A little over 4 years ago, in the winter of 2015, Joe and I experienced the happiest and most devastating time of our lives all within a 3-month period. We had just had our first child, Miles, who was 2 months old at the time, and shortly following that we received the terrifying news that I had cervical cancer.
It all started when I went in for my routine 6-week check-up after having Miles. I got a call from my Dr.'s office saying they wanted me to come back in for a Colposcopy (a more in-depth pap smear exam) because my Pap Smear results showed some abnormalities. After that appointment, my Dr. decided I would need to undergo the LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure - a treatment that prevents cervical cancer) which is fairly routine and "nothing to be worried about". So like we normally do, we remained positive and didn't think too much about it since I also had quite a few friends who had been through the same procedure and everything turned out fine. 2 weeks later I checked into the hospital for the LEEP and was checking out less than 2 hours later. It was quick, easy and I remember not feeling worried at all. That all quickly changed.
2 days later, while I was at work, I received a phone call from my Dr. which I thought was going to be her telling me everything was OK. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I will never forget those first words we had over the phone...
DR: "Do you have a minute to talk?"
ME: "Yes, literally 2 minutes because I'm about to walk into a meeting..."
DR: "We're going to need more than 2 minutes..."
My stomach instantly sank. I immediately ran to the bathroom and I can hardly remember anything she said after I heard the word "Cancer". It was the moment you see in movies or hear about from a friend of a friend, but never happens to you. Well, it was happening to me. To our family. I completely broke down and didn't know where to go or what to do. I was in shock. "What does this mean? Am I dying? How do I get better?" All of those thoughts were racing through my head.
3 days later, Joe and I were at an appointment with our Gynecological Oncologist, Dr. Doering, and he was telling us I had Stage 1B Cervical Cancer. Of course, in those 3 days leading up to that appointment I had Googled everything there was about Cervical Cancer and I knew what that meant...I was going to need a Hysterectomy. My tumor was 7mm larger than a Stage 1A tumor which would have enabled me to have another LEEP procedure vs. removing my uterus, fallopian tubes and cervix. So while getting the great news that my cancer could be removed surgically, we were also receiving the horrible news that we would no longer be able to have children naturally.
Now, enough of the bad stuff :) Joe and I are positive people, so we had to stop focusing on the negative. The great news was the surgery would allow me to be CANCER FREE and I was lucky enough to be able to keep my ovaries so we could have more children, just in a different way. After 2 egg retrieval’s, 2 failed embryo transfers and 1 miscarriage with our surrogate we have decided we are moving forward with adoption. We are so excited to grow our family, but as you can imagine, it’s been extremely hard on our family emotionally, mentally and financially.
In case you are unfamiliar with surrogacy, like we were, the costs involved included (all out of pocket - our insurance does not cover anything): medical bills for In Vitro Fertilization, lawyer fees, surrogate "pain and suffering" payments, additional insurance for surrogate, medical bills for prenatal care and pregnancy, medication costs and more. While going through the procedures with our surrogate we spent $80k + and have depleted most of our savings. That being said, we are attempting to figure out how to pay for our adoption, which is why we need your help!
Thank you for taking the time to read about our journey. We greatly appreciate any donation that can help us with our adoption fees and payments. Your support during this time is something we hold close to our hearts.
All our love,
Taylor, Joe and Miles
- Barb Lewis
- Taylor Rich