“From the second I was diagnosed, all I wanted was to be a mom,” Emily tells PEOPLE.” I didn’t get the enormity of that and how much I wanted it until this.”
“As soon as all those inevitable life events look like they could get taken away from you – having children, getting older, even being at their weddings – they’re all you want,” she adds.
With two weeks between diagnosis and the start of chemotherapy, Emily set her heart on preserving her fertility before beginning treatments that could prevent her from ever having children.
“I was actually the one that was more nervous about it,” Emily’s husband, Miles Taylor recalls. “I wanted her to be strong going into the chemo, but she said whatever she would lose physically she’d get back emotionally by just keeping that goal of having kids.”
Within weeks, the couple had successfully created nine fertilized embryos. Emily printed photographs of all nine and taped them to the wall of the her and Miles’s apartment.
“For me, they were a symbol of hope,” she says. “It added so much mental strength to know that I had a future – that the future I had always imagined could still actually happen.”
Now, 31, Emily credits this hope with getting her through nine months of aggressive treatment, including eight rounds of chemotherapy and the removal of her right lung.