It might end up saving my life

by Anonymous

July 1, 2021

I didn’t just assume I could not get pregnant without medical intervention: I had years of IVF treatment (and bills!) to tell me that I couldn’t. I am lucky and so appreciative that, in the end, IVF worked for me, twice. I have two children, but absolutely no desire for a third, and really did not think it would ever be an issue. But I had a bad feeling the day my period didn’t come, then another day, and then another, and no sign of those tummy twinges and mood swings that usually herald my period. A few days later, a couple of pregnancy tests came back positive. I knew immediately that I didn’t want to have another kid. I wouldn’t be a good parent to three, and with my second child I had a hard pregnancy – six months’ of “morning sickness” (morning being a complete misnomer), gestational diabetes, and being so tired I’d pass out on my older child’s floor at their bedtime for almost the entire pregnancy.

It was very strange to experience the start of a pregnancy that, just a few years ago, would have been the thing I wanted the most in the world but now was something that I really, really did not desire or could go through with. The main qualms I felt were about having no qualms, knowing how much I had wanted one previously. But it was the right decision for me and my family and I didn’t regret it. Although the bleeding from the at-home medication wasn’t fun, it wasn’t terrible, either. And I haven’t regretted it since – honestly, I barely thought about it for the first couple of months.

After those couple of months, however, I was doing a routine breast check on myself and found a squidgy bit. Not a lump, but something that wasn’t there on the other breast. It’s cancer. It’s early days – I’m still having tests – but if I hadn’t had that abortion, I would not be able to have the treatment we already know that I need to stay alive. I’d have to choose between a future child and me – and, really, between that future child and then the spouse and two children I love, adore, and who need me. I can’t afford to not take every opportunity to get better and be their partner and parent. I am so relieved that having an abortion is not a decision and procedure I have to make now in addition to absorbing and processing being a cancer patient. I do think of it, now, but only in a positive, relieved, “thank goodness” sort of way. And for people who falsely claim that abortions cause breast cancer? In the simplest way possible, I am telling you that spreading those lies is unforgivable.

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