Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Life's Little Injustices

I'm not really too sure what I think about birth control. I mean I think it's okay with God, but there are some of His people who feel pretty strongly that it isn't, and so sometimes I feel a little insecure in my position that, were I married and were my husband of the same mind-set about this, I would rather adopt children than bear them myself. This has to do with personal inclination as well as some beliefs about over-population and taking care of (widows and) orphans.

One time, however, I was on birth-control pills for another health issue (because my skin is really appallingly flaw-prone, if you must know), and it didn't help anything, and while not helping anything, they also made me dreadfully ill. So I always thought the whole preventing-childbirth thing, should it ever become a live issue in my life, might be kind of a hassle for me as well as being a source of moral confusion.

Given all of these details you never asked for, you would think I might be secretly relieved that chemotherapy is likely to reduce my ability to have children. That way, if I ever do get married, well--maybe I won't have to be as intentional about not having kids.

I'm nothing if not complex and contrary, however. Although my feelings about all these issues have been as delineated above for years, and although I feel exactly the same about them as I write them, I also feel inexplicably disheartened and a little angry that the option is potentially about to be removed from me. I don't want to be "damaged," I guess. I want to be whole, and be able to make these decisions on an equal footing with other people who make them all the time.

And here's the other thing that's ticking me off about the cancer I don't even have anymore: I'm pretty much going to be paying rent on my life for the rest of it. Here's what I mean: For the next year I will be undergoing various significant treatments to reduce my risk of cancer. For the next five years I will be on a hormone suppressant to further reduce my risk of recurrence of specifically hormone-related cancers like the one I just had. But from now until I die or Jesus comes back, I'll have to have check-ups on this area of my body at least twice a year. These aren't simple physicals, and they aren't cheap. I get to pay someone bi-annually to make sure I'm not going to die. I kind of resent this.

Huh. Happy Thanksgiving, eh?

Let's see what I can come up with tomorrow.


Stacey said...

Jenn, you have every reason to feel angry and be struggling. I've had health issues for a long time that have made me wonder whether having babies is an option. I completely agree with your views on adoption being the best idea ever. But it's still just really HARD. The instincts are strong and the issues are painful.

I'm thankful this week for being able to pray with you and for your honesty - for you not pretending it's all easy and ok.

Your loved sister!

Kathy said...

Jenn, you're right, it's big stuff. The after-effects of chemo on your body, potentially your reproductive system, and your bank account, are a big deal to face emotionally. Let yourself be angry. Even with God. He can take it. And, know that it's ok to talk about it when you need to. YOu have lots of people around you who LOVE YOU and will walk through this with you.

Jenn said...

Stacey--Sorry to hear about your own health issues. It's such a drag . . . Thanks for praying. I've been praying for you, too.

Kathy--thank you, too. I do feel very loved . . . even though I simultaneously feel a little emotionally beat up.