5 years ago I was ALL in! I was in university full time, working three jobs, and generally hustling like a MF. Looking back I should have known this wasn't sustainable but I felt on top of the world, like nothing could stop me... until it all came crashing down.
I was driving home one night when a strange pain started to develop in my lower back. At first, I thought it was a cramped muscle, so I tried to stretch it out, hoping I would make it home before the pain became too much. The stretching didn't help and by the time I had gotten home I was in excruciating pain and ended up having to be carried helplessly into the house. I spent the night on the couch curled up with an ice pack to allay the pain.
When I woke up the next day I felt fine, I felt great. I felt so good I wondered if I had somehow imagined it. I went to my friend and chiropractor Jackie Perron to get a professional opinion. At this point I still thought it was a muscle thing but the second Jackie got her hands on my back she said it wasn’t muscle and encouraged me to see my GP right away. To this day I thank Jackie!! If it wasn’t for her encouragement and medical knowledge this could have been a very different story.
My GP tested for bladder infection, kidney infection, kidney stones, ordered a full blood workup and an ultrasound. Over the course of a few days I was poked, prodded, and lubed up. The final determination was a high white blood cell count, elevated CA 125 (an ovarian cancer marker), and a mass in my pelvic area.
I tried to hold it together but found myself silently crying in the waiting room. The sweetest nurse noticed me, sat next to me and calmly said, “I know how scary this is but to try not to worry until we knew exactly what it is. If its nothing, worrying will be a waste of energy and if its something to be concerned about, worrying isn’t going to make it better.” To this day I continually come back to what that nurse said to me and find strength in it.
Don't stress about things you can't control, and if you can control it do something.
That was December 23, 2011. A day that would impact the rest of my life. Over then next 2 years I found myself in the hospital three times removing both of my ovaries and precancerous tumours, dealing with multiple infections, losing over 20lbs (dropping below 100lbs while standing 5’6”), struggling with debilitating anxiety, and facing indefinite infertility all while stepping into being a business owner.
It was a long rollercoaster ride but when the final prognosis of infertility and the loss associated with that was handed down I shed a few tears and then I felt a wave of acceptance and peace. It was strangely calming to know, definitively, the path that my life would take now. I’ve since watched and supported friends through miscarriages and my heart aches for them, their loss, and the pain of being caught in not knowing and not being in control. I am grateful that I know for certain and am not left wondering.
Although it was the hardest time of my life it was also when I evolved the most. I choose to view this as an invitation to unapologetically build the life that is uniquely right for me. I spent the next couple years trying to figure out what I truly wanted my life to look like and build up the courage to begin building that life. While it ebbs and flows, shifts and pivots over time, the pillars are the same.
I will check in with myself daily
I will homeschool my kids
I will build a 7-figure business
I will work 4 days a week
I will travel abroad annually
I will build a legendary marriage
We don’t get any do overs so I’m going to the live the life that is mine and own it! This is my invitation to you to build the life that is uniquely right for you and also support others on what is uniquely right for them. Don't wait until life forces you to reevaluate!
PS. I now live with my husband and two children, Elena  and Felix , who were conceived by donor IVF. I feel blessed by the life I have created and I'm excited to share advice and encouragement to anyone looking for support with infertility or with questions about the donor IVF process.