By: Mary Katherine Wildeman
As Mother's Day approached, Heather Toeppner bounced a grinning, healthy 9-month-old with clear blue eyes on a bench outside the Medical University of South Carolina.
They were an image of happiness and health. Toeppner's short cropped hair was the only sign that cancer had recently wracked her body.
Toeppner, 32, said she always liked to cultivate control and organization in her life. But her sense of order was toppled in 2017 when she was diagnosed with cancer, gave birth to a preemie, breast-fed her baby, underwent chemotherapy and radiation and struggled with postpartum depression, all within one year.
Now, two months after finishing her last round of radiation, she said she's had to learn to live in the present.