Amanda Elliot was married to Scott for less than 2 years when she found out that Amanda was pregnant. Scott was diagnosed in Stage 3 Lymphoma just one month after Amanda discovered she was pregnant. As one could imagine, being pregnant while one’s partner has cancer, is tough in itself. However, just a few months into Scott’s treatment, Amanda felt a lump on her breast which she noticed was growing significantly in a short period.
“When I initially felt it, the Lord told me that when everything was said and done, my little girl and I would be okay,” said Amanda.
In the early stages, Elliot’s OBGYN at the time had dismissed her concerns, likening them to symptoms of pregnancy. Amanda said she knew she needed to keep looking for answers when her OBGYN at one point told her there was nothing diagnostically that could be done due to Amanda’s pregnancy.
Amanda worked in journalism before moving to breast cancer awareness.
“For two days I could not quit seeing the face of a woman I had written a story about, When I interviewed her, she had stage 4 cancer,” said Amanda.
The woman’s doctors had told Amanda that she might make it to see the article published, but that it would be a miracle if she made it to Christmas.
“She lived for seven more years before she died,” added Amanda.
Amanda was inspired by the survivor to continue looking for answers.
“I was educated and I knew that you can give a pregnant woman a mammogram and an ultrasound. There’s always something that can be done to get some answers,” she said.
Amanda stated that the pieces started to fit together after she switched to UAMS.
Amanda explained that her treatment was a delicate balance act. Her doctors believed Amanda should immediately start chemo. Because the lump was growing rapidly, she had to go to the doctor. Triple-negative breast cancer was Amanda’s diagnosis. This is a more aggressive type of the disease and causes more recurrences.
Scott had a scan right before Christmas and all signs of cancer were gone. He was completely cancer-free.
Amanda said that from Scott’s story, her son was able to see that people do not always die from cancer. Wilder, Wilder’s son, was aware that she was going to be bald. Given her complicated situation, she was still trying to figure out how her treatment would go.
Soon after Amanda was closer to her baby’s birth, she stopped receiving scans and chemotherapy until her daughter was born.
It took her nine weeks to stop chemo before she could start it again.
Amanda gave birth to Evlyn on March 22nd 2019. She is a healthy, happy baby who weighed in at more than eight lbs.
“She came out absolutely perfect,” said Amanda.
Amanda was now on the last stretch. Amanda was able again to have scans and receive chemo treatment after giving birth. Her body scan revealed that the tumor was smaller now than it was when she started chemotherapy.
“They scanned my body and my doctor told me on Good Friday (2019) there was no evidence of cancer in my body outside of the original tumor in my breast, which was extremely small at that point,” she said.
Amanda had a bilateral mastectomy to remove her tumor and reconstruct the body. The surgery was a great success.
“When you go through something really challenging, you feel like it just happened but you also feel like it was 100 years ago,” said Amanda.
Unfortunately, soon after Amanda’s battle ended, her mother’s began. Her mother was diagnosed with breast carcinoma in March 2020. Amanda knew exactly what was coming for her mom.
“When she was diagnosed, I had already seen my husband go through it which was so awful and hard. I also knew how hard it was for me to go through it,” said Amanda.
Her mom had to undergo the COVID-19 Pandemic treatment all by herself. But she continued fighting, and is now completely cancer-free.
Amanda said she didn’t feel like she went through this for her just to keep it to herself.
“It’s funny because I don’t think of myself as a breast cancer survivor, and I’ve never really done a lot of advocating or anything like that but I feel like the Lord calls everybody to do different things,” she said.
“But I know he has called me to share my individual story and to encourage people there are not any circumstances beyond God’s control or what he can help you navigate,” said Amanda.
Evlyn is now three years old.
“We tell her all the time you are a miracle. She is our miracle baby,” said Amanda.
Amanda wishes to encourage anyone with cancer, women and all people, to keep fighting.
“Cancer is not a death sentence and I trusted that the Lord was either going to fix it or bring people that could so we prayed. We would pray for our bodies and the chemo bags. When I was physically exhausted, I would listen to Bible verses. I would just hit play and listen. It was extremely hard but it was one of those things that I knew would have a purpose and that god was allowing me to reach people,” said Amanda.
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