Bundle of Blessings
Today my heart grew to its largest capacity as I became a grandmother. My beautiful grandson, Nathaniel, was born to my youngest child. My eyes fill with tears as I watched him on Facetime and heard his first small sounds in this amazing world he entered.
I wasn't just an emotional grandmother, but a thankful mother and grateful ovarian cancer survivor! A cancer survivor who was told that I would not be able to have children.
Twenty-five years ago...
I was first diagnosed at age 18, with stage 1b ovarian cancer which progressed to stage 2. My oncologist decided against surgical treatment, for which I was grateful.
After 9 months of very aggressive chemotherapy, I was blessed to be in remission! Finally, I could EXHALE! Yet, just as I releasing that much need air and filling my lungs to breathe in the fresh air of new life; he said the words that changed everything.
I was told I could not have children as a result of the treatment I had undergone... And at that moment, I couldn't exhale, I couldn't inhale, I couldn't breathe.
A devastating heartbreak
So there I was, in my doctor's office, hearing him talk and yet I couldn't hear anything over my breaking heart. I was a newlywed, my life was just starting. I was in remission, I just got my life back! Now it was being taken from me in an even deeper way.
Since I was a young girl all I dreamed of was getting married and having a family. I loved children so much and wanted nothing more than to have babies of my own. I sat with tears pouring down my face trying to make sense of this cruel news. If I didn't have surgery to avoid losing the option of having children, why am I being told I can't have children?
I admit I was angry. This was harder to take than learning I had cancer.
Miracles can happen
Over the next few months, life got back to normal. I will be honest, out of anger and frustration, I did not continue with my scheduled maintenance. I just wanted to move forward, enjoy being a new bride, and all that comes with that (wink!)
So when I started feeling tired all the time and was getting sick, I assumed it was cancer-related. I went two months before I finally made my doctor's appointment. I was so afraid of recurrence. So you can imagine my utter shock when my doctor informed me that I was pregnant! I wasn't even praying for this miracle! I didn't expect it!
Bundles of blessings
Although it was twenty-five years ago, it still feels like yesterday. And even now, I am emotional as I remember the moments of fear, anxiety, depression, and then absolute happiness!
Now I am filled with so much joy. Seeing my grandson took me back to the day I first held my daughter, my firstborn. I never thought I would see that day and here I am seeing my next generation. I have been blessed to bring three beautiful lives into this world when I was told that would not be possible. Once again, I reflect and I am so grateful to be a mother... a grandmother... a survivor!
What stage were you diagnosed with?