LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - In 2000, doctors recommended a Lufkin woman terminate her pregnancy after she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. 13 years later, Jacqueline Hale is living life cancer free with her 13-year-old son. She never lost faith even after an unexpected 21 hour surgery and different trials of chemotherapy.
"I was actually in bed reading my bible and I fell asleep. When it fell on me, I realized I had a lump. And I thought that's odd I have a knot there," Hale said. "So, I went to the doctor and had it checked out."
Jacqueline Hale said a biopsy prepared her for what would happen next. Doctors diagnosed the then 36-year-old with stage four breast cancer during her second trimester of pregnancy.
"Initially after I had my biopsy it was recommended that I abort the child because of the way that the hormones would accelerate the growth of the cancer," Hale said.
Hale said her first pregnancy was a blessing and it was the reason she realized she had cancer.
To make sure her baby was healthy she had weekly ultrasounds.
"I had my baby in May, which was actually due July but because they want to start you on another type of chemotherapy there was only a few chemotherapies they could give you being pregnant,' Hale said.
After giving birth to a healthy baby boy, Hale began six weeks of radiation treatment.
Six years after a biopsy, lymph node testing and chemo treatment it seemed as if she had taken care of the deadly disease. But in 2006 doctors found a small spot.
"I elected to have the bilateral mastectomy just to get rid of it period," Hale said.
The eight hour surgery that included reconstruction turned into a long 21 hour operation.
"Because my veins were so small they had to call in a special team for me so it kind of got a little nervous for my family thinking what's taking so long to have this," Hale said. "When I came my son said mom you told me you'd never lie to. I knew I was going to see you again."
Hale continued to work as a dispatcher for LPD during her battle with breast cancer. Through it all she had hope and wasn't afraid to use it.
"You hear bible stories all the time. You hear about all those people but we're the same people. We're the exact same people and we go through things," Hale said. "I think it's wonderful that ya'll do stories like this so people can believe and say you know what if she went through it then I can, too"
Hale said each year she's blessed to celebrate relay for life with her son who she also calls a survivor.