Determined Knoxville woman doesn't let cancer keep her from havi

Determined Knoxville woman doesn't let cancer keep her from having a family

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Shelby Quinley of Knoxville was only 26 when she was diagnosed. It's been 11 years since she got the news that she had stage two cancer in her left breast. Shelby Quinley of Knoxville was only 26 when she was diagnosed. It's been 11 years since she got the news that she had stage two cancer in her left breast.
Dr. John Bell, director of UT Cancer Institute at UT Medical Center, treated Shelby and helped her come up with a plan that she called her "road map." Dr. John Bell, director of UT Cancer Institute at UT Medical Center, treated Shelby and helped her come up with a plan that she called her "road map."
By LORI TUCKER
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Hearing the words "you have breast cancer" is devastating at any age, but imagine being in your twenties, not knowing if you'll survive, much less one day have children.

Shelby Quinley of Knoxville was only 26 when she was diagnosed. It's been 11 years since she got the news that she had stage two cancer in her left breast.

Dr. John Bell, director of UT Cancer Institute at UT Medical Center, treated Shelby and helped her come up with a plan that she called her "road map."

"Young people in their twenties even can develop breast cancer," Dr. Bell said. "And number two, equally and more importantly, it's not a death sentence."

Quinley had a double mastectomy, followed by six rounds of chemotherapy and reconstructive surgery.

She worried about the future and having a family.

"There wasn't any question that I wanted to have kids and that my husband and I wanted to have kids. It always stuck in the back of my mind, well it might come back and it might come back in your ovaries or in other reproductive organs," Quinley recalled.

"The probabilities of sterility are related to the type of treatment that is delivered, and actually vary by patient," Dr. Bell explained.

Today, Quinley and her husband Brian have a delightful 3-year-old son named Hayes, who is about to become a big brother of a little girl they plan to call Stella.

"It's a beautiful story," said Dr. Bell with a smile. "And it just shows that there is life and hope after a diagnosis of breast cancer."

Quinley, who radiates joy and a positive attitude says her cancer battle "was a bump in the road for me."

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