- Ada, Oklahoma

Local News

May 10, 2010

Survivor celebrates miracle motherhood

Ada — Tamiko Poe was diagnosed with choriocarcenoma, cancer of the uterus and ovaries, in September 1987.  Doctors said she would never have children again.

“I had two boys then and they told me I would never have children again,” Poe said. 

She said her youngest child was two months old when she was diagnosed. Poe lost her own mother to cancer and she was devastated.

“I was just terrified not knowing what I was going to do or what the children were going to do,” she said.  As she began her recovery, Poe said her family got a lot closer.

“My children and I are really close now,” she said.  “You don’t really know how long you have.  When I was diagnosed, they told me if I missed any chemo or radiation, I wouldn’t be there for that next Christmas.”

After a partial hysterectomy, several surgeries, strenuous chemotherapy and other treatments, Poe said doctors were scared when a pregnancy test came up positive three years after she completed treatment.

“It was scary because the kind of cancer I had would make pregnancy tests show up positive,” she said. 

“When we first found out I was pregnant with my daughter, they thought the cancer was coming back.”

It turned out Poe was, in fact, pregnant.  Doctors called it a miracle.

“After they did the tumor removal, they removed half my left tube, half my left ovary, all my right tube and right ovary,” she said. 

“They told me I could never have kids again.”

Poe said she also had to have a mesh stomach lining put in because the treatments had hurt her stomach lining.

“I can’t tell you how many surgeries I’ve actually had,” she said.

Poe said when her daughter was first born, she wasn’t sure how the surgeries would affect her.

“My daughter is really healthy now, but she was really small because of the surgeries I’ve had and the chemo,” she said.  “She just didn’t have room to grow.”

Now Poe’s daughter, Tamera, is 19 years old and Tamiko's cancer has been in complete remission for almost 20 years.  She said she looks forward to many more Mother’s Days with Tamera and her two older sons, James and Jimmy.

Poe also became involved as a volunteer with Pontotoc County’s Relay For Life through the Chickasaw Nation.

“We help with all the Relay For Life Fundraisers,” she said.

She said she buys a luminary for her mother and herself every year.

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