I write this with some trepidation, however it is something I have been thinking alot about.
Which is worse: IVF or having a brain tumour?
When I was diagnosed with infertility, one of the overwhelming feelings was grief; yet I couldn't quite understand why. In an attempt to make myself feel better I tried to think about what I had in life; my health, a wonderful partner, a good job. And I found myself saying alot "Why do I feel so bad, I'm not sick or dying". In reading other's stories, I have heard so many infertiles make this comment. We are frequently told that being infertile isn't a disease, generally by those in the population who don't understand infertility and the impact it has on you.
Well now I have a brain tumour. I guess that counts as a disease. So now I feel in a really good position to address this viewpoint.
Right at this point in time, I actually think infertility is worse. There are many similarities. The diagnosis of both was life changing and shocking. The feeling of hearing the specialist say "I'm sorry you will never have children naturally" and "I"m sorry, it's a tumour" was about the same. The seemingly never ending round of specialist appointments and diagnostic tests feels very similar. In both situations, I am/was scared for the future. With infertility I was scared that I would never know the joy of having children. With blobby, obviously I am scared that I might not survive this whole thing, or that I may have debilitating side effects.
However the big difference at the moment is that hope that you hold on to. Right now I am hopeful that I will have successful treatment and beat blobby. With IVF I had hopes that the first cycle would work. When it didn't, it felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest. I had hope for the next cycle, and the next, and the next and so on. Each BFN added to those fears and worries. Recently I have watched some friends go through these cycles of hope and despair, and it is a feeling I never want to have again.
I know that people will criticise me for this post - it is written with a caveat that my tumour isn't immediately life threatening so of course I can feel optimistic. I shouldn't feel bad about blobby, at least it isn't life threatening.
And I think this is the point. No matter what you are going through, the emotions and actions required of you are very real. Whether that be infertility, cancer, depression, diabetes, or any other hurdle that we have to overcome.
Nevertheless, I wanted to write this post to reassure any infertiles out there that what you are going through matters. When you find yourself saying "I'm not sick or dying", you can take a step back and acknowledge that it is really hard. But you will get through it, you will come out a stronger person. Most importantly though you are not alone.