7 years later trying to deal with not being able to have a child

karen0423
karen0423 Member Posts: 67
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hi- I am a 7 year survivor of Stage III breast cancer, went through so much chemo, radiation surgery etc and can not have children. I have tried for so many years to just "ignore" it but deep down have been devastated knowing I can't have a child.

Background...I was married for almost 10 years and my ex had 2 children so I never entertained the thought of adoption and don't plan to now. Everyone who knows me knows that I always said "I will go through life not married but I will have a baby". Cancer stopped that dream of mine. I need to find a good counselor who can help me through this...I know that what I am feeling is normal for a cancer patient but I have put off dealing with it for so long. It has been way too hard to deal with. I have 3 sisters who have all had 3 children, yes it was hard but I got through it. It wasn't until my god-daughter who is 19 just had her baby that I totally hit "rock bottom". She has no way to support this child and it just breaks my heart. She has no job, no high school diploma etc. I am having such a hard time with this. I need people to understand where I am coming from and help me through this. I hope that people on this board can do that. I did talk to a Survivor counselor yesterday at Dana Farber who was wonderful and am searching for a professional closer to home if not I will take the trip to Boston. I am grateful that I am here and alive, believe me, we discussed that yesterday but..it is okay for me to be upset - just need to find a way to deal with it. Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.

Comments

  • lovelylola
    lovelylola Member Posts: 279
    You are a 7-yr survivor
    and that says alot to start with. You've dealt with the ups and downs of this beast. Not being able to have children is an area I know alot about, even if I don't know much about BC yet. It is OK for you to feel upset. This is another part of loss that can come from cancer and grief can come in many shapes including anger. I was only able to carry 1 child to term but had more miscarriages than I care to count in my youth. It would kill me everytime I would see young mothers were "mothers-by-accident" especially at age 15-18 or those older who were pregnant but couldn't adequately take care of those they already had. I would desperately want a child and in my own thinking, they didn't need one and would go into my "why them? and not me" thinking.
    It's good that you are wanting to deal with it now and I hope that you find a counselor you feel comfortable with. It is my hope and prayer you can find the comfort and the insight into your grief and even become a support for your god-daughter.
    By the way, I did end up adopting and my youngest son and daughter are the lights of my life (along with my grandchildren). My biological son died from cancer 3 years ago today at age 35. He left me a legacy of courage that I'm drawing from now and a beautiful wife (my Alaska daughter) and granddaughter.
    I'm sending you internet hugs and warm thoughts, Lola
  • karen0423
    karen0423 Member Posts: 67

    You are a 7-yr survivor
    and that says alot to start with. You've dealt with the ups and downs of this beast. Not being able to have children is an area I know alot about, even if I don't know much about BC yet. It is OK for you to feel upset. This is another part of loss that can come from cancer and grief can come in many shapes including anger. I was only able to carry 1 child to term but had more miscarriages than I care to count in my youth. It would kill me everytime I would see young mothers were "mothers-by-accident" especially at age 15-18 or those older who were pregnant but couldn't adequately take care of those they already had. I would desperately want a child and in my own thinking, they didn't need one and would go into my "why them? and not me" thinking.
    It's good that you are wanting to deal with it now and I hope that you find a counselor you feel comfortable with. It is my hope and prayer you can find the comfort and the insight into your grief and even become a support for your god-daughter.
    By the way, I did end up adopting and my youngest son and daughter are the lights of my life (along with my grandchildren). My biological son died from cancer 3 years ago today at age 35. He left me a legacy of courage that I'm drawing from now and a beautiful wife (my Alaska daughter) and granddaughter.
    I'm sending you internet hugs and warm thoughts, Lola

    Thanks
    Lola, thanks so much for your post. The counselor I saw yesterday talked about this as grief and she is so right. When I was dx with cancer I never thought why did it happen to me but when I think about it, when I think of having a child...I do think of that. To me, personally not being able to have a child was harder to hear than "you have cancer". I am sorry for the loss of your son and happy that you have your son and daughter and grandchildren.

    I have been supportive of my god-daughter since I found out about the pregnancy and they live right next to me so I see them a lot, just very hard and I try to hide it. I love her son and will always be there for them, it just gave me the "kick" to deal with my own issues with not being able to have a baby. So hard.
    Thank you again for your support and response, I really appreciate it. Karen
  • Wolfi
    Wolfi Member Posts: 425
    karen0423 said:

    Thanks
    Lola, thanks so much for your post. The counselor I saw yesterday talked about this as grief and she is so right. When I was dx with cancer I never thought why did it happen to me but when I think about it, when I think of having a child...I do think of that. To me, personally not being able to have a child was harder to hear than "you have cancer". I am sorry for the loss of your son and happy that you have your son and daughter and grandchildren.

    I have been supportive of my god-daughter since I found out about the pregnancy and they live right next to me so I see them a lot, just very hard and I try to hide it. I love her son and will always be there for them, it just gave me the "kick" to deal with my own issues with not being able to have a baby. So hard.
    Thank you again for your support and response, I really appreciate it. Karen

    Stay close
    Karen,

    Although I have two teenagers I do know how you feel about not being able to have children. My husband and I tried for about eight years to have another child but medically I am unable to do so. I've spent many hours crying about wanting to become pregnant again, but it didn't happen. At this point in my life being over 40 and just having had a bilateral mastectomy, I can deal with the fact I will never have any more kids.

    Even though it will be difficult, I think you should focus on supporting your god-daughter and her son. I don't believe they were put in your life (and so close) by accident. One phrase I try to keep in mind when things get tough is: God doesn't give you anything you can't handle.

    I wish you luck and hope you form a very special bond with your god-daughter and her son - they are lucky to have you in their lives. Know that you are not alone in your grief. The pain may seem like it will never go away, but trust me, it will lessen with time.
  • New Flower
    New Flower Member Posts: 4,294
    Wolfi said:

    Stay close
    Karen,

    Although I have two teenagers I do know how you feel about not being able to have children. My husband and I tried for about eight years to have another child but medically I am unable to do so. I've spent many hours crying about wanting to become pregnant again, but it didn't happen. At this point in my life being over 40 and just having had a bilateral mastectomy, I can deal with the fact I will never have any more kids.

    Even though it will be difficult, I think you should focus on supporting your god-daughter and her son. I don't believe they were put in your life (and so close) by accident. One phrase I try to keep in mind when things get tough is: God doesn't give you anything you can't handle.

    I wish you luck and hope you form a very special bond with your god-daughter and her son - they are lucky to have you in their lives. Know that you are not alone in your grief. The pain may seem like it will never go away, but trust me, it will lessen with time.

    Karen, what city are you in?
    Karen,
    It is very understandable. I also had Stage III and still on Tamoxifen. Even I am over 40, I fell the same way as you. My friend just got pregnant, and I think she is avoiding me. I have to force myself to call her, but conversation does not go anywhere. I wish you find a good professional phycologist. Unfortunately it is not very easy. What city are you in?
    Hugs
  • karen0423
    karen0423 Member Posts: 67

    Karen, what city are you in?
    Karen,
    It is very understandable. I also had Stage III and still on Tamoxifen. Even I am over 40, I fell the same way as you. My friend just got pregnant, and I think she is avoiding me. I have to force myself to call her, but conversation does not go anywhere. I wish you find a good professional phycologist. Unfortunately it is not very easy. What city are you in?
    Hugs

    Hi- I live in RI but go for
    Hi- I live in RI but go for treatment at Dana Farber in Boston. I have an appt on Monday with a counselor closer to home, if it works out I will see her if not I will drive the hour and a half into Boston. So sorry that you are going through this. If you ever want to talk "off line" my e-mail is [email protected]. Karen
  • karen0423
    karen0423 Member Posts: 67
    Wolfi said:

    Stay close
    Karen,

    Although I have two teenagers I do know how you feel about not being able to have children. My husband and I tried for about eight years to have another child but medically I am unable to do so. I've spent many hours crying about wanting to become pregnant again, but it didn't happen. At this point in my life being over 40 and just having had a bilateral mastectomy, I can deal with the fact I will never have any more kids.

    Even though it will be difficult, I think you should focus on supporting your god-daughter and her son. I don't believe they were put in your life (and so close) by accident. One phrase I try to keep in mind when things get tough is: God doesn't give you anything you can't handle.

    I wish you luck and hope you form a very special bond with your god-daughter and her son - they are lucky to have you in their lives. Know that you are not alone in your grief. The pain may seem like it will never go away, but trust me, it will lessen with time.

    Thanks for your response. I
    Thanks for your response. I do agree with supporting my god daughter which I intend to do but I also have to focus on me and getting through what not having a child means to me. It has taking me 7 years to get to this point and now it is time for me. I have supported all my sisters and my sister in law when they each had 3+ children so I am not worried that I will not be able to support my god daughter. Thanks.
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
    Hi Karen,
    I totally understand. I'm 35 and have the same thoughts. I don't know if I will ultimately be able to have kids, but I know it will be hard if I can't. The grief is certainly real and painful. Have you been on youngsurvival.org? It's caters to women with breast cancer who are younger -- generally under 40. Many there are dealing with these issues. It may help to talk about this there.

    Mimi
  • sherik
    sherik Member Posts: 26
    karen0423 said:

    Thanks for your response. I
    Thanks for your response. I do agree with supporting my god daughter which I intend to do but I also have to focus on me and getting through what not having a child means to me. It has taking me 7 years to get to this point and now it is time for me. I have supported all my sisters and my sister in law when they each had 3+ children so I am not worried that I will not be able to support my god daughter. Thanks.

    Karen, hang in there. You
    Karen, hang in there. You are strong and a true survivor. You have had to focus on your health for so long and now perhaps things are stable, the dust has settled and the unfinished business starts to show itself. Give yourself time, patience, and compassion to deal with this loss. I was just diagnosed with DCIS with a mastectomy scheduled for Thursday. The doc I saw for a second opinion suggested I refrain from getting pregnant. I'm lucky to have a 17 month old son, but I didn't think I was done. I at least didn't want someone else to make the decision for me. There are still a lot of unknowns for me, but it's hard to hear and difficult to think of 7 yrs down the road what it will feel like. I bet there are plenty of good shrinks in RI - keep looking. I know it's hard to support others with baby stuff when you are grieving your own loss. I remember how I felt after a miscarriage - it seemed as if every girl I saw was pregnant - I didn't want to leave the house! I was furious. Keep on reminding yourself of your strength and you'll make it through this part of the journey too.
    Sheri
  • nadca
    nadca Member Posts: 14
    mimivac said:

    Hi Karen,
    I totally understand. I'm 35 and have the same thoughts. I don't know if I will ultimately be able to have kids, but I know it will be hard if I can't. The grief is certainly real and painful. Have you been on youngsurvival.org? It's caters to women with breast cancer who are younger -- generally under 40. Many there are dealing with these issues. It may help to talk about this there.

    Mimi

    I went to see a fertility
    I went to see a fertility dr. I am from Canada. They said they could put me on pills to shut down my overies. I know my spelling sucks. I do know for sure the brain shut down. I was told if I go for chemo I had a 25% chance and if I went on the pills to shut me down the would increase it 50%. I want my own baby if I can't then no adoption. Have awesome 5 yr step daugher. But want to experience it myself. One dr told me not to talk to people with cancer said they are pity parties... men...