Monday morning. Have spilled orange juice all over myself, but thanks to a damp sponge and a (once) clean tea towel, have cleaned up mess. Weather: cloudy. Apartment: messy. Allergies: active. Temperament: A-okay, despite the orange flavour to my bathrobe.
I nearly forgot that Easter was coming. This year we’re staying at home – going nowhere—for the sake of Zsolt’s study habits and the impending viva. But I will miss having an Easter with family. In Canada we go to my grandmother’s home (Bonjour Lulu!), or someone’s home in Quebec, and share a lunch. My family is comprised of cooks and bakers, and people generally produce excellent food. Like, lick your fingers and smack those lips excellent. When we were younger (proper grandchildren rather than adult grandchildren) Lulu would always hand out these large chocolate bunnies with marshmallow filling. They were pretty to look at – I loved the idea of them, the idea of the chocolate and the bright pinks, yellows, blues on the wrapper . . .of a bunny who collects painted eggs and carries a blue tinfoil basket. . . but could never bring myself to love the idea of marshmallow filling.
In Hungary, Zsolt’s mother will hard boil about two dozen eggs, and his sister will prepare the dyes out in the garden. Then we’ll sit around for an hour or two and dye the eggs. I love it. After you have your egg dyed with whatever colour arrangement you choose (all red, half red, half blue, some purple in between, or yellow and blue with a green band, etc) you take some pork fat and rub into the egg shell to make it shine. On Easter morning people crack into the coloured eggs, but Zsolt’s mom saves the prettiest ones from hungary fingers.
And speaking of eggs, I have a fertility appointment this week. Wednesday. It’ll be a family gathering of sorts, in that it’s about family and there will be a gathering - just not of the Easter kind. A good friend recommended I stop thinking about fertility and just give my body a break. Sound reasoning. It’s on my ‘to do’ list (along with some meditation). But first there’s this appointment.
People tell me that I have options. Okay, Catherine, you have options. The doctor last week very kindly told me that ‘it’s highly likely you’re period will come back’. It's nice when the term ‘highly likely’ refers to something good.
There is this option of egg donation. Have you heard of it? Essentially, a woman donates an egg, and the recipient of the egg can have it inseminated with a man’s sperm (her husband’s or partner’s I assume), and that egg is then planted into the recipient’s womb. I guess it’s a bit like in vitro fertilization. And that’s where my knowledge stops. Are the chances of conception similar to in vitro? Would I need to take a load of drugs beforehand? Are women truly willing to give up their eggs?
Zsolt said, ‘well women lose an egg every month if they don’t conceive’, which is true. But for some reason, it feels entirely odd to imagine donating eggs. It feels slightly like donating a baby. But men have done this for ages – they have sperm banks for goodness sake, and I’m not sure they feel similar inhibition to the idea. Maybe that’s because it’s a generally accepted action for men (“go forth and procreate”)? Or maybe it’s because the process is far more invasive for women? I don’t know. If you had asked me two years ago if I’d like to donate some eggs to women who cannot conceive, there is a good chance I would have passed. But now, waiting for my period to return with crossed fingers, I’m starting to realize a different perspective.
Then there is the adoption option. Another murky area. The idea is very nice, and almost ideal if you cannot have children. Plus, you’re making a huge difference to a child’s life. Surprisingly – but of course, if you really consider it – a social worker friend told me that most babies/young children adopted are those removed from their families because the parents are deemed unfit. Of course, this doesn’t change the fact that adopting one of these children would be a blessing, but you can see how there are complications.
And then I guess there’s ovary stimulation? I really know nothing about this. For all I know, the doctor takes a giant feather and tickles a woman’s belly. But I’m guessing it involves hormones and drugs and all those little goodies I’d rather avoid.
Anyhow, Easter is coming, and I have trouble not thinking about my lack of menstrual cycle. All these baby chicks and lambs and horses – all my friends totting their beautiful children – it makes me wonder, will I be part of this?
Before cancer the answer was, ‘yes’.
After cancer (after chemo) the answer is, ‘hopefully’.
Right, back to Monday morning. Orange juice is under control. Time to make some breakfast if I can find a clean dish in this mess. Yesterday I made a fantastic meal of some curry chicken and soup. But fantastic meals leave me knackered, and I can never bother with the dishes immediately. As a result my flat looks like a culinary Armageddon.
But that’s okay. And now, onwards with the day.