Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Former Nuggets Dancer/Broncos Cheerleader Survives Cancer During Pregnancy 

Posted by James at 11:00 AM ET

By Kim Christiansen
Lisa, Broncos CheerleaderAsk anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer to tell you the day they learned they had cancer. They will know the date. They may even remember the exact time they received the phone call.

Their family and friends remember too. Time stops and every day that follows is a day after cancer.

For Lisa Pevateaux that day came after one of the best days of her life. It was just a couple of days after her doctor visit to confirm her second pregnancy.

Suddenly, Lisa and her husband Chris were visiting oncologists and making decisions as to how to save two lives. One oncologist suggested Lisa terminate her pregnancy. Others disagreed.

Dr. Virginia Borges of the University of Colorado-Denver gave Lisa the chance to fight her cancer and give birth to a healthy child. Lisa says Borges gave her hope, telling her, "You're not dying, this is manageable. I have two patients not only one, we will treat both of you."

After surgery, during the second trimester of her pregnancy, Lisa started chemotherapy.

Lisa and her family

She approached the day with great optimism, convinced that she would not suffer with negative side effects and focus solely on her baby and her ability to defeat cancer.

Unfortunately, nothing could prepare Lisa and Chris for the emotions they would feel watching the red colored chemotherapy drugs dripping into the intravenous tube in Lisa's arm.

Chris felt helpless.

"I vividly remember when we were sitting there and she was about to get her first round of chemo, and I said, 'If there's anything I can do to get that chemo for her, if they could just give it to me,'" he said.

During these terrible days they held on to hope, celebrating every pregnancy visit and ultrasound. Lisa stayed healthy too. She worked out Navitas Cancer Rehabilitation Center and continued to operate her dance studio Elite Dance Academy in Broomfield.

Just a couple of weeks before giving birth Lisa, Chris and their almost 2-year-old son John David walked in Denver's Race for the Cure.

That afternoon Lisa was on the field at INVESCO Field at Mile High to accept a large donation for Komen for the Cure breast cancer foundation. Lisa is a former Denver Broncos Cheerleader and Denver Nuggets Dancer.

On Oct. 12, 2007, Chase Christopher Pevateaux arrived, weighing 6 pounds 6 ounces.

Lisa calls him her "Angel baby." You see it was her OB-GYN who discovered the lump in her breast during that pregnancy visit.

Chase's birth marked a halfway point for Lisa in her cancer treatment. Just two weeks after delivery she needed a second series of chemotherapy treatments, the kind that can't be administered during pregnancy. Reconstructive surgery followed the chemo.

Every doctor's visit since has been one to remember. Lisa is cancer free and Chase is doing great. In fact, he's quite a bit bigger than his big brother was at the same age.

"Both of the kids are thriving, and Chase is the epitome of beauty. He's healthy and I'm healthy," said Lisa.

In one year's time, Lisa has gone from survivor to co-survivor, by offering her support to other women fighting cancer during pregnancy.

"There were a couple of times when I was going through treatment that I didn't really feel like I had somebody to turn to and it was kind of such a unique situation. Really, there are a lot of people out there who are going through this. I'm supporting people all over the country," Lisa said.

Watch a video of this story here.

Previous story on Lisa here.

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