In 2017, this cancer took away my ability to have children.
In 2020, this cancer tried to kill me.
I don’t remember a lot about dying. One minute I was there and then…nothing. There was no bright light. No film reel of my life up until that moment. I don’t know if it was seconds or minutes, but, for a short time, I was gone. But then I heard my name…
“Lauren! Can you hear me? Lauren, come back. Lauren!”
I woke up surrounded by several nurses and doctors screaming my name. There was intense pain in my leg from the emergency IV that was drilled directly into my bone. I was so incredibly cold but burning up at the same time. Confusion and fear were coursing through me.
And all I could say was, “Please don’t let me die.”
One nurse held my hand and tried to reassure me that they were doing all they could. She asked me to think about all I had to live for and to just keep holding on. In between sobs and begging to be saved, I told the nurse about my husband and how our birthday was in a few days. I told her about how I am 90 minutes older than him. I told her about the little girl that we fought so hard for. I begged them to let me see her grow up.
All I could think about was the things I wanted to see her do.
I wanted to watch her play her first kiddie soccer game. I wanted to take her to kindergarten. I wanted to teach her about being a good friend and help her navigate the nightmare that is middle school. I wanted to go prom dress shopping. I didn’t want to miss out on her life. I didn’t want to die.
*Spoiler alert* I survived that day. And I survived when I tried to die again the following week.
Two and half years ago, I fought so hard to become a mom. And, on that day last year, I fought to stay a mom.
Being a mom is hard enough. But throw in a terrifying diagnosis and it’s even harder. I hate that my two-year-old had to watch me while I was so sick. But it has given her compassion for others when they are not feeling well.
I hate that I missed so much time with my little girl while I was in the hospital. But I soak up every snuggle, every giggle, every moment she is with me now.
I always say that cancer gave me my little one. But I am sure as heck not going to let it take me away from her.