A Look Back

I was recently interviewed for an article on fertility preservation for the magazine Today’s Chicago Woman.  I referred the writer to my blog and sent her the links to the 3 posts I wrote about the fertility preservation process.  Well, today I went back and read those 3 posts myself to see just what exactly I had sent this woman to read.  I was struck by my own optimism and blind sense of hope. I have an understanding that generally I am a very positive outlook kind of gal, but lately I’ve been more blah than rah.

This quote struck me the hardest.  It’s from my post on December 26, 2011, Baby Baker:

Needless to say, I’m not worried about the cancer. I know that I’m working with the best team available to me. I have every faith in the world that I will get through this and come out the other side a survivor. Yes, it sucks that this is the hand I was dealt, but honestly, we all have some crappy cards in our hands.  The thing that upsets me most is that the cancer is affecting my fertility.

I feel both naive and duped when I read these words.  But the part of me that stays strong and focused when the rest of me needs to fall apart reminds me that I had every reason on December 26, 2011, to believe that this cancer would go away with the first round of treatment and that my life would go on in a fairly normal way.  There was little evidence presented to me that this journey would stretch out for over a year (and counting).

The update on my feelings in the baby department… since my surgery in October, it’s been really difficult for me to hear people talk about their pregnancies.  I seem to be better about seeing an actual baby, and I try very hard to put my own losses aside and celebrate my friends’ growing families. I also always thought that by the time I was 32, I would be well on my way to creating a family.  I keep having to remind myself that, fertility issues aside, I am hardly in a place to be bringing another life into this world! So even if I could carry a baby in my own body, today is not that day, and tomorrow probably isn’t either.  I’m coming back around to fantasizing about what my kids will be like. I think about names and what they will look like and how hard I will love them.  I also think about who will carry them, and maybe I’ll adopt, and I would be ok with just one baby even though I’m fairly certain I’ll get twins on the first try.  It’s something exciting to distract me from the rest of the nonsense going on in my head.

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3 thoughts on “A Look Back

  1. Lori Goodwin says:

    I have a hard time feeling happy about the future babies of, what seems like, everyone around me. On face value, I try to look happy for them; but deep down its another blow. I can’t have kids because of the ectopics I’ve had encompassed with mounting medical problems. So, maybe not fully..but I understand that part.

  2. Jami Savage says:

    I can’t believe that you’re not inundated with comments. Maybe it’s because there’s so much to say, but articulation fails. The sensitivity of your situation and the clear shift in your outgoing, strong willed ways are hard to see. I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of “rah rah” moments, and I appreciate you being human and showing us that every day isn’t met with your unstoppable attitude that we’ve all grown to love. Every once in a while, perhaps, in one moment or two, you’re human? Not sure I believe that.

    I’ve followed your story ever since the first Jeff Probst show. I had just left my big career to become a stay at home Mom and was drowning myself in pity for the “situation” I was in. I had to sacrifice my career to raise my children. I was stuck at home doing mundane activities, cooking meals and trying to achieve domestic perfection in a way that I never really cared to do. I was doing what everyone else expected me to enjoy, and yet still felt lost and searching for my new self identity.

    And then I saw your show.

    And woke up.

    The reality is that for most of us we live a very privileged life but are so lost in our own drama to wake up and realize it. We’re so obsessed with yammering on about our problems that we stop to realize the gifts that we are given, such as a healthy body, the ability to read, or a safe community to live in.

    Your infections smile, your attitude and zest for life reminded me that I too, could “live” in my “new life.” That my kids deserved nothing but the best mom and that I could be my own person too… I didn’t need to be defined by the sole title that I was holding.

    So I got off the couch and started living again.

    I started snowboarding again. Starting camping again, and teaching my 1 year old how to walk through the trees. My four year old and I have shared many splashes in the pool, and in the puddles in the rain. I reconnected with friends who shared similar interests, not just those that could moan about missed potty training attempts. I started defining who I was as a whole and about who children would like to define their mother as. An outgoing, fun, kind and generous person.

    I re wrote my bucket list, and while some people think I am too young at 30 to do it, it’s a long list so I need to start ticking things off. And on the list is everything from zip lining to surfing, seeing a concert and meeting someone inspirational.

    So, I hate to see you down and out, for everything you’ve done for me and for all the hundreds of people that you’ve effected whom haven’t had the means to connect with you. Please know that we are all praying, cheering an waiting for your quick and expedient recovery. We want to hear your blogs and updates. We want to see you back in the classroom changing lives of children and we want to see your smile gracing the cover of magazines.

    And if you’re ever up for it, I need help checking a few things off my bucket list. You could help with two… one of my outdoor adventures, and meeting one of the people that has inspired me.

  3. Kristi says:

    I have not had access to a computer while I was going through my treatments.

    Don’t ever feel “naive or duped” by your faith or optimism. Hope and the love of family & friends really is what gets us through the hard, disappointing times of our lives.

    No matter what the future holds for you, you will be a positive influence on the lives of children. I have a friend this year that actually is going through the adoption process for the first time…and the babies are twins! You just never know.

    I never had the honor of having kids. I did/do have a lot of kids I love…first my nieces and nephews and now their children… and yes…my friend’s kids. No, it’s not the life I had dreamed of in my twenties or thirties; & I understand your desires; but my life was/is filled with love and lots of happy memories…and more to come.

    Go ahead and journal your dreams and share them with us. I want to praise God when they come true for you!

    I think you would appreciate Joshua’s story.

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