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Life with bowel cancer

Lauren5429

To Start a Family or Not? What Would You Do?

Hi guys,
I have a question for the parents out there. I'm 28 and my husband is 30, and we got married in 2015 after 10 years together. Hubby is currently being treated for bowel cancer which has spread to his liver and a few lymph nodes, although he's had liver surgery and his recent scan showed a slight shrinkage in the lymphs. The oncologist is still going for a curative treatment.
We've always wanted to start a family together and a lot of our friends are getting married and having children which is quite difficult for us to see, even though we are of course really happy for them.
My best friend told me today that she is pregnant which has brought it home even more for us. I'm over the moon for her, but it makes me sad. I always thought we would have children around the same time and, I know it's silly and I shouldn't be thinking this way, I am secretly petrified we're going to be left behind whilst everyone around us reaches these wonderful milestones in life.
My husband and I have had quite an open and honest discussion about having children, the reality is if we were to go ahead with it, I have to bare in mind I could be bringing up a child as a single mother. On the flipside, we could be 'umming' and 'ahh-ing' about the idea for ages and we may find ourselves in the same situation years down the line regretting that we didn't have a child 10 years earlier. It's a hugely difficult decision.
My question is what would you do in this situation? And for those who are parents, how did you feel when you brought that child into the world? Did you feel you could bring them up by yourself, would you bring them up as a single parent? Obviously I understand this is a decision only Matt and I can make, but I would be interested to hear your views. Any advice would be really appreciated. :x::x::x:

Lauren5429

Thanks for your reply @springer michelle I really appreciate hearing everyone's thoughts on this, especially those who have come out the other side. :x::x::x:

Baxter2

Hi @Lauren5429 Nothing in life is guaranteed, especially our health! I think you should rule with your hearts and go for it! Live for today! Sending all my very best wishes to you both! Lots of love 💛💚💜💙❤️

Sparkles

@Lauren5429 i totally feel your pain! My husband and i had been trying to have a family years prior to my diagnosis but alas it wasnt meant to be, i often wonder if it was due to my cancer? 🤔 The hearbreaking thing for me was i was just about to start another round of IVF when i was given the news, it wasnt until i had the oppointment with the oncologist and he explained radiotherapy would make me infertile that i really broke down .... But i was given the option of freezing embryos, which obviously we did, it was a hard process and my eggs were already being cheeky monkeys and took 20 days of injecting to grow, i was told normally they would have given up the cycle but due to my cancer no-one was giving up, long story short, i managed to get one perfect embryo ❤ they like you to have 3 or 4 for a cycle but i feel blessed already, sometimes it only takes the one and im sure he/she will be a fighter like their mummy to be ..... So my dilema now im on the other side of cancer is, is it the right decision to go ahead? I have so many questions and worries about it all even tho my heart breaks constantly and i just want to hold my baby in my arms but ..... As time has gone by, ive just turned 40! Am i too old to start a family? Have a got the strengh to go forward and gear myself up again for it fail again (its emotionally exausting) i would need to use a surrogate, how would i feel about not carrying my baby? And the biggy .... am i just being selfish and thinking about myself because what if my cancer comes back??... Im sorry ive been no help but i just wanted you to know your not alone in these massive decisions we have to make, sending all my love and strengh to you ..... ps. I secretly think you should do it, have the family you deserve, there should be no regrets in this life :x::x:

Lauren5429

Wow @Sparkles I really feel for you. That's so great you have a little fighter of an embryo though 🙂 and no way is 40 too old to start a family, my ex boss had twin girls a few years back at 48 and as a single mother - a handful I'm sure, but totally worth it!
I can imagine it's emotionally exhausting. So many questions and unknown answers. I sincerely hope you too, get the family you deserve when all of this is over and cancer is well and truly behind you. Thank you so much for your thoughts and advice. I really appreciate it :x::x::x:

Lauren5429

Ah @Baxter2 thank you. I agree. We've been mulling it over for quite some time and hearing my best friend was pregnant was sort of the straw that broke the camel's back and set us into action. We'll see what our options are and go from there 🙂 :x::x::x:

Rach

@Lauren5429 @Sparkles Personally, I think if you'd like children then go for it. I always wanted children and I'm blessed with 2 gorgeous boys who are my reason for getting up in the morning. My eldest, who is our second born, is at the age of 12 loving, looks after me when I'm down and just brightens up my day with his smile and hugs. My youngest is my 'I can't do this anymore' baby. He was born after so many miscarriages and a loss of our daughter, that i'd given up hoping for another child. And then, along he comes with his boundless energy, gorgeous smile and an amazing ability to give the most wonderful and uplifting hugs I've ever known. There will always be pregnant women wherever you go but I think after a cancer diagnosis these things become forefront in your mind.
@Sparkles my lovely, 40 is not too old, there are always amazing woman out there who will be a surrogate, you're not selfish and let me tell you honestly, carrying a baby for 9 months is quite frankly not all it's cracked up to be!!!!! I send you both lots of love and lots of luck in whatever you decide to do :x::x::x::x::x:

Sparkles

@Rach:x::x:

1234annie

Go for it!!! Regardless of cancer anyone of us parents could be struck down at any point by anything. Children are amazing, very resilient and keep you going. They will bring you both love and joy you never knew imaginable. :x: :x:

eyeofthetiger

Hi @Lauren5429 Just reading an American article and they had these links, which may or may not be useful to you.
www.fertilehope.org: This site provides unvarnished facts about fertility risks associated with cancer treatment as well as fertility-preservation and parenthood alternatives before, during and after treatment. It outlines the success rates, costs and time requirements for a variety of fertility procedures and also addresses other possibilities, including egg and sperm donation, surrogacy and adoption.
www.pregnantwithcancer.org: This Web site links newly pregnant cancer patients with others with a similar cancer who have already been there, done that.

Lauren5429

@eyeofthetiger and @1234annie thank you for your replies and for the web links, I'll check those out. We've decided to get a private appointment as going NHS meant we would have to wait until December to see someone, which is fine for those with time but we may not have that on our side. We'll be seeing someone next week for a consultation. We're excited! Whatever happens I can't imagine having a child is something that anyone regrets and as you say, I think a child would keep us going. It's a really lovely feeling to have something positive for us both to focus on! :x::x::x:

Polly 1

I'm excited for you @Lauren5429 I hope everything goes well at the consultation :x::x:

shazsilverwolf

@Lauren5429 I would say go for it. The reality is that none of us know how long we have on this planet, not just from cancer- we could get hit by a bus tomorrow! That is the real truth here, we never know 100% that we will be here for the raising of our children, we just have to believe we will, or no one would ever have a child. If it's what you want, then do it. It can also become the greatest incentive for getting back to health, and we all know how much effect a positive attitude can have.

Lauren5429

Thank you @shazsilverwolf really appreciate your thoughts on this. I agree, I think it'll be a positive step which will help both of us to continue enjoying life and for Matt to continue fighting this horrible disease. Just the thought of starting our own family makes me smile :)

Hans

@Lauren5429 sorry to be late on this. I didn't see it.
Kids are hard work - but worth it.
Hans :x::x::x::x:

mem

Oh @Lauren5429 this is fab and made me smile too 😊. Good for you and wishing you both all the luck in the world with this :x::x:

1234annie

Fantastic news!! No, you won't regret it!! We decided to up sticks and move to Dorset. It's something we've always wanted to do so I woke up at 4am and thought....lets do this!! No time like the present eh?!

DianeS

Brilliant news @Lauren5429 so happy for you. I'm sure it's a very positive step for you both love D :x::x::x::x::x:

Lauren5429

@Hans @mem @1234annie and @DianeS thank you for your lovely messages
@1234annie that's brilliant that you upped sticks and moved, good for you. I'm learning more and more that you can't let cancer hold you back on doing the things you want to in life. We've just got to get on and do what makes us happy :x::x::x:

Michaels Mum

@Lauren5429 Without a doubt go for it! Will give you guys something to focus on other than cancer-and it will be fun!! Once you get a diagnosis Cancer takes over your life-now is the time to say enough is enough we are doing something for US :x::x: