Mother-of-five with terminal brain tumor is pregnant

When mother-of-five Carrie DeKlyen started getting headaches earlier this year, she put it down to stress.

After three weeks, it became too much. The 37-year-old went to the hospital, hoping to get migraine medicine. But a scan revealed she had a terminal brain tumor - the same cancer that John McCain has.

Devastating, she and her husband Nick couldn't imagine things getting any worse. 

However, on her first day in the last-resort clinic, they were dealt another blow: tests revealed Carrie was pregnant with their sixth child, and that she would have to terminate her pregnancy if she wanted chemotherapy.

Although the child was a surprise to Carrie and Nick, 39, they decided to forgo chemotherapy to keep the child. 

But last month, after two surgeries to remove the tumor and another to remove fluid, Carrie suffered a massive stroke. 

She remains unconscious and doctors warn she might have severe brain damage and will likely never be herself again.

Now, the family is scrambling to gather funds to pay for any kind of treatment to save Carrie and the baby. Speaking to Daily Mail Online, relatives said the ordeal all felt like some kind of sick joke. 

Before her stroke: Carrie DeKlyen, 37, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in April. Pictured: Carrie in the hospital  with Jez, Laila, Nevaeh and her husband Nick

Before her stroke: Carrie DeKlyen, 37, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in April. Pictured: Carrie in the hospital  with Jez, Laila, Nevaeh and her husband Nick

Fighting: Carrie, pictured after her first surgery to remove her tumor. It was just days before she found out she was pregnant with her sixth child

Fighting: Carrie, pictured after her first surgery to remove her tumor. It was just days before she found out she was pregnant with her sixth child

High spirits: Carrie posted on Facebook after they found out the news. Scans showed a massive tumor the size of a clementine but she was optimistic

High spirits: Carrie posted on Facebook after they found out the news. Scans showed a massive tumor the size of a clementine but she was optimistic

Tragic: Carrie (pictured holding her fourth child Leila four years ago) is now unconscious after suffering a stroke two weeks ago. a couple months after she was born. She is now 21 weeks pregnant with her sixth child who will also be a girl

Tragic: Carrie (pictured holding her fourth child Leila four years ago) is now unconscious after suffering a stroke two weeks ago. Doctors warn she may never be the same again

Carrie has five children with her husband: Elijah, 18; Isaiah, 16; Nevaeh, 11; Leila, four; and Jez, two. 

Shortly after her glioblastoma multiforme diagnosis, Carrie posted a picture of her scans on Facebook, showing a tumor the 'size of a clementine orange'.

At first she was in high spirits and said:  'Docs say that's a good spot. It's the part of the brain that controls your personality! So no worries. Thankfully it's not where it effects your walking, sight, and speech!'

But she had surgery on the tumor and found out two weeks later that she was pregnant with her sixth child after being accepted into a clinical trial at the University of Michigan Hospital.

'That was just a shock in itself that she was pregnant again,' said sister-in-law Sonya DeKlyen. 'We were like "is God playing some joke on us"? It was a hard situation.' 

The trial was running tests on Carrie when they called her one evening saying she needed to come to the university immediately. They said that the tests showed she was pregnant.

'It was completely out of the blue,' Sonya said. 'They headed straight down to the University of Michigan and she ended up having surgery three days after that to remove the tumor for the second time.' 

The trial needed her to have chemotherapy and radiation with the surgery, but the chemo would kill her baby.

So Carrie decided to drop out of the trial and only have radiation therapy to give her baby a chance to survive, a decision her and her husband mutually agreed on. 

The family explained the diagnoses to her older children but the two younger ones are not old enough to understand.

'They just think mommy is sick,' Sonya said.

The typical life expectancy for someone with glioblastoma multiforme is about 15 months.

Doctors have removed the tumor on Carrie's brain twice but it keeps coming back. 

She first realized that something was wrong back in April when she had been having bad headaches for three weeks.

Her life has completely changed since with her terminal diagnoses. 

Doctors recently put a shunt in her brain to help drain the fluid that the tumor was creating in her brain.

Carrie was in a stable condition until two weeks ago when she started to feel severe pressure in her skull.

Sonya said that Carrie 'has such a heart for people.' Here she is with her daughter Leila, four, and her nephew Miles

Sonya said that Carrie 'has such a heart for people.' Here she is with her daughter Leila, four, and her nephew Miles

Carrie's had a lot of support from her family. She is with her sister Melissa Booker Sheen who has also helped with watching the kids while Carrie is in the hospital 

Carrie's had a lot of support from her family. She is with her sister Melissa Booker Sheen who has also helped with watching the kids while Carrie is in the hospital 

Carrie is now 21 weeks pregnant and doctors want her to get to 28 weeks. Her daughter Nevaeh (pictured), 11, is one of her kids that understands her mother's diagnosis

Carrie is now 21 weeks pregnant and doctors want her to get to 28 weeks. Her daughter Nevaeh (pictured), 11, is one of her kids that understands her mother's diagnosis

Her family knew that they needed to relieve the pressure, so Sonya drove Carrie to University of Michigan Hospital, which is two hours away from their home in Wyoming, Michigan.

While they were in the emergency room, Carrie suffered a stroke and has not woken up since. 

'It was traumatic,' Sonya said. 'I watched the doctors intubate her and everything.'

Carrie is 21 weeks pregnant but is now lying in a hospital bed

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