There are two pregnancy tests in the very back of my bathroom cabinet. They are from an era long gone, a time before I had 2 diseases and had not yet lost all expectation for a normal progression of life.On February 16, 2011, I was thinking about throwing them away.
Bobby and I had been told that having another child would be complicated and improbable for us. Months of chemotherapy was so likely to damage my eggs that I was advised even fertility specialists may not be able to help us conceive again. Not to mention, it took us nearly a year of trying to get pregnant with our son; months of disappointing pregnancy tests with only one blue line taught me that I don’t conceive easily in the healthiest of circumstances.So, I had resigned myself to having an oophorectomy (for future cancer prevention) within the next couple of months, the surgery that would permanently remove my ovaries - and with them of course, any possibility of a future pregnancy. In the meantime, as recommended, we had been using contraceptives, (a natural family planning/barrier combination) - on the rare occasions it was an issue during this time of extreme tumult.
On top of all of that, I am only 2 months out from taking Lupron, the drug that shut down my hormone production completely; I’ve had only 1 menstrual cycle since ceasing that medical menopause.But it’s been longer than a month since that 1 cycle, and I’m just going to toss them out anyway…
I open the box. I am a little bit curious about this inkling I’m feeling. Or maybe I’m just being nostalgic. For whatever reason, I take the test.After months of fixation and then a painful release of hope for a second pregnancy, I am a bald, skinny, scarred, and unhopeful woman in the middle of radiation treatment – who watches two blue lines show up on the pregnancy test.
Incomprehensible.Cheap tests; they must be expired or something. I take the other one. Again, those two blue lines.
A thick fog of confusion is rolling in, clouding my consciousness. I pick up the phone and call the Oncological OB-GYN. He returns my call immediately. Are you giving me a medication that would make a pregnancy test come out positive? I ask, believing this is the explanation. Is pregnancy even possible?I hear his words through the haze, “possible….get a blood test…..radiation exposure…miscarriage…abortion…”
I’m staring out the window of my dining room. The sun is shining. The eucalyptus leaves are blowing in the coastal breeze. And the world is spinning without me. I have left. I don’t recognize a thing in this life anymore.
I walk down the street to see a primary care physician for blood and urine pregnancy tests. The group is called “Providence Medical;” their name is emblazoned in huge letters across the exterior of the building. As I am questioning the very idea of God’s guidance and protection, I step through their doors.
“Congratulations,” they tell me.
From Providence Medical Group, a deliriously confused young woman makes her way across the street to her radiation oncology office to tell them she’s pregnant.