I wake up some mornings and look down at my stomach to see – my ileostomy bag (sometimes ready to explode) and the scar from my surgeries.
I have a love/hate relationship with this scar. Some days it doesn’t bother me, but days like today, when Hailey wakes up and crawls in bed with me for morning snuggles, I hate it. Why do I hate it? Well, it’s because it’s a reminder of what Burkitts Lymphoma took from me. It took away my chances of having any more biological children. It took away my estrogen supply, so not only am I in menopause at 28 years old, but I’m at risk for very fragile and brittle bones as I age. I cannot be given estrogen supplements because of the severity of the blood clot I had in the back of my neck.
Here I sit, with two beautiful little girls, wondering what could have been for our future. Would we have decided to become a family of five, or stay a family of four? The future was undetermined when everything began happening with Burkitts, now our future has been decided for us, thanks to cancer. It doesn’t mean we won’t potentially foster or adopt down the road.
Life throws you curveballs, unexpectedly and completely out of the blue. The chapters of your story book of life can become longer, more intense, more emotional, and more trying. Embrace these changes, embrace the struggles, walk through life getting back up when you’re knocked down and proving to yourself that you can and you will get through all of this.
The best thing you can teach your children is to be strong, confident, and to persevere through life’s struggles. Life is about finding joy in the journey, no matter how difficult your journey may be. My joys are two little red headed girls and their red headed father.
What brings you joy?