A new mum who had found a lump during pregnancy that was brushed off as “probably just a cyst” was given the devastating news that she had stage 3 breast cancer just two months after giving birth. Lotecia Chambers, 25, discovered the lump in her breast in January 2021, the same month she found out she was pregnant with her baby boy, Tristan.
The lump grew over the course of her pregnancy and by the time she was ready to give birth, medics suspected it was cancerous and what was later to be confirmed as a tumour made it too dangerous for her to attempt a natural delivery. Racked with pain from the tumour, she then had to have a C-section in September 2021.
Just two months later she got the dreadful diagnosis she had feared and was told the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. Lotecia, who is a qualified nurse from Jamaica with family in London, was due to fly to the UK to work here due to a shortage of nurses.
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Now her cousin, Tajay Bryan, 25, who lives in West London, is raising money to pay for his cousin’s treatment. It is hoped that with the right treatment she can still beat the cancer. Tajay told MyLondon: “This whole situation has taken a massive mental and emotional toll on her. She was the happiest she’s ever been when her son was born, she was celebrating and then this happened.”
‘Worst few months of my life’
(Image: Tajay Bryan)
Lotecia, speaking from Jamaica, told MyLondon: “I delivered my baby early via C-section in September and it was quite possibly the worst few months of my life. I was in so much pain from having surgery along with the extreme pain from this massive tumour.
“No painkillers would help and I felt like I was in hell. My newborn would get fussy and just need his mother’s comfort but I was in so much pain whenever I would place him anywhere near my chest. It was just pure agony. If not for my family I don’t know how I would’ve survived through that time.”
(Image: Tajay Bryan)
Tajay, who is also from Jamaica and currently lives in Osterley, West London, added that the chemotherapy has totally zapped his cousin’s energy. It has also meant she can’t breastfeed her son and the situation has taken its toll on her relationship with him, too.
Tajay’s family are all close and have rallied together to support their relative back in Jamaica. That has included sending over money and food packages. He said: “Like any family, we’re complicated but we all have a strong family connection.”
‘The UK has been so good to us’
Tajay moved to the UK when he was around six years old. He joined his mother who had already moved here after his father was murdered when he was just two years old. Lotecia’s mum – his aunt – raised Tajay like her own, and now he views her as a second mother.
Lotecia’s plans to move to the UK and work as a nurse have been put on hold. Her sister, also a nurse, has been living here for around four weeks. Tajay said: “We have a really strong connection to the UK, it’s been really good to us as a family.”
Lotecia added that her son just turned eight months old and is “thriving.” She continued: “He’s been such an important part of my journey, and we share such an extra special bond. God knew what he was doing when he gave me this little blessing when he did. He’s my angel, and he’s my reason for fighting.” You can donate to the GoFundMe set up by Tajay here.