State Rep. Seth Grove and his wife, Kacey, faced what he described as "a huge emotional roller coaster" in July -- a breast cancer diagnosis and the birth of a baby within 24 hours.
At almost nine months pregnant, Kacey, 31, had been experiencing pain and assumed she had a blocked milk duct -- something that happened during her pregnancy with the couple's 2-year-old son, Andrew.
But test results revealed it was something else and a biopsy was done.
On July 18, just six days before her July 24 due date, doctors told Kacey she had breast cancer.
A few hours later the Groves went to the hospital, where Kacey's labor was induced so she could begin treatment as soon as possible, said Seth Grove, 32, R-Dover Township.
Connor Jackson Grove was
born 13 hours later on Wednesday, July 18, 19.4 inches long and weighing 7 pounds, 12 ounces.
"It was a huge shock, kind of the best and worst 24 hours ever -- to find out your wife has breast cancer and to have a new baby," Grove said.
"We had the weekend to kind of enjoy the new baby, and she went in for further testing that Monday," Grove said.
Kacey Grove began her third chemotherapy treatment last week.
"She is doing good," her husband of six years said. "She is quite the trooper and one of the strongest people I know."
Moving forward: Kacey said she was shocked at her diagnosis, but did not become emotional until she had to tell her family.
"That's when I started to get upset, seeing my parents and telling them," she said.
No one in her family has been affected by cancer prior to this. Kacey said she hopes to become involved in breast cancer awareness causes now, especially since the disease is becoming more prevalent in women her age and younger.
"I just went wig shopping, and there was a 26-year-old there with breast cancer," Kacey said.
"I have not been tired other than just taking care of a newborn, and no nausea," said Kacey. "My hair is almost out completely, but that is really the only side effect I have had. They do say the side effects get worse the more treatments you have."
Her husband, family and friends have been an excellent support system, she said.
"You just have to go on living your day," Kacey said. "It's not something that's going to stop me."
A juggling dad: As Kacey continues going through treatment, Seth balances taking care of his wife and two young sons with work and preparing for re-election this fall. He is running unopposed.
A lifelong resident of York and a graduate of York College, Seth Grove was elected in 2008 to serve the 196th District, which includes West Manchester Township and the Dover and Spring Grove areas.
"Friends and family and co-workers have been awesome," Seth said. "That support is so beneficial. It definitely takes a team to deal with this kind of stuff, so I can't thank everybody enough.
"My focus is obviously on my family," he said. "I'm probably not in my office as much, but I am still working on stuff. I am a workaholic so it is just different for me."
Having children makes going through the cancer journey somewhat easier, he said. With two kids to take care of, cancer cannot consume your life, he explained.
"I tend to think of it as this is something a lot of people in York have gone through," Seth said. "There are 40,000 cancer survivors in York, which is a pretty high amount. So there are that many people walking around who have the same thing that my wife has.
"One of her doctors put it this way: Someone you know will get cancer. It is just a matter of time," said Seth.
"You deal with it the best you can and you get through it," he said. "Pray hard, fight hard, and kick butt."
-- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or firstname.lastname@example.org