My Life Changing Decision & the Blessings That Followed

I Am Pro Life.  Here is my story...

 

 

In 1994, at the age of 26, I was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. After a year of intense chemotherapy that almost killed me (from sepsis, 2 cardiac arrests and irreversible cardiomyopathy), I was extremely thankful to have gone into remission but was told by my docs that I had less than a 50% chance of long term survival.

To make a very long story as short as possible, I basically spent the next year of my life waiting to see if I was going to die. But then, out of the blue, I fell in love with a wonderful man, got married, and was shocked to find out that I had gotten pregnant. I consulted with my team of oncologists who basically told me that if I decided to abort my baby, it would be considered a "medical necessity", and nobody could ever fault me for that.

For a few weeks I went through such turmoil, I couldn't eat or sleep. Making the decision of whether or not to continue with the pregnancy was the most gut wrenching experience I've ever gone through. What if my leukemia came back while I was pregnant? What if I had the baby, but then died and left him/her without a mother? What if the baby suffered ill health because of all the chemo I had been given? The questions were endless...I was so confused I could barely think straight most of the time.

I decided not to have the baby...

The abortion was scheduled to be done in the hospital by the obstetrician who had told me not to feel any guilt, because termination would be based purely on medical reasons. But deep down inside, I wondered to myself -- is there a tiny hint of selfishness in this decision? Is there a bit of "I don't want to have a baby now because it'll cramp my style" attitude in this at all?

How ashamed I feel right now telling you that selfishness DID play a role in my initial decision.

Anyway, the morning of the procedure is very vivid in my mind still to this day. I remember lying on a bed and being wheeled down to the operating room. I was "parked" outside the huge O.R. doors to await the doctor, who was to 'talk' with me one last time before the procedure. My husband stood by my side, holding my hand and comforting me. I remember watching the doctor walk down the hall towards me, smiling. All of a sudden, I was FILLED with extreme sadness and remorse and I cried out to the doctor, "This is not right. I can't do this. I can't do this!" She stroked my head as I lay there crying my eyes out, filled with the most beautiful feeling of love for this tiny little life inside of me. The feeling was surprisingly foreign, but so wonderful -- I knew at that moment I was feeling a "mother's love".

I remember crying out loud this exact sentence: "Here I am ready to destroy my unborn baby...when I MYSELF was given a second chance!!!"

I got up off of the stretcher and went home with my husband -- not to await the return of my leukemia, but to await the birth of my child!  And as scared as I was, I was also thrilled. One of my oncologists had told me, some time later, that often when a cancer patient is carrying a child, the body goes into a kind of protective mode...one in which the body will fight harder than ever to keep itself in remission - ensuring the safe development of the life inside. I thought that was a beautiful thing to contemplate. I actually felt healthier as a pregnant woman than I felt when I wasn't!

Two years later, I was pregnant again. This time, it was my cardiomyopathy (weak heart muscle) that became the issue. I was told that if I continued with the pregnancy, I would need a lot of bed rest and a high risk obstetrics team. This time, the thought of not going through with the pregnancy was fleeting, it came and went with just a whisper. But I did wonder, what were the odds of coming through a SECOND pregnancy -- cancer free AND cardio-stable??

I am the luckiest woman alive today.

My daughters are now 11 & 9. My cancer never came back. The cardiomyopathy is stable. My husband, my family, & friends say I am so brave. I say it's just a mother's love -- the most powerful emotion that exists (in my opinion). Was it just luck? Or had I been given a test by a higher power? I never did have much faith in God. But now, I am convinced that things happen for a reason, and that there is "something" out there, in some other dimension/reality, watching over us...guiding us along...

This is why I have become a pro-life advocate. Thanks for reading my story.

jazzlvr66 jazzlvr66
41-45, F
6 Responses Feb 22, 2009

How is everything now? Good for you for choosing to keep children. At least you made decision<br />
you can feel good about.

Thanks for input. You are reason that majority of pregnancies these days can be handled safely<br />
through most severe medical conditions with positive outcomes. Doctors and others who advise abortion most often are ignorant of all facts or do it to have a sense of power or material gain. Anyone knows abortion is big business and money talks. Thank you for keeping your integrity and<br />
doing what was right for you. Others don't have to live with consequences or be affected by<br />
whatever you do with your life!

This brought tears to my eyes! I am so glad both you and your children are here today and healthy! Would you mind terribly sharing your story on the posts about Dr. tiller? It may be just what someone out there needs to hear!

amazing story, thanks so much for sharing. it makes me forget my silly problems and remember that there is so much good out there. :-)

This just re-enforces the fact that miracles do indeed happen!

Bless, What a beautiful journey you have had and been able to live through to tell your story.x