OCEAN PINES, Md. - Brooks Buchanan is a healthy one year-old. And it's hard to believe more than a year ago he was sharing his mother's womb with a massive tumor.
And despite all the cancer treatment, he was born with no side affects other than low birth weight. His mom Kelly says her happy little boy saved her life.
"I had something else to live for," explains Kelly of how she survived ovarian cancer, "besides just myself and my husband."
"I tell people Brooks saved her life," admits a tearful Scott Buchanan, Brook's dad. "They both saved mine."
The cancer treatment which Kelly's doctor recommended during her pregnancy was apparently the first of its kind. A port, installed in her abdomen, delivered chemo directly into her uterus. Kelly tells us the only thing protecting Brooks from the chemo was the amniotic sac.
The reason she and her husband Scott call 1 year-old Brooks her savior, is that if she hadn't gotten pregnant with him, doctors might not have found her ovarian cancer, which they believe could have killed her in a matter of months.
"That's unexplainable," Scott tells WMDT about how close his wife and unborn son had come to death. "Nobody could realize what I had...They're my life. And I was ready to lose both of them."
"Every day he was inside me," adds Kelly. "I was just so worried about the chemicals and medicines and trauma that he was enduring."
But when Brooks was born, he was 4 pounds, but otherwise healthy. He was born with club feet, which doctors corrected with treatment. But Kelly tells WMDT that was not a result of the chemotherapy.
A big surprise was that the baby they expected to come out a girl, was actually a boy. Kelly says at that point it felt like she had already beat cancer. "It felt like the journey was over, I felt like, "Okay, it's all over. I got a healthy child now.' And that's what Scott had to keep reminding me...you have to finish chemo. But honestly the day he was born, I'm like "Okay, I won this battle!'"
A month after Brooks was born, Kelly had a full hysterectomy. And two and a half month later, Kelly finished up chemo, and received a clean bill of health from her cancer doctors. Every three months, she still gets scans to monitor her situation.
Kelly tells us her new goal is to share her story, in the hopes that her experience will help others struggling with cancer.
Little Brooks turns two this May.
Join WMDT's Emily Lampa as she explores the world of pregnancy. You can read about the do's and don't's plus tips from experts on safety for expecting mothers.