"Don't spend time worrying about how you are going to die. Worry about how you are going to live today"

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Living The Life I Always Imagined

I remember when I got diagnosed with breast cancer it changed everything.  I felt like maybe there were things in my life that I should just give up on pursuing because of the breast cancer.  One of the things I gave up on was expanding our family.   Since I was an "older" mom (I had my son a few months before turning 41 years old) I never thought I would naturally give birth to another child.  I was not ready to immediately get pregnant and have another baby right after he was born, but wanted more children.  I always figured my husband and I would adopt a child in the future.  Maybe we would not adopt a baby because of our age, but perhaps a child close in age to our son in a few years down the road.   I always saw us expanding our family in some way. 

Once I got diagnosed, I knew I could not have more children (but by then I was already 45 and the hormones would not be good for me) but I felt some strong hesitation to even adopting. I guess I just don't want to make things more difficult for my husband should I have to deal with breast cancer again.   I know if it comes back it's going to be far worse than my first diagnosis.   It sadden me to think that I was giving up on the family I always wanted to have.  For a while I just accepted it even though it made me sad and angry at times.

Then I realized there were other ways to expand our family.  We looked into hosting a foreign exchange student.  This would be a great way to give our son the experience of having a sibling, but not a permanent situation so I would not worry about making things harder for my sweet husband if I got sick again.  So, we applied last spring and went through the process and were accepted as a host family!  It was all so exciting and the anticipation of a new child in our home was amazing. 

I am happy to say that we now have a daughter from Italy!  She is 17 and a senior in our local high school.  She is beautiful and smart and we all adore her.  She has been with us for almost two weeks now and it feels natural.  We have been emailing each other weekly since April and in that time I have gotten to know her and her mom very well.  Her mom is also a breast cancer survivor too (for 7 years now).  We have even spoken about how she felt when her mom was diagnosed and going through treatment.  This has made our bond even closer. 

I am living my dream of having a daughter - even if it is only for a year.  I just somehow feel a sense of happiness that my dream is coming true of expanding our family.  Sometimes you get what you want, but it doesn't look the way you imagined it would be.  It's still good though!  Both of my kids are off to start school tomorrow.  I am excited for both of them and hoping for a great school year.   Life is good....even after breast cancer!!!!


  1. So, so happy this dream came true for you!!
    What a wonderful year it will be.

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  3. Cam - I am happy to answer any questions you have. I don't have your email address. Please email me!