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my view from the prison of a SICLE (Self-Imposed Child Loss Experience) due to debilitating maternal disease
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:: Saturday, March 20, 2004 ::

I have some heartbreaking news.

About a year or so ago I was made aware of a pregnant Florida mother with a young son and gestating daughter. Her doctors detected breast cancer and advised her to terminate so that she could start chemo and such right away and so the pregnancy's growth hormones would stop "feeding" the cancer.

This mother is a Christian and freely chose to reject abortion. She focused on growing her baby and was put into contact with another mom who had been diagnosed with breast cancer during pregnancy and did not abort. This other mom is cancer free today and enjoys sharing her life with both of her young sons.

Unfortunately, the Florida mom's cancer was not eradicated and is now eating her alive. She was supposed to start another round of chemo this past week but she was having some problems with pain, nausea and fevers, so they couldn't start. She went to a specialized cancer treatment center, the Moffit center, and they told her that at this point they are not even planning to start anymore chemo because the cancer is basically too advanced, i.e., terminal. Her daughter isn't even a year old.

They go back to Moffit on Monday to see how much time she has left.

Mom is upbeat and joking so far. She is courageous and satisfied with her choice to not kill her daughter to try and save herself. It looks like she literally gave her life for her child, which is something every parent says they will do but many in her shoes don't. Most parents are thankfully never put in such a situation. This woman is a hero.

In my years of research for the book I wrote on HG, I perused hundreds of medical journal articles and observed many cases where pregnant moms diagnosed with cancer DID abort to try and save their lives, and they still died anyway. If the Florida mom had aborted her daughter there is no guarantee that she would have lived. The doctors gave her much better odds in that scenario, but she made the only choice she could live (or die) with, and she is not sorry.

She is one of these folks with a crummy childhood whose parents put her through a lot of dysfunction and heartbreak. She fought her way out of it though with the help of a Christian foster family in her teens. She survived all of this only for this to happen and it is so sad. But again, she is upbeat and does not regret her decision.

She is too good for this world.

She is in her 20's and her young husband is devastated but making the best of the time they have left. They are financially drained but he is taking her on a surprise shopping spree. She wanted to buy "one new dress".

It reminds me of the day I walked into my mom's room and the new pink dress was hanging on the door. She had terminal cancer and tried to hide a lot of things from me. Somehow I seemed to know things anyway, and when I saw the dress on the door I knew she had picked it out to wear in her casket. It freaked me out big time. We discussed it and I told her that I couldn't stand the dress just waiting there for her to fill it. It represented death to me, waiting at her bedroom door to gobble her up. I didn't want the end of her life to be that real, to be something I could look at and touch. We decided that after she died I'd pick out a comfy nightgown and put her in that. She said, "Make sure it's got a high enough collar to cover my neck; I have a horrible neck!" FYI, she had a beautiful neck.

The husband of the Florida mom is trying to think of things they can do as a family and as a couple before his wife dies. One of the family traditions has always been to vacation at Ft. Wilderness. Lots of family members are coming down soon and the husband would like to stay at Ft. Wilderness one more time. They can't afford it. (Does anyone know about a discount on cabins there?) He has not asked for charity, but his mother is taking up a collection.

His mom also supplied me with their home address for sending cards, prayers and encouraging words. I'm not at liberty to share this address on the blog but I am going to write for permission to share it in some form. Perhaps you could write me if you are interested in helping, and I could send their address in individual emails to compassionate people who are not interested in debating abortion but who desire to support and encourage this family during this devastating time. I will ask for permission and let you know.

I will let you know about making donations to them when I find out more about that as well.

:: ashli 7:47 AM # ::

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