Photo Credit: Ashley Woo
People are always giving advice to cancer patients. Whether it is nutritional advice or doctor recommendations or tips on how to quell the nausea that accompanies chemotherapy, just as soon as people hear you are sick they usually want to find a way to help. Most of the advice is welcome and encouraging, though in some cases you’re just not in the mood to hear what someone has learned because you’re too busy treading water.
That’s one reason I hesitate to lend any advice at all. I’m only 24. I’ve had cancer for 16 months now. It feels like forever to me, but it’s a short period of time compared with people I know who are going on 5 or 7 or 10 years living with cancer. But I’ve received some heartfelt advice and solidarity along the way from fellow cancer patients, doctors, friends – even from strangers – and it has meant a lot to me. It’s been 16 months since my diagnosis and four months since my bone marrow transplant, and now I want to share what I’ve learned along the way.
By SULEIKA JAOUAD
My piece on cancer and fertility — or infertility, as the case may be — published on April 24, 2011 in the ‘Science’ section of The New York Times.
Photo Credit: Anne Francey
The family minivan idles at the intersection of 59th and York in Midtown Manhattan. My boyfriend swabs my midriff with alcohol as he steadies the needle. My parents look on from the front seat, quietly studying their 22-year-old daughter and the young man they’ve known for only a month. The needle is filled with gonadotropin, a hormone that stimulates the ovaries to produce eggs. I’m late for my checkup at the fertility clinic.
How in the world did I get here?
Continue reading, here.
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