My Little Bs Have the Big C

A Breast Cancer Blog For Young Women

No More Buns


photo credit:

photo credit:

Most people don’t know this but, Ken and I made the decision to have Oliver at a 24 hour laundromat.

When I was in my twenties, the only thing I could think about was having a baby. I wanted one desperately and couldn’t wait to meet the right guy, get married and start my family. I met the right guy when I was 24 and we got married when I was 30. Around the same time I had given up pursuing acting for good and returned to school to study Applied Theatre at CUNY and made a career shift to teaching artistry. My urges for a sweet cuddly baby suddenly switched to urges for jobs with aging populations, immigrants and young women, to name a few. I was focused more on my career than a growing family and was unsure of how a new person that I would have to grow in my body fit into the mix.

Then, as Ken and I were folding t-shirts, he said to me, “So, are we going to have a baby?” “I don’t know. What do you think?” He replied, “You know how I feel. I can go either way. But if we are going to do it, we need to do it now. We can’t wait much longer.” He was right. So that night, over a pile of unfolded clothes, Ken and I decided that we would “not, not try” for a baby and whatever happened, happened. What happened was, three months later, I was pregnant.

When most people who are trying or, “not, not trying” for a baby find out that they are with child, they scream, they jump for joy or cry. I, on the other hand, stopped breathing and nearly passed out. I was scared and in shock. To deal with the stress. I went to a kickboxing class. Why I thought this was a good idea, I’m not sure but it’s what I did. And this reaction scared me even more because, for someone who always wanted a baby, why was I feeling this way? Why was I suddenly having an, “Oh, shit!” moment?

This didn’t last, of course. All I had to do was hear the heartbeat and I was all in. Nine months couldn’t come fast enough. I couldn’t wait to meet my little guy and it turned out to be the best thing that has ever happened to me. He is the greatest thing I have ever done and continue to do.

It seems that lately, everyone is getting pregnant again. Mothers who were pregnant at the same time as me, people I knew from my past, old friends, acquaintances. I know this because of facebook. It seems every few days there’s a photo of a newly swollen belly, a small white figure floating in a sea of blackness, all head, skinny limbs, a toddler wearing a shirt that says, “big brother” or “big sister” and smiling at the camera, not sure why they are really smiling but, does that matter?

I am not feeling angry or bitter about this. I think that sometimes women with fertility issues (very understandably) can be very angry when other women get pregnant and are able to grow their family. It’s a hard pill to swallow. That is not the case here. I am so happy for everyone who is newly pregnant, about to give birth or already has. Excited for them, in fact!  At the same time, I am also sad for myself. I still don’t understand why this choice had to be taken away from me? From us?

Why is the discussion between me and Ken not, “should we try again?” Why is it, “should we take out a loan for surrogacy instead of saving for a home for the family we already have?” “Should I try to have a child naturally despite the fact that my eggs have most likely been murdered by chemotherapy?” “Should I not take the tamoxifen, that will prevent a new cancer from growing, just so I can try for another? Putting my existing family at risk?” Why are these the questions I have to ask? Why can’t I just do?

I am not the first nor will I be the last to ask these questions. But sometimes that doesn’t matter. Sometimes I get to be sad for myself.

I am sad.

9 thoughts on “No More Buns

  1. Oh darling, I completely understand where you’re coming from because I have felt those same emotions too. It isn’t fair, I know. It would be a huge decision to make between stopping tamoxifen to have a child or continue with the treatments, which apparently, will never end. At least for me. (My onco’s words. UGH! – Am I officially a mouse?)

    I have always valued quality of life. And for that reason alone, I might take a break to have my child. This Friday I am having a face-to-face talk with my Onco about the risks associated with this decision. I am trying to prepare myself mentally. To stay realistic. Difficult to do, especially when you have no kids at all.

    I am sorry this happened to you. I am sorry this happened to all of us. And I am also sorry we won’t be the last women this happens to.

    What I hate about all of this is that we are basing our future on “what if’s” rather than real facts. We simply don’t know if getting pregnant would be risky for us or not because there is not enough evidence to prove the difference. I wish there was so I could be 100% satisfied with my decision.

    All I can tell you is not to lose hope. It is still possible to have a child.

    Have you spoken to a family-planning counselor from the Oncology area? Does your hospital offer this service? They will talk to you about your options. What do your other Doctors say, your Radiation Onco, your surgeon? In my case my onco is the only one against it, but not 100%. Everyone else thinks I should live a normal life. Have you spoken to your entire medical team about these concerns?

    There are many cases where women have kids after cancer. And there is evidence that these women do better than those who do not have kids (according to Sloan). But this could be just a coincidence because perhaps these women were meant to do well, regardless.

    By the way, my endocrinologist, who sees many cancer patients, is from the NYU fertility center. When I saw her a couple of months ago, she was seeing another patient who was ready to get pregnant after cancer. I can get you her info, let me know.

    Hang in there, sweet friend. A lot can happen after today and it could be really great.


  2. oh gosh, I relate. tamoxifen sucks. not taking tamoxifen sucks. wondering if you should take tamoxifen sucks. not knowing if you should go off it, sucks. ❤ sending love!

  3. Pingback: Enjoy The Rest Of Summer | My Little Bs Have the Big C

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