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Mary’s story continues…

Mary Perry was just 27 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Four years later, in a wonderful turn of events, Mary has recently given birth to twins. Here she shares her story with Lingen Davies.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of just 27, Mary Perry has gone on to be a prominent force for raising awareness about cancer – particularly in young people. While doing this, spearheading multiple fundraising events, and becoming known and loved as the ‘face’ of Lingen Davies – she had some difficult decisions to make in her personal life. Mary and her husband, David, had to decide if a family was right for them.
After an operation and six rounds of chemotherapy in 2020, Mary’s body had been through a lot. She had had lengthy and invasive cancer treatment and was taking regular medication to stop the cancer coming back, which was not compatible with becoming pregnant.
But Mary, now 31, made the brave choice to come off her regular medication – and are now facing yet another daunting and exciting chapter… the couple are now expecting twins!
Here Mary takes us through her journey…

Deciding to try

I spoke to the oncologist and they approved for me to come off the Tamoxifen medication I had been prescribed for five years in 2020. I had only been on it for two years at the time so it was a big risk, but we decided to go for it. We didn’t want to waste anymore time and I was also fortunate to have been granted funding for IVF because of my situation, we were told we could have as many rounds as we needed to conceive.

I had scans on my womb lining, there was a lot of testing and I took lots of tablets to get my body ready to have the embryos transferred.

We had 12 embryos and three eggs stored from before we started chemotherapy in 2020 and decided to have two embryos put in, hoping one of those would work. They both did, which was a wonderful surprise and we’re both so grateful – we know we’re extremely lucky.


Stopping cancer medication

The IVF team at Shropshire and Mid Wales Fertility Centre in Severn Fields Health Village have been amazing, it’s been a really anxious time and I’ve obviously got concerns about my own health but we’ve been so well supported.

Tamoxifen is like a hormone replacement therapy that I was prescribed once I had finished radiotherapy – my cancer was oestrogen positive and the Tamoxifen works to stop oestrogen attaching to other cells.

It’s been a huge risk coming off it, it was a really big part of our decision, but I could spend five years taking the medication and still get cancer again, so we went for it.

I did my research and read about trials in the US for people with my type of cancer taking my type of drugs – there was no correlation or risk between stopping the Tamoxifen and cancer.

Managing pregnancy after cancer

We stayed with the fertility clinic until the eight-week mark but at six weeks I had a large bleed and really thought I was having a miscarriage. I had convinced myself it had gone wrong but when I had an ultrasound there were two heartbeats, the sonographer and I were both crying with joy and since then everything has just kept on developing well.

I have to have regular breast checkups and the breast that I had radiotherapy treatment on hasn’t grown and developed with my pregnancy like the other one.

I’m due a mammogram and then look at going back on Tamoxifen, which will be for another three years. I’ve been well supported with regular checkups, they’ve really kept an eye on me and we have a C-Section planned – but we haven’t found out what we’re having, it’s going to be a really lovely surprise.

Mary’s journey to a family

I first discovered the lump in my breast in January 2020 but left it six weeks before acting, as I wasn’t really concerned. When I did go to the doctors the UK was in lockdown – the first of many due to COVID-19. Cancer was confirmed within five weeks of the first visit to the doctor and one of my first questions was ‘will I be able to have children?’ – they referred me to the fertility clinic then.

We’re just so lucky and pleased that we have got this far.

**In April 2024 Mary gave birth to a little boy and girl, Charlie and Dotty.