It has been three years since my diagnosis out of college and I am happy to be in remission today, living my twenties to the fullest. In honor of Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month, here is my personal open letter to my future adopted child:
You don't ever anticipate that you will hear the words, You have uterine cancer. I'm supposed to be a future physician healing others. I want to travel, learn more languages, enrich myself and experience true love. I haven't even begun to live my life yet.
After getting six different opinions from renowned specialists, my team of physicians and I discussed treatment options; a hysterectomy with adjuvant therapy which necessitates radiation and hormonal therapy. A hysterectomy I thought to myself. I tried to research everything -- preserving my fertility in particular. I was considered high risk so the particular timing of fertility preservation wasn't compatible with the surgery. I've never felt so helpless.
My dream next to being a doctor is to be a mother. As a woman, giving birth is perceived as the most magnificent experiences in life. The idea and the fantasy is to go through the beautiful art of conceiving a baby to peculiar cravings to the maternal physiological changes I learned about in college to drown looking in that baby's eyes after labor. Well, I didn't understand the idea of adopting. In fact, I didn't consider it an option.I would cry with what seemed like all day every single day. "How could I love or connect with a child that is not mine? I will never be that child's real mother. What about the long, emotional adoption process? What man is going to love me despite the fact I can't give him a baby?" Little did I know based off pure ignorance was that adoption was just if not even more beautiful.
After my surgery, I panicked. I felt less of a woman. It resonated that I will never have the ability to conceive a child. I shut everyone out. I am so young, I kept telling myself.
A few weeks later I felt an urge to research adoption stories. I ordered literature on adopting, I listened to stories of adopted children. It changed my world. I was enamored. There are so many beautiful children of all ages that are looking for a loving home. All they want is love. Love that I am able to give.
Today, I am in remission. Cancer free. I thank God every day I am alive.
I am now a medical student. By the time you read this, Lord willing, I will be a practicing physician. I get to dedicate my life to helping others. Most important, I get to dedicate my life as a mother to you.
Although I haven't met you yet, I think about you all the time. I pray for you every day. I can't wait to connect with you. I can't wait to melt with excitement when I see you, to hold you in my arms and drown with love looking in those eyes. You have inspired me to be a better woman and to fight this cancer. You are my blessing and I will forever protect you and do everything in my power to make sure you know that you are loved. I know the man I choose to marry one day will love you just as much. You are the reason I kept fighting. I love you.
Your future mom