I have type 2 cancer of the left ovary and have been doing ongoing proton and radiation treatments since July 2012. I had an abortion in November 2012. I was 33 and he was 39. I live in Texas and he lives in Louisiana. I am also the only person in my family who lives in Texas.
I would spend several weeks at a time at his house and we would visit each other regularly.
My boyfriend and I practiced safe sex and regularly used condoms. Unfortunately, the condom slipped off during sex once and he came inside of me without knowing that the condom fell off. In the morning I realized what had happened and went to the local store and got a Plan B. I took it and the next day a condom mishap happened again. We mistakenly thought that since the accident occurred within a 72 hour window that I wouldn’t get pregnant.
I am always sick with nausea due to the radiation. So I did not notice until several weeks that I was getting sicker than usual. I told my boyfriend that I suspected that I might be pregnant and rather than get excited about it, he stopped talking to me. I went to the store and bought a test and sure enough I got a positive sign.
As a cancer patient, there are added risks to having a baby. I initially was excited about the possibilities of starting a family but when I told him the news he begged me to get an abortion because he wanted to get married first before starting a family and that it would “kill his mother” who was highly religious if he were to have a child before marriage. When I explained that life sometimes throws curveballs he accused me of cheating.
Things got very emotional and I had to return to Texas for work. He agreed that if the paternity test showed that he was the father he would do his duty and pay child support but that we would not remain a couple. But that if I decided to go through with the abortion he would go with me to the clinic for the multiple required doctor’s visits necessary and that he would come with me for the abortion and would cover half the costs.
In Texas, if a woman has cancer, she is not elligible for the Women’s health program….so everything would have been out of pocket.
I returned to Texas and set up the counciling and the invasive ultrasound appointments with Whole Women’s Health center in Austin, TX.
I called my boyfriend and left multiple messages about the times and dates of the counseling and ultrasound and for his paternity rests. He never responded. I went to the first appointment and we discussed my options. He never showed up to that appointment. I went to the ultrasound and found that I was 7 weeks pregnant. I was told I could keep the baby if I stopped doing radiation but that due to the previous radiation that the baby had a high chance of getting some sort of abnormality.
I went home and called my boyfriend and his friends. He had relayed to his friend that he wouldn’t talk to me until I got my abortion. That he would pay for half if I did it but that if I decided to keep it he would not help.
I felt like I was being blackmailed and abandoned. I did not want to be a single mother. I did not want to bring a child into a life full of unhappiness. It would not be fair to the child. I also did not want to run the risk of stopping my radiation in case the cancer spread. What would happen if I died from cancer and left behind a baby who also had been exposed to radiation?
I was not raised around Christians. I was raised with the belief that a fetus is an extension of the mother through the umbilical chord and that until it takes a real breath and has the umbilical chord Severed from the mother. I was not raised to feel the moralistic guilt that is so prevalent in Christians here in the United States.
So, I made the decision to abort the baby.
I left another message with my boyfriend and his friend with the date and time of the scheduled appointment. He never showed up.
I was scared but the women at Whole Women’s Health were nice and I felt comfortable. It wasn’t like a sickly sterile hospital where they poke needles at you and have cold white corridors. It was pink colored walls and pretty paintings on the wall for me to focus on during the procedure. A nurse held my hand the entire time and it honestly didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would. It felt like a sharp sensation deep in my nether region. Like the first time I had sex. Then there was a sucking feeling deep inside. I had been given some medicine to dull the pain and it was over in less than 10 minutes. So yeah, it hurt, but it wasn’t unbearable.
Afterwards, I was taken to a bed with pretty flowered coverlets. The recovery room looked like my grandmother’s room and the nurse who held my hand sat with me until I felt better and alert.
I felt sad that I didn’t hear from him. I had been scared to do this alone. But in the end I realized that I was better without him and if he was willing to break his previous promises what chances would there have been to keep him from breaking his promise to help financially support the child if I had decided to keep it.
The next day, I had cramps and I bled a little but was able to get back to work. It felt like when you have done too many situps and you “feel the burn” the next day.
I contacted the guy (his lack of communication with me left no doubt in my mind that we had “broken up”) to let him know how much the fees were. He sent several emails and messages saying he would cover the costs. Months passed and he never paid for his half. He then sent me an email which had obviously been drafted by a lawyer stating that due to the fact that he didn’t take a paternity test that there was no sure way to know if the child was his. He stated that if I wanted to get any reimbursement that I would need to let his lawyer have access to my medical records.
I refused to allow his lawyer access to all my medical records. It is now October 2013 and all of our mutual friends agree that I shouldn’t “push him” into further legal arguments because I would lose.
I have no guilt for having an abortion. I feel relieved that I don’t have to have that man in my life anymore. I still feel angry but I can’t afford to continue the legal battle.
But my story does have a happy ending. I have a loving and dedicated boyfriend now who knows about the entire ordeal. He doesn’t make me feel ashamed or guilty like my previous boyfriend. And I feel like I have a bright future. He asked me to marry him and once my radiation treatments are over and I am cleared of my cancer, we plan on trying to make babies. (♥~♥)