After a whirlwind romance, Sweet Home Alabama star Josh Lucas and freelance writer Jessica Henriquez were married and expecting their first child within months. The dark twist? Jessica was battling cancer.
Originally diagnosed with stage-one cervical cancer at the age of 25, the writer broke the news to her now-husband within a day of their “chance, classic New York meetings,” Jessica tells Huffington Post.
After two rounds of cancer treatments proved to be unsuccessful, doctors asked her to consider a hysterectomy.
“I hadn’t thought about children. It wasn’t my dream since I was a little girl to have a family,” she said. “But when a doctor looks you in the eyes and takes that option off the table, it immediately sets something off in you — this motherhood gene.”
But as it turns out, she was pregnant and excited to go forward with the pregnancy — and discontinue all cancer treatments.
“I think almost every oncologist would disagree with my decision or parts of my decisions, but I think that things happen in life that you have to pay attention to,” she said, adding that she was terrified she would miscarry.
“I never thought I’d be a mom at 27, but I don’t for a second regret anything — no matter what the outcome is. If the cancer has progressed because I did nothing for a year to contain it or treat it,” she said, “I don’t feel any guilt, and I don’t feel like it was a bad decision. I mean every morning that I wake up with Josh and Noah I’m even more assured that it was the right decision for me.”
Now proud mom to son Noah, nearly 3 months, Jessica has since learned that her cancer has progressed from stage 1A to stage 1B. But the “good news” is that it hasn’t spread. She plans to undergo more treatments when the family moves back to New York this fall.
“It’s a blessing because we’ve had such a rough first year together,” she said. “When we were picking baby names, we specifically picked the name Noah, because it meant “calm and restful,” and we were like, ‘Wow, that’s what we need. We need something in our life that’s just going to be so calm and peaceful because we haven’t had that since we’ve been together.”
We send our best wishes to Jessica! What an amazing story.