Friday, March 6, 2009

She's a Cancer Survivor Too


I think even more than the cancer diagnosis the biggest fear for my husband and I was if I AND the baby could both make it through the whole thing. Right after the initial diagnosis, only 2 weeks after learning I was pregnant, I really did not have a whole lot of faith. I have miscarried before. How in the world did I expect this pregnancy to last? I was very sick. I could barely breathe, or eat. I didn't even know how I would make it, much less my baby.

I talked to a specialist who did suggest a therapeutic abortion. I had already done a little research and even talked to the nurses and doctors in the ICU after my biopsy surgery and had learned that it was showing that chemo was safer than once expected in pregnancy. It shows to be safest in the 2nd and third trimester. I had yet to find a terrible conclusion from chemo being used in pregnancy. I am not saying it does not happen. I am saying it's rare first of all to have to have chemo at all in pregnancy. Most will be able to put it off. If you can't put it off you can usually push it to the 2nd trimester after all the major organs and such have formed. The risks continue to drop. I couldn't wait. I started chemo at 10 weeks because otherwise I would have died. The specialist flat out said I would not last 3 weeks. That is scary news to hear, though I hadn't much doubt about it in the first place. Breathing was a chore and it hurt. I didn't know how I would last a day, much less weeks.

I asked this specialist if my life was at risk in any way by holding on to this pregnancy. I knew without a doubt that if I were to lose this baby it would suck the life right out of me. I would sink into a depression and it would hinder my chances of getting better. I've lost a baby before, but losing one in this way was too much. She was the only positive thing in this whole situation. Her answer was there was no risk to my life. She thought it was better for my emotional and mental status to not have to deal with a baby who might possibly by some chance have problems. They have no idea what problems there could be. I later read cleft palate and clubbed feet have been seen. I thought...is that all? Should I abort a baby because it has a higher risk of cleft palate? No! I knew it was never an option and I looked at her and said no, I cannot do that because even if I got better, I would not be better. I would never be better. We needed to go through this thinking of it as saving both of our lives. I felt my baby had just as much right to beat cancer as I did.

And we did. Other than chemo triggering some contractions at 30 weeks and 32 weeks I had no side effects related to the pregnancy. Gabriella came out at 36 weeks along, 6 lbs. 3 oz and 18 inches long. She was crying before she was all the way out. She was healthy from day one. She was perfect...and beautiful. She needed no NICU. She was strong...and beat that cancer just like her mom did. She will always know it. We are forever bound by this cancer and honestly Gabriella got me through it. Each day instead of thinking "Whoa is me, I have cancer", I thought "I have to get through this for my baby." She helped me to beat it. I had something happy to look forward to and her birth was literally a symbol of me getting better. A new beginning. New life. So this post is for my little survivor, Gabriella Faith.

20 comments:

Daily Dose said...

what a story. I wish you all the best, you are very strong. I'd like to post about you on another blog I have get back to me if that's okay.

Garret

MaryAnne said...

Beautiful post.

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Beautiful honey, absolutely beautiful.

Have a terrific day and weekend. :)

Robin said...

Hi,
I was deeply touched by your real life story. It is truly a Blessing that you and your new baby are cancer survivors. Wishing you and your family health and happiness always. Take good care and have a great weekend! :-)

PaulsHealthBlog.com said...

Gabriella Faith is appropriately named, indeed.

God bless you and your beautiful little girl.

Gabriella Faith

Frances said...

Beautiful story, thanks for sharing that. And what a name - it is perfect. She is adorable!

Bill said...

She is so beautiful and this is such a beautiful miracle. I am very happy for the both of you. Have a wonderful weekend with your family.

Pistolmom said...

My goodness! What an incredible story.
www.freedoms-fight.blogspot.com

Miss Confession said...

oh my. This is the first time I'm here and reading your story. It seriously touched me. You have a beautiful baby. Some people might think that I'm too young to fully understand this but I really can just feel how tough it was to go through a pregnancy and having cancer at the same time. Fear and all. You both survived and being here in your blog just makes it seem so real that such a beautiful thing can happen in life (not the cancer i mean). Now it makes me more determine to live life to the fullest and also be aware that any sufferings I go through is not as painful as what other ppl might go through. Thank you for this blog of yours =)

Beth said...

Isn't God does in a miraculous way? This is such a wonderful story about how you and Gabriella survived. I believe that each of us has our time.

Gabriella.. what a beautiful name. That is also the name of my aunt who happens to be my god-mother :)

God Bless you and your family

twinmama said...

You have an amazing outlook and what a blessing you chose life for your baby! Your story is truly an inspiration.

Thanks for advertising on my blog. I will be following how you and Gabriella are doing.

Angel said...

Both of you are beautiful, and what a miracle that she is here with you now. Thank you for sharing your story.

Adam Dilip Mutum said...

An amazing story. Take care.

Pamela Tan said...

Hi, this is my first visit. Your blog is really touching lives. I was reading your latest posts and it gave me tears. It makes me truly appreciate life more especially for those the ones I love.

I wish you the best of life. :D

Chronic Chick Talk said...

Hi there,

Your daughter sure was a survivor right along with you. She's a special little girl and a fighter. No other bond could be as strong as a mom and daughter being survivors. She's very beautiful. God Bless you...

Phyl said...

You're a strong person, and so clearly a generous person, for sharing this with us. I'm so happy for both you and Gabriella Faith.

Flo said...

Your story is amazing, and your blog is so touching. Please accept my award for you: http://www.soulfulscribbles.com/?p=686. :)

Racn4acure said...

A beautiful and inspiring tale.

{ Jhari } said...

I'm so touched with your story. You and your baby are blessed. May Allah God always save you both.

Your Baby is so cute! I love her smile.

Jes said...

you did the right decision....how could you take aborting a child of yours?? just bcause of nonsense reasons...though doctors know whste best for our health...but they have no ryt to decide for lives God has created!!!! I salute you dear!!! Hope baby Gabriela Faith is always doing fine same gabriela's sisters =) God Bless!