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Me and Pam Tebow Have Something In Common. Oh, the Irony!

February 23, 2010

Those who know me well can tell you that I am not a big supporter of Tim Tebow, the devout and much celebrated Heissman-honored quarterback of the University of Florida Gators football team. And yet I felt compelled to learn more about the story behind his family’s much anticipated thirty-second Super Bowl ad titled, “Focus on the Family”. Was its message anti-abortion, as I heard so many describe it? Why all the hoopla? Rather than believe the media hype, I decided to investigate.

That’s how I learned that Tim’s mom, Pam Tebow, and I had something in common. We were both advised by our doctors to abort our fetuses. Pam’s doctors believed that because she was at a late age for childbirth (37) and residing in the Philippines, a country with substandard medical care compared to ours, that abortion would be in her best interests. (Besides, she already had four healthy children.)

Much more recently, my doctor advised me six weeks into my pregnancy that abortion was my best course of action, because it would allow me to immediately begin chemotherapy treatments for my stage IIB breast cancer.

 Generally, chemotherapy in the first trimester of pregnancy is ill-advised, as vital organs are developing during this phase. Like Pam Tebow, I was also 37, but unlike her, I was pregnant for what would be the first and only time.

 Here is where our stories diverge even further. Pam and her husband, Bob, conceived Tim with a purpose: to create a servant of God, a preacher. I believe God bestowed this unexpected pregnancy in my life to create a servant in me, albeit, a servant of a different type altogether.

 As a working woman who has experienced a pregnancy during treatments for breast cancer (including two surgeries and 24 weeks of chemotherapy), I feel that I have insights and advice to offer in a number of areas.

The subject dearest to my heart will be the primary focus of this blog: a woman’s right to challenge abortion as a medical remedy – a “fix” to alleviate another condition such as cancer.

 While I believe that doctors are professionals and that their opinions should be respected, I also believe that many doctors, particularly oncologists, do not want to treat pregnant women due to the complexity and lack of data available about these cases.

But the fact is, women are going to continue to have children later in life. Some will develop breast and other types of cancer. The condition known as “Pregnant with Cancer” isn’t going away. In fact, it’s going to become more common.

My mission is to reach out to all future mammas-to-be, who may get cancer, and make them understand that abortion after your diagnosis isn’t the only treatment option.

Please join me in my awareness campaign. A woman deserves to have all the information available on important health issues such as this one, and the support of those of us who have been there, as she faces one of the most difficult life choices she will ever have to make.

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12 comments

  1. Nice post. With women trending towards having children in their later years this topic will heat up. You should have a Facebook page!


  2. I will look forward to hearing how you are doing.


  3. Nancy, what a WONDERFUL thing for you to do! I know you, so I know you will be a huge support and information source for those that find themselves faced with a similar situation. But best of all, you will do it with laughter and joy in your heart. We ALL need that in our lives. John is one smart cookie! And you, my dear, are such an inspiration! xoxo Kimmer


  4. You continue to amaze me with your strength and positive energy. I look forward to reading your blog!


  5. You GO Girl! Love you lots!!


  6. Dear Nancy,

    Let me first comment on how proud I am of you. As someone who has also had cancer impact his life, I can appreciate some of the thoughts and feelings you are likely having as a spouse, sibling, child to your parents, and in your case, a mom-to-be.

    Similarly to your situation, one of our “options” when Holly was pregnant with Ryan and we learned he would be born with a severe congenital heart defect (hypoplastic left heart syndrome), it was suggested that Holly consider terminating her pregnancy. And in some parts of our country, it is not just an “option,” it is highly recommended because of ignorant physicians who don’t realize there are hospitals in this country that special in cases such as ours.

    Please understand that I am not trying to push any particular view on abortion. Frankly, as a man, I don’t believe I have the right to really weigh in on the subject matter. What I am saying is that if having the child you are pregnant with is something for which you want to fight, there are so many options for treatments and NEVER make a life-altering decision like this without doing your own research and seeking multiple consults.

    While we likely had the best possible outcome for which we could have asked, we certainly are not alone in raising a loving, energetic, intelligent little boy who has HLHS. Ryan is now 6-years old and you would never know that only half of his heart is providing his entire body with life and promise of an amazing future.

    Your last paragraph encapsulates it perfectly. “A woman deserves to have all the information available on important health issues such as this one, and the support of those of us who have been there, as she faces one of the most difficult life choices she will ever have to make.”

    Thanks for having the conviction to do this for other “Chemo Mamas” and moms who have especially difficult decisions to make regarding their pregnancies.

    Hugs,
    Kirk


  7. I’m so proud of you for getting this important message out there!


  8. Nancy, I have said this many times before – you are my hero. You are an inspiration and a huge bright spot to those that know and love you. I am so thrilled to see that you are going to share that with others, to inspire, educate and support them through difficult decisions. You’re an amazing and courageous woman and I am so blessed to call you my friend.

    Love you big,
    Leesh


  9. Hi Nancy,Let me first comment on how proud I am of you. As someone who has also had cancer impact her life, I can appreciate some of the thoughts and feelings you are having. Looking at your beautiful baby pictures, she was a blessing from God. As someone who had a child while my tubes was tied and having cancer cells show up that needed to be treated as soon as possible, I too, was told that I or the baby would be at risk. I was like, God will take care me and my baby girl, Marchelle, who is now 20 years old. As I told you many times in the hall,you are my hero. What a great thing you are doing!!!!! LOVE YOU Big; Don’t change for nothing. Kisses and Love!


  10. Nancy, the word hero doesn’t even begin to do you justice. Inspiration. That’s what you are. Pure, unadulterated INSPIRATION.


  11. Nancy, I am so glad that you are doing this to get your experience out there. I know that it will help other people who may be going through similiar situations! I am proud of you and thankful for your friendship. As stated before, you are an inspiration to me and others!


  12. Dear Nancy:
    You are a very strong and amazing woman and I am very proud of you and what you are doing.

    May God bless you, guide you and take care of you and yours.
    love,
    Zeny



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