The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


A Child of Fate

Fate? I should have named him that. Ah, but it was too close to fatal, and that was how it all began.

I was 39 when I discovered a lump in my groin. I mentioned it but no one would listen. The doctors said, “Don’t worry, it’s just a subcutaneous cyst or a varicose vein.” I thought otherwise. I never was one to run to doctors, unless I was pregnant and wanted prenatal care for “the others.”

Now I was 39 years old and had a lovely family of four daughters. I, myself, was from a family of three daughters. I was happy that our family was complete.

The year was 1970. After a year of feeling this lump, I found a physician that volunteered to do a biopsy under local anesthesia in the emergency room, just to put my mind at ease. As I was alert during the procedure I conversed with him and found he was concerned and had a worried continence. “Have you ever had pain with this?” he asked.
“No,” was my reply, “it has gotten larger and then smaller but it has been there for a year or so, and I became concerned.”

The biopsy showed that I had cancer. Now the question was where had it started? Had it metastasized. Surgery was, of course, ordered.

At that time surgery, “cut-out-the-cancer” was the only treatment. There was no chemotherapy and no radiation. When tried, it was all experimental for what we know today.

Going into surgery, I signed many papers. Most covered liability depending on what they found and how many side effects I would have. I readily signed that they could “cut my tubes.” My family was complete and I did not need the risk that cancers may grow more easily with the reproduction of cells during pregnancy.

Surgery was performed. More than would be cut today was cut, and all lymph glands were biopsied and extracted revealing no additional cancer. Surgery continued for six hours and so much blood had been lost that a blood transfusion was necessary.

Then all returned to normal, almost. I remember a time of great awareness as to the meaning of life, and how I would try to teach each child to be independent and secure in their ability to care for themselves and others. I remember writing: “Thoughts of death bring sweet return, when from them more of life we learn.”

One day, two years later, I felt sick, as if I had the stomach flu. It continued for six days and I joked with my husband that it was just like being pregnant, as this flu was like the morning sickness I had experienced when pregnant with my daughters. He told me I should go to the doctor and check things out. I went and indeed I was PREGNANT? Impossible. My tubes had been cut. I had signed for it.

We then went back to surgical records. A mistake had been made. The tubes had not been cut. The necessity for the blood transfusion had taken precedent over any more surgery and everyone just ‘FORGOT.’

Now there was a problem. What to do? Doctors recommended an abortion because of my age and chances of the cancer recurring. My husband agreed. The advice was that it was all a medical mistake and I should take care of it by having an abortion. But was it a mistake, or was it fate?

I have no prejudice to abortion. I just did not know what to do. I had not done anything to prevent this pregnancy because I was sure I could not get pregnant. Now that I was pregnant -- who determined it? The doctors who failed to cut my tubes? Was it fate? Was it my life against someone else’s life? This was the era when sex of child and deformities in utero were not diagnosable and I had none of this input to help in making my decision.

I decided that when I did not know what was right to do -- I should do nothing. And so I did nothing -- but wait.

On July 6th, 1972, our healthy baby boy, Nathaniel Thomas Scott, was born. The “fates” had won the day.

There was no mistake.

By Ruth W. Scott

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What a story. And sweet how you got as close as you could to 'fate' with 'Nate.' This is lovely, Ruth.
What captivating writing! What now lingers is your reflection: "I remember a time of great awareness as to the meaning of life, and how I would try to teach each child to be independent and secure in their ability to care for themselves and others." Thank you for writing this. Maija
Thanks Ruth for this piece, it just put my priorities in order for today,

marianne lonsdale
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