Monday, June 28, 2010

Postponing the inevitable

While reading this article this morning, I was struck by the similarity in people's approach to cancer treatment and to infertility treatment.  It seems to me that, like cancer, many people adopt the "never give up, try everything" mentality described in the last third of this article in relation to their infertility:  http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100628/ap_on_he_me/us_med_overtreated_final_days

I guess we find childlessness as difficult to accept as death.  ?

Funny how I should relate this article to infertility when it has nothing to do with it.

8 comments:

  1. Very interesting. Through the grief of IF I have found relating to other difficult things in life easier. I understand that deadly disease and losing loved ones is more difficult on many levels. But IF is devastating and changes not only your quality of life but how you look at life.
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  2. No, you are so correct. It's about life or death for us unfertiles! Both are about achieving life or sustaining life. I love that you tied the two together.

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  3. That is so true. Those of us dealing with infertility just keep plugging along with new treatments. We definitely have that "never give up" mentality.

    Thanks for sharing that.

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  4. That is so true. You aren't relating two that have nothing in common - the grief associated with both are heart wrenching just the same.

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  5. There is an article - i can't find it at the moment - that states that based on research women dealing with IF react exactly the same as someone who has been given a dianosis of cancer.

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  6. I think the parallels have something to do with the science. IF and cancer are conditions for which current medicine is to some degree shooting in the dark. If you have an infection then your doctor knows what to do; same if you have some other acute condition like a broken bone or a vitamin deficiency. But with cancer, and IF, and I would imagine many other serious health problems, I think the "kitchen sink" approach is actually encouraged by doctors who want to do something but have limited options.

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  7. This isn't the first (nor, I'm sure, the last) time I've read an article on cancer & drawn parallels to infertility. I recently read (& reviewed on my blog) the book "Bright-Sided" by Barbara Ehrenreich, about the dark side of the positive thinking movement. It had its genesis when Ehrenreich learned she had breast cancer. She wrote a great article about her experience called "Cancerland" which she builds on in the book -- about how cancer patients are encouraged to stay positive & upbeat, about how many patients describe their cancer as "a blessing," about the pink industry that's grown up around breast cancer. It's worth a read.

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  8. I didn't read the article, but I definitely feel a connection between infertility and death. I long ago realized that I wanted to leave something behind that would mean something to the world, and that I wanted to raise my children to be happy, productive members of society. It's one reason why I think that for me spending time raising children is more important than having a career (not that I begrudge anyone else's choice otherwise ... it's a personal choice). I think of humanity's children as the legacy of the future, and i want to participate in that.

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