Tracey Ferrin’s husband Nick vowed to stay with her through illness and health.
But in September 2001, after a year of marriage, the then 18-year-old was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – an extremely rare bone cancer – in her right leg. And he was on his way.
“The day he left I was in my bedroom and had just thrown up from chemo,” Ferrin told the Post.
Now 38, Ferrin, a fitness instructor, sees her personal story reflected in the headlines. On Monday, 42-year-old St. Louis Cardinals player Albert Pujols announced his pending divorce from his wife of two decades, Deidre, who on Saturday underwent brain surgery to remove a tumor.
“I’ve been asked a lot of questions over the last few days about what’s going on at home and unfortunately after 22 years of marriage I’ve made the decision to file for divorce from my wife Deidre,” the athlete said in a statement. He and Deidre share five children.
“As a devout Christian, this is an outcome that I never wanted to see,” continued Pujols, who also admitted his breakup coincided with baseball season opening day, April 7. “For many long days and nights I have prayed and entreated the Lord for His guidance.” (Deidre did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.)
For Ferrin, the MLB player’s announcement brought back memories of her husband’s retirement.
It was just days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks when her illness became more than then 20-year-old Nick could handle. “I think it triggered him to see me throw up,” recalls Ferrin, who lives in Houston, Texas. She chose not to reveal Nick’s last name for privacy reasons.
“I don’t remember exactly what he said to me,” she admitted of her ex, who committed suicide in 2016, “but he called a friend to pick him up, packed a bag and left.”
And to make matters worse, at the time of her diagnosis and Nick’s abrupt departure, she was six months pregnant with their second daughter. Their first child, Elly, was only 10 months old.
“I was heartbroken, crying and begging him to stay, but he wouldn’t,” said Ferrin, who began treatment at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center during her third trimester.
“During my chemotherapy, doctors told me that it’s much more common for men to leave when a woman is sick than it is for a woman to leave when her husband is sick,” she said.
Aside from the Pujols, other high-profile examples include former North Carolina senator and presidential candidate John Edwards, 68, who has notoriously confessed to having engaged in an extramarital affair while his now-deceased wife, Elizabeth Edwards, was previously battling breast cancer She died in 2010. They were married 33 years.
Then there’s music magnate David Foster, 72, whose ex-wife and ex-Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Hadid, 58, was battling a Lyme disease diagnosis. In her 2015 memoir, “Believe Me: My Battle With Lyme Disease Invisibility,” the veteran supermodel described how the insomnia, joint pain, and fatigue brought on by her disorder, Foster – who later became “American Idol” – Graduate Katharine McPhee married, 38, in 2019 – “unhappy” in her union.
But: “If he hadn’t left the marriage, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” she wrote.
Ferrin – who eventually gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Fayth, now 20, and whose cancer has been in remission for the past two decades – said the same goes for her.
“I always say, ‘If a man can’t handle you at worst, he doesn’t [deserve to] Get on your best side,'” Ferrin said, adding that she bears no grudges towards her late ex. “And if cancer [wasn’t the thing that caused Nick to leave]something else would have driven him away.”
After divorcing Nick in 2003, she married her current husband Ryan, with whom she shares sons Bubba, 17, and Noah, 13. Live happier” in 2020.
“My experiences have made me stronger. I learned empathy and compassion for others,” Ferrin told the Post. “I’m not grateful for cancer, but I’m grateful for the life lessons it taught me and how the ordeal has made me a better woman.”
https://nypost.com/2022/04/06/cancer-survivor-to-deidre-pujols-my-ordeal-made-me-a-better-woman/ “My ordeal has made me a better woman”