Mom, 27, Gives Birth to Son While Fighting Breast Cancer: 'I Don't Want People to Feel Sorry for Me'

Kassandra Cerda was only 20 weeks pregnant in February when the unthinkable happened - doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer. This meant that the rest of her pregnancy would develop drastically different than she had ever imagined.
"It was just unbelief at my end. I didn't want to believe it; I was against it," Cerda tells PEOPLE to get the news. "I couldn't believe it, I was pregnant and I didn't think anything like this would happen to me. But cancer doesn't discriminate and it was shocking."
The 27-year-old from Mission, Texas, has since undergone anti-disease treatment that doctors at MD Anderson in Houston later discovered had spread to her lymph nodes. Cerda started chemotherapy in April and will continue to do so until doctors are informed of its progress in the coming weeks.
Cerda has been through so much in the past few months, but says it is stronger than before.
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Courtesy of Kassandra Cerda Kassandra Cerda
"I was so scared. I was afraid to die," recalls Cerda, who also has a two-year-old son. "But I'm glad I got over this phase. It was very hard for me at first and I would cry a lot. I had no hope. If you hear the word cancer, it sounds like you." I'm going to die. "
Cerda made all of her chemotherapy appointments and gave birth to a healthy boy on June 17, about a week before his due date. Now that the pregnancy is over, she has two weeks to recover before going to her next appointment.
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"They'll do another check to see if my tumors or lymph nodes have shrunk, so we'll see," she says. "I hope that my tumor and lymph nodes will shrink on re-examination and that the first round of chemotherapy will work."
"Because if not," she adds, "God, I don't know what's going to happen from there."
Courtesy of Kassandra Cerda Kassandra Cerda
Cerda's close friend, Janie Hernandez, launched a GoFundMe to help her pay the bills while her treatment continues. The site raised just under $ 15,000 on Wednesday afternoon.
While open to the fear she has endured since receiving the life-changing news in February, Cerda says she doesn't want anyone to feel sad for her. But if she can help give strength to someone else by sharing her story, it is worth telling it.
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"I don't want people to feel sorry for me," she says. "No, that's not the point. I want people to know that whatever it is, if it is a small or big obstacle that you are going through in life, it does not mean that you will trip yourself and have to say, "You know what? I'm giving up." ""
"No, other people fight their way through harder things and make it," she continues. "That is my message and my purpose."

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