Pregnant with Breast Cancer

I think I jinxed myself. It seems the universe or the divine being who controls it thought I needed more challenges. It has been hard to comprehend all of the emotions, information, stress and anxiety of the last few months, so I feel the need to just let it all out in the best way I know how – this awesome blog! I hope that it will help others in a similar situation and bring them some solace.

Present: I’m sat in a beautiful pink recliner chair receiving chemo. 32 years and 8 months old, pregnant at 23 weeks. I’m the youngest one here. My gorgeous rock of a husband is sat across from me and I can tell that just as much as me, he wants this first session over and done with so at least we know what to expect…

So the big question: how the F**k did we end up here?!

As many of you will concur, we have had a fair amount of poop thrown at us in our 8 years of being together – from my near deaths from peritonitis 8 years ago to losing our little baby girl Rey on New Year’s Day last year, to moving continent and having to move back for health reasons…

My friends, here is a little bit of an insight into the madness that is our lives.

Rewind to January this year, we were blessed with a little nugget of awesomeness who will be joining us sometime around the end of August/beginning of September! We knew this nugget would throw a few spanner’s into our long term plans – we had only just decided at Christmas that we were going to apply for a US green card. Things unfolded in ways we did not expect – we couldn’t get it in the 6 months we originally thought,so it looked like we’d have to move back and then relocate again, once the green card had been approved. There is so much of America we still want to see and we barely scratched the surface in the year we were there!

At 8 weeks pregnant, we found a lump in my breast, but there was no immediate concern from the doctors. At 10 weeks I took the Counsyl genetics test to check for any abnormalities with the baby. The good news – she is perfectly fine and wonderful! The bad news is that markers flared up in my DNA pointing towards something less fun growing in me simultaneously. It could have been literally anything from polyps through to a 1/1000 chance of cancer, but the test didn’t provide a definitive answer as to what it was and where, which meant a lot more testing needed doing (X-rays, pet scans, MRI, Bloods etc…) We made the decision that we had to come back to the UK, which SUCKED but needed to happen.

And I am so glad we moved back. (We’ve been blessed with some lovely weather too!)

Doctors appointments, midwife appointments, followed by tests were all organised very quickly and we found out within 3 weeks of being back that I have triple negative grade 3 Invasive Ductal Breast Cancer. Before we sat down in that room we knew it wasn’t great news – we were introduced to the breast cancer care nurse (before being given the diagnosis?!) and there were a lot of people there.

The consultant did the best thing in this situation and told me straight up that you have breast cancer, but IT IS TREATABLE.

So here’s the plan – once every 3 weeks I will have a round of chemo for a total of 12 weeks. Our little girl will be born hopefully pretty normally and I get to play mum for a short while, and then we will work out what surgery options I have to have around October. This may then be followed by either a bit more chemo or radiotherapy, but as of yet we don’t know.

In the meantime, I will be keeping you all updated with my progress on this interesting twist in the road – It may not be the most fun of adventures, but if I am to believe everything happens for a reason, I will do my darnest to help others out of it at the same time and carry on dishing out that positivity instilled in me from Rey.

Mummy’s Star is a charity I’m using to help me through this. They provide support for expecting mums who have received a cancer diagnosis whilst pregnant, and they have been fab.

MacMillan have also been great support so far through this testing time, and I know they will be in the months to come!

I didn’t see the point of keeping my long hair if it’s just going to fall out and end up in the bin, so I’ve donated to Little Princesses Trust who have wigs made for kids going through cancer treatment and they currently need hair longer than 7 inches, so why not? If I can make a little girl mike through this, then it was well worth it.

React, adapt, breathe, take action. Life certainly is 90% how you react to situations and I will beat this, and come out even stronger than I could ever imagine.

Reigniting the Creative Spark

I’ve lost a lot of my passion for music – well at least for teaching it. Some of my students were fab, but I know I no longer want to be pulling 50 hour teaching weeks like I was in the UK. It drained me! So with our new adventure starting in America, I thought it was high time to express myself creatively via art class – and I’m so glad I did! 

I met some lovely ladies on the course, all with different backgrounds and ideas for their projects. Over a seven week course we would start to bond  over brushes and canvases, and it was marvellous. Our teacher, Emma helped us with all the little challenges we faced and gave me the confidence to put those colours on.

Here is my finished project- Durdle Door from the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England. I used acrylic paints. 


The value of art as a therapy is second to none. It really helped me deal with a lot of the raw grief I experienced from our loss of Rey and relit my passion for creating. Whilst we don’t have a huge income, I’ve taken up sketching in the mean time. I haven’t done “art stuff” since I was 16, and I am so glad to have rediscovered this vent for creativity! Maybe this is something I should have kept up a long time ago and should keep doing for a long time to come! 

Art is something you breathe- with a different kind of happiness

(Here is the collection of pictures week by week as my painting grew!)

Nothing Scares Us Now

As I type, we are flying over the Atlantic, heading towards Atlanta GA. We are moving over to the big USA for 18 months for my husbands work and we are truly excited. I say excited because I’m not scared by this life changing experience in the slightest. In recent times we have faced fear – REAL FEAR, and been to hell and back. And after these experiences, NOTHING scares me now. 

If we were to have made this transition 10 years ago, I would have been bricking it, but a beautiful girl came into our lives for a short while and taught us to fear nothing. Our beautiful Rey has taught us to take up opportunities as they arise, to be bold, daring and to have a good time doing it. 

Everyday to us is a Rey Day and everything we do is in the honour of her memory. Although she may not be with us in physical form, we carry her with us in our hearts and minds, always. This is what gives us the strength to carry on and to make the most of life and this amazing planet we are blessed to live on. 

Adventures on a Rey of Light documents this new chapter in our lives, whilst reflecting on other interesting aspects of our lives that have lead Haydn and I to take this humongous step. We hope you enjoy reading! 

Love and hugs to you all

Laura and Haydn Walden xxx
Ps a little excerpt from Roald Dahls book, Flying Solo gave me inspiration for this blog: p.108
“Curiously enough, it did not frighten me. It did not even depress me. In a world where war was all around me and where I had ridden in dangerous little aeroplanes that roared and zoomed and crashed and caught fire, blindness, not to mention life itself was no longer too important. Survival was not something one struggled for anymore. I was already beginning to realise that the only way to conduct oneself in a situation where bombs and bullets whizzed past, was to accept the dangers and all the consequences as calmly as possible. Fretting and sweating about it all was not going to help”.