Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cancer 100%

I have one big grip about suffering from infertility. It is that no one talks about it. Very few people share their struggle until after they get pregnant. I know of people who say my friend is struggling with this, or my sister did an IUI, but I have encountered few people who have said, "I am struggling with infertility." It is a like a secret club that no one wants to join, therefore most keep their membership private.

The sad thing is that, that is just not me. I have always been one that talks about my problems, asks for advice, does internet research. And I am now wondering if I am making people feel uncomfortable when I am so open about this. Because today I would just like to have one women who has done IVF in the past six months either successfully or not hold my hand and tell me exactly what is going to happen in the next few weeks. How they did it, handle the feelings and the shots, and the fears. What is going to happen to me really, not doctor speak, but how to handle all the other bags that are necessary for this journey.

My favorite author Kelly Corrigan has a new book/short story out. I got it from the library yesterday called Lift. I had no idea what I was getting but I like her, so I thought I cannot wait to start this book. I look at the back cover and it is a memoire about being a mother. Oh my gosh, the wind is knocked out, do I read it, do I just take it back, what do I do? So I did the logical thing and turned to page one. Within minutes of reading, she is on the subject of infertility and how blessed she is that having children was so easy for her. This women has had breast cancer twice, two times, and when asked if she had a choice for her daughters to either suffer from cancer or suffer from infertility she would choose cancer 100% of the time. What a statement. Now I have never suffered from cancer, but I would agree with her as well.

I would choose to have cancer over the heartache that I am going through today. Yes, the treatments may be basically the same, daily doctor visits, consultations, however I feel cancer is an acceptable disease and infertility is not. There are lots of cancer survivors. They proudly wear their pink shirts, and participate in their golf fundraisers, and ask for prayers at church, and have support groups. Yet we don't really celebrate infertility survivors. We see the baby if they are blessed enough to have one, yet does anyone really shout to the world that they beat infertility or they didn't?

The worst part is that if you don't beat infertility, you don't die, sure a part of you does, but you have to keep on living, and celebrating and hoping. You have to carry that part that dies with you every day, every moment, forever.


  1. My very good friend with through several years of infertility treatment that ended with one IVF attempt that failed. She did not talk to any of us about it until it was all said and done. I think it is a secret club with unwanted membership which just sucks.

    She and her husband adopted a sweet little boy and they have their happy ending. But the torturous years of trying are not forgotten.

    I hope for a happy ending for you and Jon as well however and whenever it comes. And I can prod my friend to see if she'd be willing to share experiences. Specifically, I can remember that the shots made her so angry at times she called me when she wanted to smack a lady for talking loudly in Payless Shoes. At the time we both laughed, but I have no idea how long she felt like that before laughing.

    I hope you find other members of this secret club to share with. And if not, think of how what you are doing - sharing here - will benefit someone just like you; either now or in the future.

  2. I'm so proud of your posting Kelli!!! I obviously read Kelli's posts everyday, often before they are posted. I felt the need to comment.

    Cancer is obviously a horrible disease, and you would also not wish that on anybody. I think the point Kelli is making is that there are so many support groups for people with cancer, it is not taboo to discuss having cancer.

    However, it seems like dealing with infertility problems is so difficult because it is a silent problem. It is taboo to discuss. Did you know that 40% of American couples have infertility issues and seek some type of help with fertility!!! Isn't that amazing. Kelli and I have come to discover this is a huge national issue. Yet, people don't discuss their fertility issues. Because of the silence, couples who have fertility problems think they are the only ones, it feels lonely.

    Often, we only discover after a birth that couples had fertility problems. And even then, a remarkable number of couples won't share their struggles.

    Hopefully Kelli's blog and our journey will help others who may feel like they are suffering in silence. Hopefully as a nation, talking about fertility related issues becomes less taboo as a younger generation goes through the process and is less embarrassed about science assisting in the reproductive process.

    You are so brave Kelli and I hope this blog can help others.

  3. I too am so proud of you for stepping out of the box and being willing to share your experiences. How in the world do people survive hardships by boxing it all up inside?! It doesn't make sense to people like you and me who feel that talking & listening to those in similar boats helps us in our growth process or at least helps us get through. Hello single years in my mid-twenties! Don't know what I would have done without you and a few others who could relate to my fears and dreams during that time. =)

    I am going to have to pick up the book you mentioned. That author's first memoire was breathtaking and remains a fav of mine!

    Lots of prayers,