Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A right? Or a privilege?

So Natallie Evans has lost her appeal to use the embryos that she and her ex partner created when she was going through cancer treatment. This story has been one that triggers mixed emotions for me, not least because it was making headlines last year just after we'd made the decision not to try freezing embryos.

It's not that I didn't want to become a mother, because it's what I've wanted for most of my life, but it was because the odds were so against us and the mental and physical toll on us was going to be too much, especially just before treatment. I still find it very hard to deal with - most days I'm fine, but I still have times where it's a hard thing to realise that you'll never have children that look like you.

But parenthood is more than just genetics and I think that should never be forgotten. It's a commitment. I feel for the ex partner who did not want to be forced to be a parent - and most particularly it was evident to me that he did not want to have children with her. It's a very harsh decision, but at the same time, he SHOULD have a say. Natallie said it's her right to have children - but it's not. Having children is a privilege and one that we take for granted to much I think. It's hardest for me when I see women who use their fertility as a statement - that don't think of the child and their life. Or those who take things for granted. I wish more women would see how lucky they are to have that chance, that they are blessed and have been granted a huge responsibility.

We may still adopt when we can. It's a scary prospect because of the responsibility that comes with it - but I think it would be a wonderful thing to give love and hope and opportunity to someone who needs it so much.

On the one hand, I understand that feeling of utter despair and grief that Natallie feels, but you can't be selfish about parenthood. To do that you're missing the point - in the end it's not about YOU, it's about creating a person and all that comes with it. I hope that Natallie can see that if she wants to be a parent she still has time. I suspect though that her need to have her own child has blinded her to other options.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I hope everyone had a good Easter/Passover/Spring celebration. We had Matt's parents and sister here and had a lovely weekend - lots of eating, and more eating and chocolate and fun activities like the London Eye, and boat trips on the river and seeing Spamalot. And friendly competition over various sporting events.

It's been interesting over the last few weeks - I sent a campaigning letter for Jo's Trust off to some of our local press and MP's (both British and European reps) and it's been interesting to see the response I got. There's not been ANY response from Edward Davey, our local MP which I think is really poor. I know the guy is busy, but surely he has help in handling mail? It would be nice to get some acknowledgement. Most of our MEPs have been pretty useless too - I'd like to name and shame Robert Evans in particular.

BUT - a couple have been great. I quote:
Thank you very much for writing to me about the need for the Government to tackle the causes and incidence of cervical cancer. I have written to the Department of Health about this issue and will let you know when I hear from them. I hope, in the meantime, that you have also written to your Westminster Member of Parliament.

Best wishes John Bowis MEP


Thank you for your email addressed to Mary Honeyball on the subject of cervical screening and the new HPV vaccine. As a member of the European Parliament's Cervical Cancer Intergroup, Mary takes a keen interest in this issue and notes your concerns. She too has been very worried about reports that the number of women attending for screening is falling and she would like me to reassure you that she continues support efforts to increase this and is pushing for the early introduction of the vaccine.
Kind regards
Helen Hegarty
Assistant to
Mary Honeyball MEP

Plus our local freebie newspaper, The Kingston Informer, has been very supportive. :)

This time last year I'd just finished treatment and Col was here. This time I'm starting afresh. I still get very tired - just about everyone I know who has had the same treatment says the same - but at least this time the chemicals are not in my body and I'm able to exercise.

This month I start my Pilates instructors course - I have a few weekends of Anatomy for the next months and then in July I start my training proper. I'm so enjoying my sessions with Lisa, as well as my home workouts and am very excited to be embarking on this. It's scary to think that I'll be running my own business and seeking clients soon, but I'm sure it will work out. Lisa says that she thinks I'll be good at it - the dance training from years ago helps, but also my experiences of surgery and so on help me understand what other people go through from a rehab point of view, which puts me into a different category to the gym bunnies. I've not lost any weight, but can feel myself toning up and getting much stronger. I always feel so confident and good about myself after working out.

Hope the sun's shining wherever you are.

Z x