Wrapping Up Infertility Week


A patient isn’t a disease with a body

It’s time to wrap up this special week of guest posts with deep gratitude to Justine, Laurel, Sharon, Stacey, Catherine and Chloe for generously taking part.  In each of their heartfelt stories, you have seen grace, persistence, and courage in the face of fear, grief, anger, pain, fatigue, and loss. It made me appreciate the strength of the human spirit in the face of the fragility of the flesh. Above all, these stories demonstrate a truth, which I repeat often when I give talks to healthcare professionals on the patient experience:

A patient isn’t a disease with a body attached but a life into which a disease has intruded.

These stories resonated deeply with me, for as I have written so many times before, dealing with the legacy of infertility has been the hardest part of my journey with breast cancer.  A few days ago I met an acquaintance for coffee and she brought along her five-year-old daughter. The first question this little girl asked me was “Are you a Mom?”. When I said no, she looked at me in disbelief “Well if you aren’t a Mom, then what are you”? In her young mind all girls grown up be Moms, and if they aren’t well what else could they possibly be?  I am used to be asked by other women, if I have children, and it always pains me to answer no. The experience of having a child ask me the same question, floored me. If I am not a Mom, then what am I? It’s a question that has haunted me for years, and I still don’t have an answer yet.


Book Giveaway

There’s still some time left to win a personalized signed copy of Justine’s book Ever Upward.  In order to be in with a chance to win this lovely prize, simply leave a comment on any of the guest posts this week. At the end of today, I will put names in the proverbial hat and choose a winner to be announced on the Journeying Beyond Facebook page.