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Woman embarks on two very different journeys at the same time

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For one local mom, the worst news and best news she could receive came within days of each other.

Amy Warlick, 28, was diagnosed with breast cancer in February. Her diagnosis came after several months of having a cyst come up in her breast. Five days after she was told she had invasive ductal carcinoma, Warlick learned she was expecting her second child.

"The day I took my pregnancy test, I thought my life was over," she said. "I thought 'There's no way I can have breast cancer and a baby at the same time.'"

Warlick learned she had cancer after having a cyst come up in her breast. After having it aspirated, it would come back. The third time, she said, it was taking up her entire breast.

"My doctor sent me to a surgeon in Gastonia, who aspirated it and sent the fluid to be tested ... I found out on Thursday that it was breast cancer," she explained.

Her doctor wanted to do an MRI, but told her that it was best to do it 7 to 10 days after her period.

"I was supposed to start on Monday, but Monday came and went .... on Wednesday morning I took a test, and I was pregnant."

The cyst, tissue and a lymph node were removed, and Warlick was told the cancer had spread outside of the duct walls. She had a complete mastectomy on the right side, and 11 lymph nodes were removed. Six were positive for cancer.

"I started chemo on April 4, and they are taking care to use chemo that is safe for the baby," she said.

She will have chemo for 16 to 18 weeks, and after her first treatment said she battled a migraine for four days. But, just before that first treatment, she received a blessing.

"I felt the baby move the night before," she said.

Because she can't risk a chance of infection, Warlick closed her dog grooming business. She plans to reopen Pawsitively Perfect Dog Spa in 2017.

"The outpouring of support has been incredible," she said. "It has been absolutely amazing."

Baby number two - a little boy, who will join his big brother, Easton - is due on Oct. 13, but Warlick said she will be induced between 34 and 36 weeks. She will have more surgery once the baby arrives. Mom and baby are being closely monitored. A CT of Warlick's chest as well as an ultrasound of her liver have shown up clear. And while her cancer is more rare and aggressive, it's not slowing her down. What's her secret to staying strong?

"God," she said. "We have prayed and prayed and prayed."

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