Jennifer Gray Berry and her husband dreamed of raising a family. After trying to conceive for more than 10 years, the couple decided to attempt conception through invitro fertilization. A gynecologist recommended before starting the process that Jennifer have a complete physical, including a mammogram.
To her dismay, a mammogram and sonogram of the right breast revealed a suspicious mass. When doctors performed a biopsy, they discovered that the hospital coordinator had stage 1A breast cancer. Making matters worse, an MRI of the right breast revealed yet another area of cancer, she said.
"When I found out, I was devastated," recalled Jennifer, now 47, who credits the strong support of her family, friends and colleagues for helping her through her ordeal.
Fearing the cancer also might "show up in the left breast," she elected to undergo a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery. She was relieved to learn that chemotherapy and radiation would not be necessary since the cancer had not spread to her lymph nodes.
In June, which was the two-year anniversary of her cancer surgery, her doctor cleared her to undergo invitro fertilization. The treatments required her to take fertility drugs, which contain hormones that not only produce more eggs for fertilization, but may also encourage the growth of cancer cells in a cancer survivor.
So after three rounds of fertility treatments, Jennifer, who remains cancer-free, says she is now considering building her family through adoption.