Monday, January 19, 2009
Today, I spent the day with my good friend Erin Zammett Ruddy, a freelance writer and a columnist and blogger for glamour.com, and her son, Alex. As our children played together, I couldn’t help but think how lucky we both are – cancer survivors and moms. When we were diagnosed with cancer, the idea of future parenthood seemed so audacious and extravagant. We’ve both been asked on more than one occasion - shouldn’t you just be happy you are alive? Of course, we are happy to be alive! Aren’t you? But, just like you, we want to live amazing lives and, for us, that includes having kids. Erin’s story is unique. She had chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and for the last six years has been treated with Gleevec. The drug that saved her life doesn’t cause infertility in women, but you can't take it while you are pregnant. If you stop taking it, you risk the cancer coming back and the drug not working for you anymore. Quite a dilemma. With her oncologist’s approval, Erin went off Gleevec to conceive Alex and nothing went awry. Her cancer didn’t come back and Gleevec continues to work for her. So now, a year and half later, she is longing for another baby and wondering – do I risk my life again for a baby? As Alex plays with Paisley and Walker, it is hard for me to argue against it. I have two children – and want more. I get it. As Fertile Hope's Founder & Executive Director, it is also hard for me not to try to solve this dilemma other ways – IVF, surrogacy, adoption, etc. Erin’s done her homework on all of those options and knows they aren’t right for her (read more here). What would you do?