Army Mom Goes to Doctor for an ‘Itch.’ Nothing Could've Prepared Her for the News She Was About to Get
Kayla Gaytan has been in and out of the doctor's office more times than she can count.
It all began with an itch. While Kayla saw several doctors about her itchiness more than a year ago, none of them could find a cause. Itchiness is a common symptom that can mean any number of things, making it difficult to link to a single cause.
But Kayla was persistent and saw many different specialists. According to the “Today Show,” a week after she got married to her husband Charles, Kayla received the bad news: she had developed an aggressive cancer in her lymph system known as Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
The news of the cancer was hard on the newlyweds. But Kayla followed the doctor's advice and started receiving chemotherapy every other week. Happily, after five months of treatment, her cancer seemed to be regressing. It was around this time that doctors told the couple it was unlikely they would be able to have children together.
A month after her chemotherapy had ended, the couple returned to check on her progress. They were surprised to receive an entirely new diagnosis.
They were pregnant—with four babies.
Kayla said in an interview with WLEX:
"If I could make it through cancer, I could make it to 34 weeks [of pregnancy].”
Unfortunately, the joy was short-lived, as 28 weeks into the pregnancy her cancer re-emerged. Doctors could see tumors developing in Kayla's lungs, and they decided to move up the delivery date.
Charles, a sergeant at Kentucky's Fort Campbell Army base, felt helpless as he watched his wife get sick again.
“She worked hard to get over [cancer] the first time, and then to have to go through it over again…It [broke] my heart."
Kayla delivered four healthy babies by Cesarean section when she reached 30 weeks: 2 boys and 2 girls, all between 2-3 pounds each. The babies were transferred to NICU, where they will likely stay until February.
The delivery weakened Kayla's body, which was still under stress from the debilitating effects of cancer. Now, she will need a stem cell transplant along with 16 additional months of chemotherapy to help reboot her immune system. Her doctors have given her a 50 percent chance of surviving the next 5 years.
In an interview with the “Today Show,” she shared what keeps her going:
“It would be so easy for me to go sit in a corner and cry all the time and be upset that all this is happening. But I think of my amazing family that I have and the support I have around me and that really helps me get through every day.”
Charles has set up a Go Fund Me page to help the family on its journey ahead.
As for Kayla, she's hoping to beat the odds and live to see her quadruplets grow up, and has an inspiring perspective on it all, telling the “Today Show," "We know that [God has] got to have a different plan up there for us, and surely everything's going to work out in the end.”