I think most young people picture their lives as college, engagement, marriage and having a family. My husband and I were no different. We'd always wanted to have a family of our own. But my cancer diagnosis and my ovarian cancer recurrence threw a wrench into these plans.
We were fortunate to have other options for becoming parents. We considered a few of them before deciding that adoption is the best choice for us.
Why we chose adoption
Once we found out I had ovarian cancer, we realized we needed to start planning right away if we wanted to have a family. Fortunately, we were able to retrieve and freeze some of my eggs before my ovaries were removed during my ovarian cancer treatment.
We hoped that I'd be able to carry our children once I had been in remission two years. But when the cancer returned in May 2014, my husband and I decided that may be too risky. So, we looked into surrogacy. But the cost of surrogacy was an absolute shock!
After a lot of thinking and praying, my husband and I decided that we wanted to adopt. After finishing treatment and getting a good report for the second time, we decided we wanted to start the adoption process right away. We both felt like the time was now. I try to live my life with no regrets, and I don't want to one day look back and regret that we weren't closer to completing our family.
Letting go of stress during the adoption process
My husband and I were afraid my medical history might make it harder for us to complete our family.
Every time I reached out to an adoption agency or consultant, I feared I would hear, "Sorry, but you are just not an ideal candidate." I was wrong! Many adoption agency representatives told me they'd worked with other cancer patients. They told me not to worry about my medical history.
In the past, it's been hard for me to let go of stress, but I know it always makes things worse. With this adoption process, I have found it easier to let go of the stress and just remind myself that when we are picked, we will receive the child we were meant to have all along.
Blessings brought by cancer
I will be honest: if I had never been diagnosed with cancer, I might have never considered adoption. Yes, cancer is an awful thing, but there have been many blessings from my cancer journey. When we finally have baby in our arms, we will see the joy life can bring.
The thought of being diagnosed again is scary, and I pray it never happens. But it won't change the kind of mom I want to be, with or without cancer. I also know that whatever happens, my husband will be a great dad. He's already showed me what an incredible caretaker he can be during our cancer journey.
Over the last two years, I have learned that you can try to plan your life out all you want, but sometimes things don't go according to your plans.
My cancer journey has made us both realize what is really important in life. Just because cancer has been a part of our lives doesn't mean we're going to stop living.