast cancer.

"It was a hard decision for me to go ahead and have the baby because I knew that I would be having her early just so I could have my breast cancer treatments started." Dr. Platt said through tears. "When she came out she started to cry - and I knew that she would be fine."

Baby Estelle entered this world on October 6th weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces. She had to go to the NICU, but would be okay.


Mother and Child

It was time for Lori to take care of herself.

"Most people are worried about watching their kids grow up to be adults and I just wanted to watch my girls go to kindergarten. That was my big thing. I just wanted to see them go to kindergarten."

A week-and-a-half after giving birth to Estelle, Lori had a double mastectomy, then began chemo. Her husband, Matt, took care of their oldest daughter, Vivian, and little Estelle. Lori began fighting to survive.

"Estelle - every time I look at her I feel like she's my guardian angel." said Lori.


Malorie and Dr. Platt

Lori just got her tumor markers back. They were normal, which is great news. She continues to take medication, but is done with chemo and radiation.

She wants others to know breast cancer during pregnancy is very rare. She had recently done a self-exam. She emphasizes a woman's body can change during pregnancy. Your breasts can become more tender and larger. She urges anyone who thinks something doesn't feel right, to check with their doctors.

Dr. Platt also kept working during her cancer treatments. She said at one point, she was doing radiation and was paged upstairs to deliver a baby.

It's one of the reasons several of her co-workers nominated her for Methodist Hospital's Spirit of Courage Celebrity Weekend Award. She was selected.

The charity care fundraiser helps raise funds for other cancer patients who are struggling to afford their care.

Dr. Platt is very honored by the award and thankful she gets to work at a job she loves every day.


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