East Texan Battles Breast Cancer While Pregnant - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/12/06-Tyler

East Texan Battles Breast Cancer While Pregnant

It was supposed to be an East Texas mother's happiest day...bringing her daughter into the world. But that day came earlier than expected. An East Texas woman had to battle breast cancer while she was pregnant. Tonya malcolm noticed a lump about the size of a kiwi, on her breast. That's when she knew something was not right. At the time, she was 7 1/2 months pregnant. When she went to the doctor, she was told she had breast cancer.

"It was devastating being pregnant and finding out you have breast cancer," says Tonya.

Three weeks later, her doctors decided they needed to bring her daughter, Lissie, into the world.

"What was suppose to be the happiest day of our life bringing our child home it brought a very sobering feeling knowing we brought her home and we know what we are about to go through," says Wes Malcolm, Tonya's husband.

Tonya went through 8 rounds of chemo, a mastectomy and 28 days of radiation. She says losing her hair was just the beginning.

"You start losing your womanhood, what we are suppose to be and look like that was the most devastating part to me but if you can get through that, you know you will make it," says Tonya.

Today, she's a survivor.

"I guess it is just survivor instinct, being pregnant you know you have to do what you have to do to stick around to raise your baby, says Tonya.

Tonya and her husband, Wes, say faith and humor got them through.

"I am a stronger person going through all of that it does make you stronger and you can't go any place but up," says Tonya.

Wes says there's one message he wants to share with others about all of this, life is precious and live it to the fullest.

Tonya has two reconstructive surgeries to undergo. She says she's looking forward to going back to work. She also wants to start a support group for women in their 30s, who are breast cancer survivors.

Karolyn Davis, reporting. kdavis@kltv.com

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