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Difficult Decision- I need some opinions


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I want to start by thanking everyone for all your kind support you've shown me over these past weeks. I've been an absolute mess, and reading all of your responses has helped.

I know that I will go on, and I will get through this because I must. It's just hard because I don't want to.

That is also why I have been considering another event for our lives that I was hoping to get some input on from other caregivers & mothers.

Our family consists of just Keith and I. Before Keith got sick, we had tried for years to get pregnant, with no luck. Shortly after diagnosis, Keith went to a fertility clinic to freeze some samples because he always said that once he was better he wanted a family. Back in November, Keith decided he didn't want to wait anymore until he was better, time was going by fast and he thought we should consider starting our family. We both love kids and really want children. Keith would love to be a father, and I would have to admit that he would be an excellant dad. I can't think of anyone who would be a better example of love, patience, strength, courage, beauty and grace than my Keith. But now since his recent results we've been debating whether or not it is the wise thing to do to bring a child into this family when the future is unknown, stress and duties ahead are unknown, expenses are tight and we don't know the cost of future treatments (the invetro procedure will cost us almost $15,000). Do we save the money for possible clinic trials?

I have many mixed feelings, mostly those wanting to go ahead with the invetro. I know it is very costly, but I have a 401K I can cash in. I'm young and can always start it again. If clinical trials do arise that are expensive, I don't care what the cost I will do, sell, pimp anything to make sure nothing goes untried to save my Keith. (I have a perfectly good kidney going unused that I could sell on the black market :wink: ) I'm sure his family and friends feel the same and all would help.

I don't know how much life Keith has left. It could be years, it could be months, it could be less. But I think it is the best option for him to know his children to do it now. What I fear is the odds decrease the longer I wait, that he will ever get to meet his son/daughter.

I know Keith worries about not being there for his children and leaving it all to me. This scares me a lot too, because I've never had kids and do not know exactly how much work it takes. I imagine I do, but I know that in reality I don't. But then I think about life without Keith, and I can't help but think that if that does happen, I don't want a world where I can't see a little bit of him around me. I think there will be comfort in seeing his eyes look back at me from our child. I think it will give me a part of him forever. I think it will give me something to live on for.

I am probably thinking about this very large and important decision strictly with my heart and not my head, but I can only do what I am capable of, and right now the only tool I have is my heart.

So, I am opening this sensitive topic up to all of you; my LCSC family. I am asking for your honest opinions, advice and brutal honesty. Do you think this is a good or bad thing to do and why? I think I just need some unbiased objective opinions.

Thanks guys!

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Carleen,

I agree. You know in your heart what's best for you in the long run.

Children aren't easy, or cheap.

But they make you get up in the morning.

Their demands are in the NOW.

And they are such a gift from God.

I would only worry that you're stressed enough to hamper the AI -- you could get AI instead of invitro, couldn't you?

Anyway, love to you both.

XOXOX

MaryAnn

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Carleen,

What a sad, hard choice to face. My honest opinion is no, you probably should not try to get pregnant right now. I can understand how much this is something you both want, but right now you two are facing an incredible battle. Your stress level has to be as high as could be tolerated right now. Trying to get pregnant by in vitro is a difficult and stressful process in itself. Bringing a new life into the world is a huge responsibility and right now I think you need to concentrate on Keith and what you have together now. Of course you want to keep a part of Keith with you forever, but pregnancy itself can be difficult and caring for a newborn is always a challenge. This does not seem to be a good time to make such a major, life changing decision. I am very sorry, this is probably not what you wanted to hear. You asked for honesty, but that doesn't mean it doesn't break my heart to advise against it. Whatever decision you make I hope it works for you and Keith. I'll be praying for you.

Karen H

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Carleen,

You have a very tuff decision ahead of you, and I am sure God will give you the insight you need. My husband was killed when my daughter was 3 months old, it was not easy raising her alone, luckily I had my brother Mark and my dear mother..I didn't hsve to work, so that made it easier on me..I was in school studing to be a Paramedic, and my mom watched Donna Marie for me all day..I agree with the idea that you will have a part of Keith forever. I also agree with the others, that you will some how know what is right..I pray The lord will help you make the right decision!!

Love,

Donna K.

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Carleen and Keith,

take this advice with a grain of salt from someone without children.

I agree with you that now in this moment, the Hurry Up to have a baby so Keith can know him or her is a heart decision.

My worry is that say your carrying when something dreadful happens to Keith. Would the stress you are then under possibly cause a miscarriage? Would your efforts and money then be futile?

would waiting a bit be awful. No matter which way you choose, now or later. Keith will ALWAYS know his child, the child may just have to listen a little harder to hear his or her dad. If keith does make his journey in the next few years or months, Heaven is only a breath away. Its not far, only a single heartbeat and he will always have the ability to see his baby. Not in the way you want him too, but he will be there. Who knows, they say the cup of souls holds only so many and then they are born again into little baby's, maybe if you focused all the attention now onto Keith and waited, his sould will be re-born into his baby boy or girl.

god this sounds awful to type this knowing your going to read this and its in the context of Keith being or not being here.

liek I said, I don't have kids, I tried and twice I was halfway there and then for whatever reason, it was not meant to be.

my opion, and its strictly a loose one at that. wait for now and focus on him and you. there is always a way to have Keith's little one later on.

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Carleen,

I agree with the others. You need to focus all your time on Keith right now. You are under a lot of stress and getting pregnant may not be such a good idea. There could be other factors you need to consider, like if you have a difficult pregnancy (high risk.)It would be too hard for Keith to try and take care of you and the worry and stress he would endure. If it is God's will right now to have a baby, it will happen naturally without the invitro.

God will bless you with a baby if it is His will. Just know, we are here for you no matter what you decide. There is no right or wrong way, just what you and Keith decide and what makes you happy. I will say special prayers for you and Keith. :)

God Bless and hugs,

Karen

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Oh Carleen, what a tough, tough decision. My first instinct was to follow your heart. I raised two childen only 21 months apart alone and poor. Long story. And I would gladly do it again because they are my best accomplish.

BUT, and this is a big but, I think you are leading way too much with your heart right now. If Keith's sperm are frozen they will always be available. My opinion is to wait for a little while and see how Keith is doing. Keep discussing this issue, maybe the choice will get clearer on its own.

Whatever you do, I think everyone here will support you.

P.S. I don't babysit.

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I'm so sorry you have this decision to make on top of everything else weighing on your mind.

I can't help here. I would be like you, my heart would want a part of Rick forever. My mind would be constantly talking my heart out of it. It's maddening.

Please know that I am saying lots of prayers for you both, and that 2006 will be filled with blessing for you both.

Hugs,

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Carleen, I want you to know that my heart is reaching out to yours right now. What a very difficult decision to deal with right now. I know that you are someone that listens to your heart. That is always so very clear in all of your posts. Right now, I think I must agree with what many others have said. I think you should kick the brain in gear, over the heart, and think this through a bit more. You are under a tremendous amount of stress and worry right now. Carrying a child and giving birth to a healthy baby is difficult under the very best of circumstances. I know this is probably not the advice you want to hear right now but I am offering my honest opinion. Now is the time to concentrate all of your efforts on Keith and getting him through this difficult time. What if you should have some really tough times yourself with the pregnancy? Even morning sickness is no cake walk. I know how terrible you would feel if anything ever prevented you from being there for Keith. Honey, just really think this thing through. Being a parent is a really tough, yet rewarding, job. This is a life long responsibility. I know God will guide you in making the right decision. I'm saying prayers and asking Him to help!

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I am not a current caregiver nor a mother.

So, I am going out on a limb here.

I was a caregiver, of sorts, so I guess maybe that qualifies me.

Anyway..

When brother John was diagnosed with colon cancer his baby was 2years old.

When John was diagnosed with lung cancer his son was 3 years old.

When John learned he was going to die from lung cancer,his boy had just turned 4 years old. John bawled...not for himself, necessarily as much but for his son... "what about my boy???"

He worried that his boy would be all right without him. He grieved that he would not see Jay grow up and help him to grow up to be a fine man.

Now, I grieve for his son who has no father, who lost the love and cornerstone of his little life, his dad.

It is a huge decision, Carleen. I am not saying one way or the other. This is my personal experience.

I saw a beautiful young woman on Oprah who had in vitro post mortem and resulted in twin boys. She was sparklingly happy.

Who knows, dear.

This must be so difficult for you.

Prayers for your best decision that is right for you.

Cindi o'h

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Dear Carleen,

I am going to go with what Don said and that is Go For It! I know that is what I would do.

I also agree with the others saying a pregnancy could be hard on you with all the stress you are going through right now however it may also help you to cope knowing you are carrying his baby and will have his child with you after Keith has gone on to Heaven should that be the case.

A child conceived in love is the greatest gift God gives us.

I also believe God will lead you to the right decision.

God Bless you both,

Jane

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Carleen, I also believe you have a very hard decision. In my opionion I say "Do It" I understand the LC diagnosis and setbacks but any of us can be here today and not tomorrow. I think from what I have learned about you and Keith you guys are very strong, inspirational people and would be wonderful parents.

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No easy answers here for you today, that is for sure. But you probably knew that, huh?

First and foremost, I agree that this is something to pray on. I'm sure you've done plenty of that.

I'm with Katie B in saying that if it were me, I'd want to always know something of Matt were with me.

As an alternative POV, I can tell you that I lost my father at a young age (undiagnosed brain aneurism--never even knew he had it). I was 8 and my brother was 5. Of course it was tough, but in those few years we experienced something that many kids never do: a father who was completely devoted to us. He passed on promotions that would make him spend less time with us, and organized his priorities so that he could be at all of our soccer games, and take us camping on the weekends. I guess I'm saying that it isn't always about how much time you have, but what you do with it. I wouldn't trade my dad, even knowing I'd only have him for a short time, for anything. I grew up knowing I had been loved.

I'm rambling. Hopefully you will have oodles and scads of time to make your decision. I'll add my prayers to yours.

:) Kelly

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Carleen: My first reaction was to go for it. Have a baby. I am a big believer in babies. then I thought about the practical aspects.

You know your situation better than me, but I would risk saying that Keith is going to need you at 100%. I think I recall you saying that you don't have close family members living in your area. If there were aunts and uncles and grandparents to help out, then I think you could do it.

One thing is, to have a baby in spite of the ravages of cancer on Keith and on you too, seems like a wonderful affirmation of life. You would be thumbing your nose at the cancer. (That is my heart talking).

Don M

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I don't have much to add, it is so hard for me to give advice in such a situation. One part says do it, one says don't. One factor to consider, having been going through fertility treatments, is that with IVF (or AI), you are a slave to the dr office, going at times daily or every other day to be monitored. It might be hard to make such a time consuming commitment if you want to go to drs, etc, with Keitch.

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I will tell you what I have told all my girlfriends over the years that have wondered about whether the time was right to start a family. The time will never be right--you will never feel you have enough money, enough time, enough whatever. If you want children don't wait for the right time--it's not going to come. At first I was going to just say "go for it" but then I re-read your post and now I think I would base my decision on what Keith wants. It's clear from your comments that you are willing to go ahead, you just want some encouragement.

Is artificial insemination a possibility? It is much more successful I believe and less expensive than the invitro--also it is sometimes covered by insurance. Good luck whatever you decide-- oh and I do babysit!

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I always vote with the heart, so if your heart tells you to do it, then I say do it. I don't think any loving couple - and Carleen I can tell from your words of love for your Keith that you and he are incredibly loving people - has ever regretted their children, never ever! As we all know all too painfully well here, life can be so short and we have to try our best to live it with NO REGRETS.

Hugs and Love to you both.

Gina

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