…From My Littlest Valentine!
I am such a lucky girl to have TWO handsome valentines this year! Barry and I actually celebrated by going out to dinner this weekend, just because it was more convenient for us to go then. Today Barry has to work, and when he gets home we will just stay here, eat in, and play with our little boy! =)
There is certainly no greater love than that which comes from having a child. Barry and I are perfectly content with the one that we have, and we have considered future children as a possibility. Since our baby is only five months old, this wasn’t really something that we were ready to think about or decide right now. However, before I started chemotherapy, we were forced to think about whether or not we wanted children in the future at all. This is because the drug Cytoxen has a very high risk of causing women to lose their fertility completely.
So… this obviously isn’t a decision that you can make lightly. On the one hand, I have always imagined myself with a somewhat large family (meaning: at least three kids). I have been talking about my future children since I was a little girl playing with dolls and pretending they were real “babies”. Since I grew up as an only child, having a bunch of kids was like a dream. I wanted my kids to always have someone to play with and for family gatherings to be exciting. The larger the family, the more supportive and close relationships you will have for the rest of your life.
But on the other hand, my body has gone through so much already, with even more to come in battling cancer. I am so thankful that I have already experienced pregnancy, but I don’t feel like I need/want to be pregnant again because physically my body just might need a break. Besides, I wasn’t one of those girls who “loves” being pregnant at all. The whole pregnancy, I just couldn't wait to not be pregnant and finally meet my baby! Another worry that I have is the possibility of passing on the genes for breast cancer. I will be genetically tested to see if I am a carrier of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. If I test positive for these genes, we would be less likely to want another pregnancy. Rather than take a risk of passing on these genes to a future daughter, we could consider adoption.
For now, I don’t know if I carry those genes, or what exactly we want to do in the future. So we decided to try to preserve my fertility, in order to have the opportunity to have another natural child if we wanted to. I have been receiving Zoladex shots, which supposedly put me into an early menopause that is reversible once treatments are over. There is nothing fun about Zoladex shots. Even my husband and the nurse who administered the shot couldn’t stop talking about the size of the thing (I didn’t dare look at it!). Each shot actually injects an implant that sits under my skin. I chose to have them in my arm instead of my tummy. Now I get to experience hot flashes and all kinds of lovely sensations caused by hormones. I can suddenly relate to women in their fifties.
|This is my scarf,|
"a hug for my head."
Since the mall and other crowded places are somewhat off limits for me when my immune system is low, I have a new love of online shopping these days. Its easy and it saves time! The other day I received a package in the mail that was addressed to me, but I couldn’t remember what I had ordered. It turns out that it wasn’t my shopping habit after all, but rather a personalized gift from the Good Wishes Program at France Luxe. They sent me a gorgeous silk scarf ($72 value) for free, and a hand written card with individual notes of encouragement from all of the people that work there. It is so sweet when people who don’t even know you are kind enough to reach out and offer you sincere hope for your healing. They have some really cute things on their website, and 20% of their sales go to breast cancer research. Check it out if you get the chance!
|Ryan got lots of attention this weekend, thanks to E, my mom, and Aunt S for coming over and spending time with us!|