September 7, 2015 at 11:13 am #2123samspacesParticipant
Hi all. My story is rather longwinded so Ill try and keep it brief! I have a beautiful 4 year old daughter Lottie but after three breast cancer diagnosis’s we have been advised not to fall pregnant again. I was first diagnosed at 27 years old. My biggest concern to treatment was that it would affect my fertility so I had extra drugs to protect my ovaries through the chemo. I got through remission, met my husband and we started trying straight away. It happened so fast I couldn’t believe it. we were thrilled. I felt awful the whole way through pregnancy and was absolutely huge, but I kept reminding myself how lucky we were and in October 2010 we had our gorgeous little girl.
Life was crazy and fun and she soon became a feisty red head keeping me on my toes. 18 months later my consultant found a lump in my neck and I was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. It was a horrible shock and since we were just about to move into our dream home, it was all hands on deck and quite a stressful time.
We got through it. Lottie and my husband were a fantastic distraction and I didn’t need any chemo, just radiotherapy, which we navigated around Lotties schedule so she wouldn’t be disrupted. What I found the hardest was that we had been trying for no.2 as I was diagnosed and it was like the rug was being pulled out from beneath me. I had always wanted 2. I was one of 2 and my husband one of 5! My team were very sensitive to this but warned me that for the next five years, during remission, I would have to stay on the medication I had been on before, which means you can’t conceive. Since both cancers had been hormonal, pregnancy was a no go.
I then went to see a gynaecologist who diagnosed PCOS! She said I would have had trouble falling pregnant a second time anyway. This was a shock but again, I was happy it was being treated and
I managed to get things in perspective and was happy to wait and see how I was after my five year remission. I didn’t mind if Lottie was a bit of an older sibling and I would only be 40 odd so I just reminded myself how blessed I am with Lottie and what a miracle she is but just as I was starting to get my head straight, I had another diagnosis.
In February last year my consultant found another lump on the other side and after a double mastectomy I didn’t need any further treatment as it had not spread. It all happened so quickly but this time I was now on another medication which down regulated my oestrogen and meant I was in a fake menopause. As soon as I asked if I would ever be able to consider more children, my team were very firm. I would be on this medication indefinitely and it was not advised as it would be too risky.
I adore my daughter. I am so immensely proud of her, especially as she starts school. Despite the guilt that I can’t provide her with a sibling, like we had, I do recognise a wonderful person emerging and am grateful for being a mum at all. I do find it hard though when friends tell me they are expecting a second, as thrilled as I am for them, I have this awful ache in my heart that won’t shift. Why is it in life that when something is taken away from us, we want it even more?!
I am working as a part time PA and write my own blog Samspaces, reviewing all the things we can do to help our wellbeing after cancer and treatment, which I find hugely rewarding, but I do struggle with only having one. We have considered adoption but its not right at this stage of Lotties life. She is our absolute priority and nothing can come before that.
It is so wonderful being able to connect to others out there who have only one as I feel so very outnumbered this end! I am so grateful for all I have but sometimes, something so personal and ingrained like this, is not so easy to share and relate to. Having one is such a see saw; its hugely intense one minute and relatively relaxing the next!!! (compared to those with three!)
I am so chuffed with the fact that I am a mum at all but clearly there are some of us who find it has its moments or else this website wouldn’t have been created! Its wonderful to meet you all and connect and if anyone is in the Surrey area and feels like meeting up, please get in touch.
Hope you are all well
September 7, 2015 at 5:59 pm #2124mumofoneKeymaster
Thanks so much for sharing your story Sam, what a journey you have been on. Would you mind emailing me please on firstname.lastname@example.org as would love to ask you to do a guest blog for the site plus want to know where you live! I am East Sussex so a stone’s throw from Surrey! Thanks so much again for posting xxx
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