How my sons’ birth saved my wife’s life (Opinion)
My sons, Albert and Lennon, turned 14 on Sunday. As much as we thank God for them every year, we also acknowledge the role that they all played in saving the life of my wife, Deneen. You see, had they not been born, we never would have known that she had breast cancer.
Deneen recounted the story.
"First it was my last day of work," Deneen said. "I had one more patient I was driving to and then I had 6 weeks left for my maternity leave. The doctor called saying the blood work and the urine analysis came back and it wasn't good. I was developing toxemia. He told me to go home get my bag and get to the hospital right away and what was going to happen was 1 of 2 things; I was either going to be staying in the hospital for the rest of the pregnancy or the babies were going to be taken by C-section that night."
Deneen called me on the way to the hospital. I was working in Philadelphia, figuring I would go to the hospital when I got off the air. That is until I told my boss assistant what was happening and both she and my boss demanded I leave now. Turns out they were right. Fortunately, I was there to see my sons being born.
Albert was born at 8:36 and Lennon was born at 8:38. Because of what was happening with Deneen they had to give her anti-seizure medicine during the C-section to keep her safe. The boys could have stayed in there longer since the problem was just with her, then they stayed in the special care nursery for 11 days and came home just in time for Halloween.
Then the other shoe dropped.
It was during a postpartum checkup, that a lump was found in Deneen's right breast. Thus began an aggressive journey starting with four months of chemotherapy that began on Valentine's Day, 2007, which is also her birthday. That was followed by 36 radiation treatments, then 18 months of a drug called Herceptin.
After that, there were five years of a drug called Tamoxifen, then another five years of an oral drug called Femera.
As a husband watching this happen, you feel so helpless. You're supposed to be the protector, but there's nothing you can do. I tried things like sitting in a dunk tank and walking the streets in a dress to raise money for Eagles Tackle Breast Cancer. Believe me, Deneen looks much better in the dress than I did!
Deneen also looked great as she took her cue from Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell on the steps of the Art Museum to cut the cake which began the 2009 "Race For The Cure" and spoke about her journey on CBS 3.
But it was our children, Lennon and Albert who actually saved her life because had she not had them, we never would have known.
I'll never forget what the late legendary WPVI sportscaster Gary Papa, whose life was later taken by prostate cancer, said to me while covering my dunk tank event, "She gave them life and they turned around and gave it right back to her."
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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