I’m sitting here enjoying my maple vanilla bourbon coffee from Saxbys and watching my local news station, and the anchors are enjoying their Thanksgiving breakfast, each announcing the things they are grateful for. I’d like to do the same. Let me start by saying, I’ve had a lot to be angry about. Angry with God, angry with doctors, angry that my ovaries broke and no amount of soy milk or chick peas or hormone treatment will put them back together. Angry that I am about to face my first holiday season with the knowledge that it is going to be a difficult uphill battle to have my own children for future holidays.
But I’m really grateful, too. Grateful and lucky that this isn’t the death sentence I felt it was in the beginning of the year. Grateful for those same doctors who sure, may have given me a lot of bad news..but I’m also happy they found out what was going on with me. And they have really been a huge part of my support system since January. Even the other day, I had one of my routine exams at the OBGYN and we talked about changing my hormone treatment and method because of my migraines and other symptoms. She had a lot of good advice to give me and took time to comfort me when I got upset. She really cares about what I’m going through. She calls me back quickly even when I feel my questions are dumb and that means the world to me. This is a bit of a learning experience for her too, because of how rare Ovarian Failure is.
I’m very grateful for the small handful of friends who I have shared this condition with, some of who are mothers. I may not have that to share with them, but that would never exclude me from their lives.
Trust me, I’ve read a ton of horror posts where people lost friends and family over their inability to feel part of the discussion.
My best friend, most of all, has helped me remember how strong I am, and that what I’m going through doesn’t change the person I am. For 15+ years not a day goes by that I don’t constantly know how lucky I am to have her in my life. Even if we don’t see each other as much as we would probably like! And if I do get the chance to adopt in the future, or maybe by my 1-5% miracle chance get pregnant naturally – she’s the first person I will call.
I’m grateful for my boyfriend, Mike. I fell in love with him the first time he took me to his families cabin in the Poconos. He is caring, loving, supportive and funny..and just so understanding of me on my good and bad days. He always sees the good in me when I don’t. Especially now. I know this diagnosis hit us both really hard, and there’s been times we have both emotionally struggled in our own ways this past year, but it has brought us even closer. I remember how broken hearted I was when I found everything out, because he comes from such a large and wonderful Irish family with so many kids, and I really looked forward to adding on to that someday. I was so afraid he wouldn’t be able to deal with this. But the day I came home from the doctors, he told me it didn’t take a child to fall in love with me, and it wasn’t going to take not having a child to fall out. I’m truly blessed, and no matter what happens I look forward to whatever adventures we get to experience for the rest of our lives, even if it’s just the two of us.
I’m grateful for my aunt and uncle, who most people know I consider to be my parents. (I moved in with them when I was 17) Growing up, I’m not sure I ever got the proper idea of well..a lot of things. Family life, mainly. It took a few years to get used to it but I know they play a major role in who I am today. They let me be a teenager when I needed to be, and they let me learn from my big mistakes when I had to, and they have always stuck by my side when the going got really tough. They aren’t shy to share when they have made mistakes, and I value every opinion they give me, whether it’s something as simple as a dill carrot recipe – or advising me on huge life decisions.
I’m grateful that I’m alive. Things could have been worse than they are for me. Honestly. I have had a good 31 years so far and I’ve struggled through a lot of difficult times – I lost my dad when I was 15. My mom and my brother moved to another country just 2 years after that. I may not always feel like I have my life together, or make the best decisions, or have a lot of money..but I am a good person and have a lot to offer, and that’s something I’m thankful for regardless of all the adversity I have faced. I could have let facing early menopause bring me down to a dark place I couldn’t escape from. I almost did. I could have let it turn me in to a bitter human being. But I’m not going to. I’m glad I have made some great connections with other women who are going through the same thing. I’m glad I’ve been able to lend my advice and share my story and LEARN from those women, too. So tonight, while I swim in a sea of potatoes, stuffing and gravy..I will also remember how thankful I am for all of these things, and more.