Written in 2007, Me & Adam Ant records Louise’s first cycle with chemo and like everything else she wrote it is honest, warm and full of insight.
Part 2: Relationships
Chapter 4: Alberto
I’ve already talked about Alberto… how I feel bad for him stuck with a girlfriend with cancer. I know I shouldn’t feel like that… If the situation were reversed I’d be doing everything in my powers to help. I wonder if it’s because of how our relationship started.. we never got to enjoy that period where you can really concentrate on each other and are just so excited to be together (apart from our trip to NZ) as I was ill pretty quickly.
And I think of my feelings of guilt about putting Alberto in my current situation (not that I’ve put him in it… I’m expressing myself badly!). I believe he could have picked any girl, it just happened to be me. I wish I didn’t have to think like this… and my logical side tells me I’m being very unfair on Alberto. He tells me he loves me. He does everything for me – driving me around, getting a wheelchair for me, goes on errands (to Whistles usually!) for me, buys me pressies, sends me cute cards and texts with virtual hugs and kisses. And I know he means it. And I love him for all those things.
The other day, I don’t know why, but I suddenly felt just how I felt in NZ. Just really full of love and thinking how cute he is with his nose that wrinkles when he smiles. And I wished right there that he’d been in front of me. And I also felt really happy and convinced we were going to have a long and happy life together. These are the feelings I need to hang onto. Not the guilt or the doubt. “Love is the answer and you know that for sure!”
Chapter 5: Children
I think for me this is the hardest part. For years now I’ve been dying to have children. And now I wish I really had… though for the last 5 years I’ve not had an injury/operation/x-ray free year to do that. I’ve also not felt that Al and I have reached a point where it’s the right time for children.
So it’s very strange to be in a position where we’re urgently trying to discuss IVF before chemo is due to start in 2 weeks on 18th April. Apparently freezing your eggs is still a newish procedure with only a 10% chance of success once defrosted. Freezing embryos is more successful and advisable. So here we are in a situation where we’re about to do that (well hopefully) . Chemo is effectively deciding things for me and us. We’re suddenly rushing what should be a major decision that’s made after a lot of careful thought. But we have no choice. If chemo makes me infertile this could be my only chance to have my own child.
But of course even if we have time to freeze embryos (itself unlikely due to needing to start chemo so soon) it might not even work. IVF isn’t always successful. We have an appointment with the “Assisted Conception Unit” in 2 days time on Thursday 5th April. Alberto keeps making jokes – “Who’s going to assist me?” I tell him matron will (as I picture Hattie Jacques from the Carry On films!) So we’ll soon know more.
But it’s all awful really. I’ve been imagining all kinds of scenarios – IVF working, me getting pregnant with twins – a boy and a girl. Me telling them they started life in a freezer! I’ve also imagined successfully freezing embryos but them not taking… and I’m left with no more chances. And I’ve thought about adoption and how I’d feel if my child wanted to find its biological mother. There are too many scenarios to imagine and describe.
I’ve always believe I’ll have 2 children – a boy first then a girl. (I was told I would when I went to see Desmond the medium with M. When I was 15). But lately I’ve been doubting this. And wondering how I’ll feel if I can never have children. I’ve become obsessed – I look at people with children and babies and feel jealous or incomplete or inadequate or too old.
I also regularly seem to focus on how old people are when they have children… when I read articles about Kylie or Jennifer Aston (both childless, single and my age) it makes me feel better about being childless at 36. How screwed up is that? What will I do if Jennifer does get pregnant? Have a breakdown? Why am I so deranged? And more importantly why is all this happening to me?