Mother suffering from cancer refuses chemotherapy to give birth to her son

From IFeng | translated by Jenny Jiang | edited by Key


“You are my hope.” In a hospital at Pinggu in Beijing, the 28-year-old cancer patient Han Rui was watching her newly born little son, Tiedan, on the screen. In order to give birth to her son, the woman gave up chemotherapy. After giving birth to her son, her tumor increased three to four times in size. (Photos by Yang Jie)

In order to save her son’s life, the mother who was suffering from cancer decided not to undergo chemotherapy. Only with a small amount of analgesics, she often squeezed the bed sheet because of the unbearable pain.

After cesarean birth to a 2.1kg boy, Han Rui’s leg was swollen from 60cm to 90cm, with the egg-sized tumor expanded three to four times in size.


The optimistic mother talked with her mother yesterday in the hospital. Her mother cried. Five months after she was pregnant, Han Rui was diagnosed with cancer.


She listens to her son’s cry several times a day


Han Rui watched her son and touched the screen again and again in the ward yesterday, murmuring with tears “You are my hope.”

“Please let me be a mother.”

Han Rui is from Hebei Province. She felt pain in her left thigh and went to the hospital accompanied by her family. The time when she was diagnosed with malignant fibrous histiocytoma she was pregnant for less than 6 months.

Her family faced with two options. One was to get the baby aborted and accept treatment as soon as possible; the other was to wait till after the birth of the baby and that might cause deaths of both mother and baby.

“Getting treated is imperious.” Her husband argued. When heard her family’s suggestion of aborting the baby, she cried. Dreaming of becoming a kindergarten teacher, she went to the local Youth Center to teach children drawing. She prepared everything needed for her baby when she had been pregnant for 4 months. She decided not to receive chemotherapy until she gave birth to her baby. “I want this child. Please let me be a mother since it might be my only chance.”

The tumor expanded after giving birth to the boy

Cancer develops at a scary speed with intermittent pain. Her husband said that only with a small amount of analgesics, she often squeezed the bed sheet in pain, lying in the bed.

On February 28th, after 31 weeks of pregnancy, she gave birth to a 2.1 kgs boy named Tiedan. She wished him to be strong and cute.

After the operation of cesarean birth, Han Rui and her son were both sent to intensive care. Han was in a coma with high fever. Only with ice could she survive. Her mother expressed in tears, “Other women enjoy a wonderful life after giving birth to their children. But my dear daughter has to hold the ice for half a month.”

“I want to touch his little hands so badly.”

After discharged from the hospital, Tiedan was still weak and sent back to his home town. His relatives were looking after him.

In mid March, Han Rui was recovered from fever and the chemotherapy began. They haven’t met each other since birth. “He hasn’t been fed by me yet.” said Han Rui, bald, due to the chemotherapy, with a bitter smile.

In the beginning of April, her husband brought photos of his son to Han Rui. It was the first time she saw her dear son. “His nose looks like his father’s, and smiles like me.” Han enjoyed the photos several times a day. There was a video clip recording of Tiedan crying in her husband’s phone. For the first time had Han listened to his son’s cry. Seeing Tiedan wearing the clothes she bought for him, she said “It is a great pity that I cannot put them on for him.” Han Rui said that when she was in the hospital, she touched a baby’s hand, it was soft and like a miracle. She turned to her husband “What do you feel when you touch Tiedan’s hands? I want to touch them so badly.”

“My son brings me strength to survive”

Although the chemotherapy had begun, Han was still in pain sometimes. Her mother said that whenever she felt pain, she would look at her son’s photos and video clips. “She doesn’t feel that bad once seeing Tiedan’s little face.”

Han Rui did not regret for what she had chosen. “Only if I saw his face could I live on.”

Last night she dreamed about Tiedan. But he didn’t recognize her. Her mother comforted her by her side “The boy is your flesh and blood. How could he not recognize you! When you are cured, he is able to recognize people, and you can hold him in your arms.” Han turned herself to the other side of the bed, staring at a photo of her son on the computer, drawing his portrait, murmuring to herself in tear “You are my only hope.”

According to the hospital Han needed an amputation, because based on recent check up the tumor displayed signs of diffusion.

Now Han’s wish is to wait till Tiedan’s 100-day birthday so that she could hold him for a while in Beijing.

  1. It’s interesting that about fibrous histiocytoma Wikipedia says that chemotherapy is controversial treatment method, and surgical extinction and radiation being preferred.

    So, it’s not sure that chemotherapy was an option at all.

    The question is – if in the end they are going for amputation now (and the article implies that it’s because tumor became diffuse) – why couldn’t the operation be performed while she was pregnant, possibly without losing leg?

    Pregnant women can be operated without losing a baby!

    1. Actually, I think there’s something about general anesthesia being a problem for fetuses…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prove you are human! * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like