(NASHVILLE) In April 2021, Grammy-nominated Christian artist, Alexis Butcher was hit with a whirlwind of emotions. Alexis discovered she was pregnant a few weeks prior to being diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer.
“I found a lump in my breast,” Alexis recalls. “I just thought it was a symptom of being pregnant. I was only 27 and didn’t know it could happen at such a young age.” Alexis decided to schedule an appointment with her OBGYN. “My doctor was concerned about the lump and referred me to Premier Radiology,” Alexis said. An ultrasound was performed the next day and confirmed that her results were not normal.
Alexis met Dr. Dias at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown to have a biopsy. The results revealed that Alexis had stage 1 breast cancer. Alexis was 27-weeks pregnant when she began her first round. “It was very tiring,” she said. Alexis got through two rounds of chemotherapy until her body couldn’t handle the changes anymore. Alexis developed chest pains at 32 weeks. She was referred to the Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown Emergency Department immediately.
“My baby’s heart rate was dropping,” said Alexis. “The team decided to do an emergency c-section, and my daughter Lila was born on May 22nd, 2021.” Lila then spent three weeks in the Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown NICU. After Alexis’ c-section, and days after she had received chemotherapy, she became neutropenic. Her body didn’t produce enough white blood cells to fight an infection, which meant she was neutropenic. Alexis was then admitted to the hospital for another ten days. “My husband and I just hit survival mode after Lila was born,” Alexis said. “But we had the beauty of this baby bringing so much joy into our lives.”
Alexis started hormone therapy every week for 12 weeks, and immunotherapy every 3 weeks. This was just four weeks after she gave birth. Later she underwent a double mastectomy with lymph nodes being removed. She completed her five week treatment with radiology in February 2022. Alexis made the decision to undergo reconstruction surgery recently.
“As far as we know, God willing, that is the final step of my cancer journey,” said Alexis. “We are just now processing everything. We have some wonderful family and friends that listen to our highs and lows, and I am truly thankful for the care I received at Ascension Saint Thomas.”