KNOXVILLE (WATE)- National Cancer Survivor’s Day is the first Sunday in June. For one Knoxville family, that means spending the day together at home.
“I had a meltdown. Fell on the floor and cried. Balled, fell apart for a little bit. Got up and said, ‘let’s go figure out what we have to do.'” said Shaunta Chamberlain.
Shaunta remembers when she was first told she had cancer. She was at work. The doctor called her husband, Eric Chamberlain, and he shared it with his wife. She had a rare form of breast cancer.
“It was hard, probably the hardest conversation you ever had to have,” said Eric Chamberlain.
That was May 2016, just two months after their wedding. Shaunta was 21-weeks pregnant and worried about the health of the baby.
“We definitely had our days where both of us were just down, so exhausted. Especially with the way things worked out with both of us having to be in the hospital when he was born early. You just get to the point that you’re like seriously what else can happen? What else can go wrong?” said Shaunta.
Shaunta had a right mastectomy and three treatments of chemotherapy. She gave birth via cesarean section at 30-weeks after doctors decided it was in the best interest of her and her baby.
“We were at the perfect time in my pregnancy for me to have surgery. It was at the lowest risk for him for me to be under anesthesia. We were at an appropriate time where I was able to get through three chemotherapy treatments before he was born. And we still were born, although early, at a time where he had a very high chance of survival.” said Shaunta.
Maxwell Chamberlain spent nearly 3-months in the NICU. Nearly a year later, he is happy and healthy.
Shaunta learned she was cancer-free in December 2016. Now, she has one more surgery planned in August. In May 2017, Shaunta’s family took part in a social media campaign called House of Hopes.
Shaunta shared her story for the first time publicly on her Facebook page. The photos celebrated the journey they took as a family.