Being in my early 20s, I had my whole life ahead of me (or so I thought). I was a college graduate and the world was my oyster. I was looking forward to either starting a career, going back to graduate school, or finding love. In all reality, I was still trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted my future to be. Suddenly my entire life got turned upside down when I was diagnosed with cancer, and I didn’t know if I was going to have a future anymore. I was told that my chances of survival were slim due to specifics of my cancer test results. After receiving this terrible, unimaginable news, I was asked several questions that would affect my future. I did not understand what was happening, why would the doctors even ask me to make decisions about my future when no one knew if there was going to be a future. Was this a bad joke?
Out of all the questions I was asked, the one I recall so vividly in my mind to this day is the one in regards to having children. In order for this to happen they would need to freeze my eggs. Since I was so young and I had not yet had any children this became the main focus from the doctors. They had a sense of urgency because it was vital to start my first chemo treatment right away; therefore, I needed to make a decision on the spot. Do you think you could make a life altering decision in this situation? Well, I had no choice. Whatever I decided on, I would have to live with that decision for the rest of my life, that is if I lived. I did not have much time to think about what to do. My inner thoughts were in great turmoil. On one hand, I thought of freezing my eggs so perhaps one day I could have children of my own. This meant there was a possibility I could actually have a future. I could be cancer free and have a family of my own. The thought of this gave me hope. On the other hand, I asked myself why even bother freezing my eggs if I would possibly not live. Or even if I did live I would not be able to have children of my own due to the high probability of cancer relapse during pregnancy. After much contemplation in such a short period of time, I decided to not freeze my eggs. It was a very difficult decision to make at the time and one decision that I have had to live with throughout the years. As a woman, I have thought of the idea of never being able to experience the joy of having a child, but I think I had these thoughts because of society’s expectations. At every turn, I was being asked by others when was I going to have children or told look at my children, they are so cute, don’t you want a child of your own? Although, I am very outgoing and sociable, I had never shared my cancer story with anyone. I was afraid of being judged and discriminated against. I know in my heart that I made the right decision because God is always directing our steps and leading us on HIS path.
If you are having to make life altering decisions or going through difficult times in your life, remember to keep your faith and pray for guidance. At certain times in our life, there will be things happening that you may not understand, but in the midst of this challenges, know that God is taking care of US. Ask God for help and TRUST HIM to lead you to the correct path in your life.