Gifts for Dad ➔

To the woman in the fertility clinic,

I don’t know your name. I don’t know your story. You sat on the other side of the waiting room, but when our eyes met, somehow our broken hearts connected.

I watched you tap your toes and flip through a magazine. I watched you bite your nails and turn towards the TV. You pulled out a book and then scrolled through your phone. None of the distractions seemed to be working.

I saw you glance at your flat stomach and breathe a deep sigh. I saw a single tear fall down your cheek as you tucked the hair behind your ear. You were strong, but you were hurting.

I don’t know whether this was your first time at the fertility clinic. Maybe you’ve tried for a baby month after month, only to find disappointment after disappointment. Maybe you were looking for answers of why you weren’t pregnant but feared what the doctor might say. He might find that it’s impossible for your body to grow the child you’ve so desperately wanted. Or he might give no answers at all and leave you even more overwhelmed and confused. He might find that you have options, but they will cost more than you can possibly afford. You hope for good news, but the unknown is frightening.

I don’t know whether you’ve sat in this waiting room day after day. Maybe you’ve been through more tests and treatments than you ever knew possible. Maybe you’ve experienced deep heartache as the doctor told you that nothing worked. Maybe you hoped that somehow this time would be different. Maybe you anxiously wondered whether to cry tears of celebration or grief, depending on the results of this appointment.

A health condition may limit your ability to conceive. Maybe you’ve been told that getting pregnant is unlikely, but you cling to the hope that they never said impossible. Maybe you feel guilty because your body isn’t functioning the way you want it to. Or maybe your body is ready, but your partner’s is not. Maybe he feels like a failure and doesn’t want to let you down. Maybe you are sick and tired of people speculating which one of you is “the problem,” because either way you are in it together.

I don’t know whether you have babies at home. Maybe your first was easy, but for some reason this one is different. Or maybe you’ve been pregnant before, only to endure a heartbreaking and traumatic miscarriage. Maybe you’ve known the joy of a positive pregnancy test and the devastation of a negative one. You might carry the weight of no one knowing what your heart is missing. Or you might face constant questions about what’s taking so long.

Or perhaps you are like me. After all, I probably look just like you as I sit in the fertility clinic. Fidgeting, worrying, holding back tears. You might not have guessed my situation—a cancer diagnosis that threatens my husband’s life and fertility. Maybe this would surprise you, or maybe you face a similarly overwhelming illness.

In that brief moment when our eyes and souls connected, the details of our situations didn’t matter. Many of our emotions and fears were the same. The uncertainty of wondering if we would be lucky enough to have a child. The heartache of knowing that our path would not be easy. The disappointment of not having a baby to carry in our arms or belly. The desperation of hoping that one day that child would come.

Woman in the fertility clinic, I may not know your name or your story.

But I know that you are hurting, and I feel for you.

We are in this together.

Julieann Selden

Julieann Selden is a chemistry graduate student and non-profit volunteer. Her husband, Ken, is recently in remission from sarcoma cancer. On her blog, contemplatingcancer.com, she examines the thoughts and emotions of life through the lens of an aggressive cancer diagnosis.

I Am Not My Child’s Death

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Faith, Grief
I Am Not My Child's Death www.herviewfromhome.com

We are NOT what has happened to us or what this world says we are. That is not what defines us. While we are grieving parents, that is not what our whole story has to be about. Although, at times, we feel that our story is over. We ask, how do we go on and live full lives without our sweet Sophie with us? I’m still not 100 percent sure I know the answer to that. BUT the Lord says I am beloved. I am redeemed and accepted. I am holy and chosen. I am righteous and complete. I am...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Sure How Long I’ll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal…and That’s OK

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Grief, Mental Health
I'm Not Sure How Long I'll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal...and That's OK www.herviewfromhome.com

I tried to wean off of Zoloft and couldn’t. And that’s OK. I had never really been aware of the world of antidepressants. My life has been relatively uneventful—with the normal ups and downs that most of us go through. I knew people on medication for depression but never understood. How can you be THAT sad that you can’t just be positive and make the best of your circumstances? How can someone be THAT unhappy ALL the time to need medication? I didn’t get it. I felt bad for people going through it. Then my 2-year-old was diagnosed with Stage...

Keep Reading

To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes

In: Cancer, Child, Child Loss, Health
To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes www.herviewfromhome.com

Most people never get to meet their heroes. I have, in fact—I have met many heroes. These heroes didn’t set out for greatness; they fell victim to a terrible disease and faced it with courage, might and bravery like I have never seen before. And when we talk about this type of battle, there is no such thing as losing. whether the battle ended in death, life, or debility, each of these heroes defeated. My heroes are the innocent children who battle cancer. I high-fived, hugged, wept over, laughed and played with my heroes for 10 years as a nurse. And you better believe I...

Keep Reading

Cancer Can’t Take That

In: Cancer
Cancer Can't Take That www.herviewfromhome.com

“Hi, I’m Martha!” A lady around my mom’s age with tightly curled blonde hair approached me at my boyfriend’s church softball game. “I’m Jen,” I said, awkwardly waving though she only stood three feet from me. Martha pointed. “That’s my daughter, Stacey, and her kids, Brady, Harleigh and Boston is the baby.” I saw a chunky baby in a baby carrier. “Harleigh is a cute name,” I said. “It’s spelled H-A-R-L-E-I-G-H,” she announced. “Interesting spelling,” I said, bemused. That is how I met Martha. I’d been to my boyfriend’s church once and was then attending one of their softball games....

Keep Reading

I Wish My House Was Messy

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Grief
I Wish My House Was Messy www.herviewfromhome.com

My house is always clean. The laundry gets done quickly. The dishes are rarely stacked up in the sink. My counters are hardly ever sticky and nothing gets spilled. Everything gets put in its place and there is no clutter. My floor rarely needs sweeping and I never step on or trip over toys. My house is usually in perfect order . . . and it’s infuriating. You see, my house used to be a wreck a lot of the time. We had diapers, wipes, blankets, books, applesauce pouches, Cheerios, toys, movies, and any other number of toddler paraphernalia strewn...

Keep Reading

How This 10-Year-Old Is Helping Save Lives From Inside the Oval Office

In: Cancer, Inspiration
How This 10-Year-Old Is Helping Save Lives From Inside the Oval Office www.herviewfromhome.com

The world of childhood cancer is one you aren’t familiar with, until you have to be. It’s a world where more than 40,000 children undergo cancer treatment each year. In this world the average age at diagnosis is six years old, and one in five of those kids will die. It’s the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the U.S. No one wants to be a part of that world. Childhood cancer is not one disease–there are 16 major types of pediatric cancers and over 100 subtypes. The causes of most childhood cancers...

Keep Reading

I Knew I had Cancer Because I Trusted my Intuition

In: Cancer
I Knew I had Cancer Because I Trusted my Intuition www.herviewfromhome.com

Today marks the anniversary of having my cancerous thyroid removed. This day always makes me think about the power of intuition and, how you should trust it. It’s real. Maybe because my dad was only 50 when he died, I was able to entertain the idea: I might get cancer, too. I knew. Breaking into tears on a run surrounded by girlfriends, a year before my diagnosis. I feared. I had it. Something wasn’t right. Months passed. But with gentle nagging from my accountability partner, I finally made an appointment. It wasn’t until the end of that meeting, I casually...

Keep Reading

Having Problems is a Privilege

In: Cancer, Faith, Journal
Having Problems is a Privilege www.herviewfromhome.com

The smell of smoke alerted me to yet another mishap in our morning mayhem. I wanted to provide some sort of breakfast to my eldest son as he returned to college after the holiday break. Each school morning begins with such chaos at our house. Between my daughter’s tangled hair and her brother’s missing socks, I realized I had burnt the cheese toast (the only thing I could find as some sort of parting breakfast for our firstborn). You know when cheese toast is the best you have to offer, you are already in dire straits. Not only was our...

Keep Reading

The Question No Grieving Mother Wants To Hear

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Faith
The Question No Grieving Mother Wants To Hear www.herviewfromhome.com

  My name is Shelby, and I’m a mom without a child. My two-year-old daughter, Sophie was diagnosed with Stage 4 T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma in May 2017. We had 12 weeks of her responding well to treatment when she unexpectedly had a MASSIVE relapse in August. Our doctors had never seen a child relapse so soon in 40-plus years of practicing. We were in the club that even cancer families don’t want to be in, the “rare disease” club. We spent nine days in the ICU getting 15 doses of adult “rescue chemo” that saved her life and knocked her...

Keep Reading

Cancer Warrior, Your Star Will Never Fade

In: Cancer, Inspiration
Cancer Warrior, Your Star Will Never Fade www.herviewfromhome.com

How do you stand so tall? How do you walk so proud? How do you smile easily? How do you laugh so beautifully? How do you comfort others? How do you shine with such grace? With such class? With such dignity? I use to ask my wife those questions. The ultimate Cancer Warrior. She fought so hard. So bravely. With a spirit that left the World in awe. And now, I’m asking you. You:  The Cancer Warrior. How do you do it? To say that I admired her, well, that would be the ultimate of understatements. To say that I...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections