Pgh. Post Gazette - Portrait of a Mom

  1. Hi everyone,

    Attached is a link to an article that appeared last week in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. It has caused quite a controversy for the author and paper and has many Pittsburghers wondering "should this woman be portrayed as a hero?"
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    About colleen10

    Joined: Jan '01; Posts: 1,761; Likes: 46
    pre-nursing student, secretary - non-medical


  3. by   2banurse
    Hi Colleen,

    I don't know about the hero title, but she definitely was courageous (is that the same thing? I don't know myself). I think it does show a strength in love and commitment that both Kristen and Jerry had in each other.

    Having my mom decide on a full treatment (surgery, chemo and radiation therapy) due to her recent dx of b. cancer, I feel so glad that she did choose this. It hasn't been easy, but my mom has been a big fighter with this and to me, this strength, makes me see her as a hero to me. I guess that is is all subjective to how each other feels.

  4. by   eltrip
    The Hallelujah diet has helped a great many people. This is the first such report I have heard where someone died. Her choice to not combine the diet with medical intervention was hers to make. Though I respect her right to choose, I would not have made the same choices that she made.

    How sad, though, for her children, who no longer have their mother with them. Now the father delivers pizza and relies upon the state to provide health care for his children. Don't the children receive SSI survivor benefits? Puzzling.
  5. by   renerian
    Hero. I agree with 2banurse. She was brave but not a hero. Sorry if that upsets anyone. The 9/11 fireman and police now they are heroes.

  6. by   ktwlpn
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by colleen10
    [B]Hi everyone,

    Attached is a link to an article that appeared last week in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. It has caused quite a controversy for the author and paper and has many Pittsburghers wondering "should this woman be portrayed as a hero?"

    [ I wonder what decisions she would have made if she had truly put the welfare of ALL of her children before the welfare of one....
  7. by   KaroSnowQueen
    So she should have killed the one for a treatment that might or might not have helped her? Have you watched a loved one go through the pure hell of chemo and radiation over a year and a half's time? Do you realize her quality of life would have been pitiful and she would have been of no use to those children anyway?
    I have my opinion and you have yours, but I would not want my children to know I killed my baby so I could fill my body with poison and be miserable and a burden and die anyway.
    Although WHY she didn't go for the hysterectomy after the kid was four months old is beyond me.
  8. by   hapeewendy
    I dont know how to feel about this one to tell you the truth.... sure she had courage, made an extremely tough decision, do I agree with it, I'm not entirely sure..
    would I call her a hero, probably not
    though karo I can tell you that I really have a problem with how you use the term killing her baby and fill herself up with poison and be useless and die anyway , very harsh , empathy my friend empathy....
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    Have to say one part of this story strikes me as odd. She chose not to have a total hysterectomy, partly because she wanted to breastfeed? She had a cesarean anyway, was already wide open, coulda just taken everything then with the recovery period being about the same as her cesarean and she could still have breastfed because it is our pitiuitary gland and prolactin that makes breastmilk, not our ovaries. In fact, prolactin suppresses our ovaries, which have nothing to do with breastfeeding. (One of the new studies out says that suppressing estrogen by having babies and breasetfeeding is a protective mechanism against breast cancer). While I can understand the wrenching decision making here, I wonder why a doc never told her she could still breastfeed? hmmmm. . . . Yeah, I just got called off due to low census . .I'm so happy. Back to bed . .. :roll
  10. by   mark_LD_RN
    she gave her life for her child and lived by her beliefs IMHO that makes her a hero.
    after working oncology I can really see her views.
  11. by   emily_mom
    I watched my Mom go through almost a year of radiation, chemo, and multiple procedures only to watch her lay in a hospital bed weighing 78 lb and die. All of these medical interventions robbed her of her liveliness and ability to maintain a semi-normal life.

    I completely understand why this woman did this. Who would want their small children to see their Mom like that? Although I am also unsure as to why she didn't have the hyst after the birth, but I guess that is her choice.

    Personally, I feel sorry for the husband, who is now mother, father, support person and breadwinner for 7 children...I would have wanted to live so that I wouldn't have left such a hardship on my husband. IMHO

  12. by   PennyLane
    I wouldn't call her a hero either. I can understand not wanting an abortion since it conflicted with her religious beliefs, but there was still a chance to save her life with chemo after she gave birth. Isn't cervical cancer usually curable? My great aunt had uterine cancer in the 60s and survived until just this year. It never came back. Now her husband is left without a wife and with seven young children. His life is going to be very hard without her, for many reasons.

    She made a very tough choice, but her choices had repercussions beyond just her own existance.
  13. by   jacolaur
    Brave and couragous yes, hero no....why oh why didn't she get the hysterectomy..... was not my decision to make however, a lot of little lives (her children) have only begun to see what is in store for them without their mother being here..what a sad story because she had a shot at still being here, to see her chidren grow and share the many joys that life has to offer you with your children, not to mention the joys that the children will miss without her...I'll get blasted for this last remark but...she seemed a little selfish in her decision to not have the I said ...too many little lives depended on her to not take a shot at being here for them...sorry, but thats how I feel about this story, deep saddness for those mother still misses and grieves for my grandmother and she was 29 when we lost her.
  14. by   Lausana
    That story just makes me sad. As a mother of only 1-can't imagine 7-I couldn't imagine not trying anything...if treatment wasn't successful that might be one thing, but I'd have to give it a shot. To me I think she failed to see the bigger picture of the possibility of having 30 or 40 more years to spend with her family than the her kids seeing her sick they won't see her at all. I understand she did what she felt was best--I just cannot fathom simply saying no thanks to a hysterectomy and possible healing. No I wouldn't say hero. To each their own I guess.