PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Baby Sedona was born six months ago healthy and happy, but just a few months before she entered the world, her mother, Jennifer, got a terrifying diagnosis.
Jennifer Steele was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer while in her second trimester of pregnancy.
"They told me that I could have chemotherapy while pregnant. I was like, 'you gotta be kidding me!'," said Steele. "We're not even allowed to have Advil or eat sushi, but you're telling me I can have chemotherapy? I was shocked, I didn't know what to think or what to do."
It all started when Jen felt a rock-sized lump in her breast. She thought it was just a side effect of pregnancy. An ultrasound later revealed that Steele had cancer. With a toddler and supportive husband by her side, Steele put on a brave face and started treatment.
"I was worried I was gonna die, I though the worst," she said. "I was stage 2, so it was very treatable. I'm lucky I caught it early, and I didn't ignore the signs."
After doing much of her own research, the doctors assured Steele the chemo drugs wouldn't cross the blood barrier of the placenta.
Thankfully, Sedona had a flawless birth.
Steele is now in remission after recently completing radiation. She adds that her message to other women, especially expecting mothers, is to always be your own health advocate.
"Definitely, there are a lot of, you know, things that happen to our bodies that are crazy when we're pregnant, but listen to yourself," Steele said. "Listen to your inner voice and know your body, and if something's off, just go get it checked. Don't be afraid."