News Corp journo Elle Halliwell had a pretty rough year, to put it lightly: in April she learned she had leukaemia, and two days later she discovered she was pregnant. 

Elle had been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia — a particularly aggressive form of blood cancer mostly found in blokes in their 60s.

Halliwell spoke to 60 Minutes tonight about the interplay of those two things – the struggle of being told about a very possibly lethal condition, and the joy of having a new baby.

“I just instantly thought this will kill me,” Elle told 60 Minutes. “Knowing that it had invaded every kind of area of your body, a blood cancer, felt so fatal.”

“I just thought, that poor life inside me living in this sick body. I thought it had no hope anyway.”

The advice Halliwell received from doctors was that she should have terminated her pregnancy so that she could pursue treatment for her cancer. Then, if the treatment worked, she could think about revisiting the prospect of having a child later down the line.

She instead opted for a second opinion, and the far riskier option of taking older drugs which could see her through her pregnancy.

60 Mins journo Allie Langdon – who is similarly pregnant – said that as the expected birthdate looms closer, Elle’s health is by no means in the clear, but there’s hope:

They are not naive about what lies ahead, but they are truly optimistic, and they have been given reason to be. We talk about this ticking time bomb inside of her, she’s not going to relax until it’s diffused and the baby is out. That’s always there in the back of your mind.

Source: 60 Minutes.