My Little Bs Have the Big C

A Breast Cancer Blog For Young Women

Jealousy

6 Comments

photo taken from WNYC.org

photo taken from WNYC.org

Lately I’ve been looking back at old photos and videos of Oliver.  I go back and relive the day he was born, his first smile, little snuggles, his funny faces…all of it.  I’ve been looking at them and yearning to hold that child again, wishing I could go back in time.  Crying at the fact that I will probably never have that again in my life.

On the way home from work today, I was listening to WNYC on the radio and a new show came on, Living Cancer, a ten-part series on the new science in cancer treatment.  Today’s story was about a young woman with a husband and young son, probably about my age, who was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She had been debating with her husband for a while as to whether or not they wanted to expand their family.  Then, one day she found a lump in her breast and it was diagnosed as breast cancer.  When she had routine blood work done before her lumpectomy, she learned that she was pregnant.

It was risky, but she went ahead with her surgery and the fetus survived.  Under careful watch of her oncologist, she underwent chemotherapy and the fetus survived.  She delivered a healthy baby girl who is doing well.

I think it takes an incredible amount of courage to proceed with a pregnancy knowing that there are possible risks in doing so, to yourself and your unborn baby.  I think it takes an incredible amount of courage to abort.  I don’t know what I would do if I were in her situation.

But this is what I do know.  I wish I was her.  I wish I had an oops and found out that I was pregnant.  I say this not knowing if I really want another child.  Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t.  But my body wants another, and badly.  I see newborn babies in carseats, strollers and carriers and I ache; with jealousy, with wanting and longing.  I look at pictures of Oliver and want to do it all over again, even the sleepless nights.  Why does this woman get to bring another child into her life and I do not?  I’ll never know.  I just know that I wish my impossible was possible.  I wish I had a chance.  I wish cancer didn’t kidnap my future daughter or son.  Jealousy.

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6 thoughts on “Jealousy

  1. You have a beautiful son! That is such a blessing to be able to be a mom. I don’t have any kids and would love to have one. I am thinking of “risking” my health to have a baby. (I harvested my eggs prior to chemo.) Studies don’t show pregnancies can make your cancer come back, but there are studies that show that women who had babies after cancer do better than those who did not (?). Of course this could be a coincidence – that those women were meant to do well, regardless.

    Apparently there is a “healthy factor” with pregnancy. Now, I am not sure what kinds of breast cancers these women who participated in the study had. My hospital is now following a group of young women who will become pregnant after cancer. I am sure the data will be available soon and we’ll learn more about the risks associated with pregnancy, if any. The problem with me is that my tumor was ER+/PR+ by 99%. Wish me luck, please!!

    Have you had a chat with your Dr. about your risks? I am sorry if you already posted about this and I just didn’t get a chance to learn about it yet.

    • Hi, I haven’t had a talk with my doctors about my risks yet. I think that conversation is coming soon since I will be given tamoxifen. We are not sure if we want another baby but we are not sure that we don’t. But if we do, I want to do it in the next year or so. I just don’t know if that is an option for me. I’m curious about this study. Where is it being done?

      • I am having a dilemma myself, mostly because of my health. The study is taking place at MSKCC. Someone I personally know is participating. She was dx at the age of 28 and will try to have a child in the next year or so. She will be taking a break from tamoxifen.

      • I think the best thing we can do is listen to our doctors (get a second opinion if necessary) and trust our instincts. I don’t know if they will recommend letting me off tamoxifen after only a year. That might be too much of a risk and I’m not willing to take risks that are too big.

      • Carrie, I totally agree with you. We should pay attention to what our Doctors suggest we do. Too bad there isn’t any evidence to link the two though. A year I think would be too soon, but I personally have known a couple of people who took a break after 4 years (you need a min. of 3 years on tamox) to try to have a child. They are doing well so far. But yes, it comes with a risk. I am glad you have a son.

      • I think a year will be too soon as well but I don’t want to wait the 5 years my oncologist suggested at the beginning of the process. Both my husband and I agree that this would be too late for us. I’m hoping, since I am getting radiation and herceptin (clinical trial) that maybe they will have a different opinion. I doubt it though. I’m happy with what I have, don’t get me wrong but I hate having the choice taken away from me.

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