My question is this, I reached the age of 36 and had an education, saved for a mortgage and never had children, it was never a priority. Now I am 41, am infertile from cancer treatment (twice) and my Brother who also told me he never wanted children announced on social media he was expecting his first child with his girlfriend. This was five months after I finished chemotherapy. Now I am so depressed, lonely, left out (my parents are elated) and lost. I don’t know what I’m meant to feel when my eggs will never become what they could have been and now I’m questioning how I could have reached the age I am and not done ‘what nature intended’, did I contribute to the cancer? I feel as though I am being punished. To top this, all my family who never contacted me throughout treatment or since are all ‘so excited’ via social media it seems. ??‍ :female_sign: It is inevitable, this will be a part of my life whether I want it to be or not and the torture will never end. How do I deal with this? My partner is so angry too, but won’t attend counselling.  

Hi Louisa

I think I understand your distress. My experience was different - I wasn’t diagnosed with breast cancer till I was 68 but I experienced infertility, starting in my 20s, and had experimental hormone treatment in my early 30s that simply led to more heartbreak but makes me wonder if the treatment might have contributed to my cancer. Then there is the injustice of not being able to do what everyone else finds all too easy, the why me/why us?? 

Infertility is cruel. It’s the elephant in the room no one will address. It’s the conversation people cover their ears not to hear. Because it fills them with guilt at their own fertility and because they have no answers. It’s very isolating. None of my friends ever discussed it with me. I had a colleague actually say to me, when a group were complaining about their kids, “You don’t know how lucky you are not to have kids”. My parents didn’t talk about things so painful - and yes, my brother had two sons and 4 grand-daughters which brought my parents such joy. I felt a complete failure. My husband would never discuss it, claimed he wasn’t bothered for children but I never believed him. Time doesn’t make any of it less painful because now I am deprived of grandparent duties and friends say I can’t understand the pressures (free childcare) because I’m as free as a bird.

There is no answer I’m afraid, except to say it’s highly unlikely your choice not to have children caused your cancer so stop blaming your poor body. It’s been through enough! Time isn’t necessarily a great healer but you may find that the greater freedom you have enables you to lead a rich life, with freedom to travel, more disposable income - and the possibility nowadays of relevant therapy. You really do need to talk to someone about all this before it festers and makes you more embittered. Many a relationship has collapsed because of this. That doesn’t mean it has to be joint therapy - you carry most of the pain (it’s your body that has let you down - in your head) so you can go it alone, as I did. It helped me a lot, reducing the mental torture to a kind of pragmatism. 

I’m sorry I can’t offer any comfort but at least I haven’t resorted to the “life isn’t always fair” I’ve heard too often. You will learn to accept the fact of your childlessness sooner or later but sooner (with professional help) is better for you. Take good care of yourself (it’s too easy to blame your body when there’s nothing else to point the finger at).

Jan xx


i am so sorry  you are having a  hard time !If you really want  children, there are options rather than having biological kids and yes it is not an easy process. Of course, it is easier said than done :slightly_smiling_face:

I am in a similar situation, life is just not fair. It is so sad really…Good news, i got my  nieces and nephew and it is such a joy too!I hope you have good support around you- either professional or personal? I am so sorry about your family not being there for you, it must be just terrible…

For me meditation/breathwork/hypnosis helped me to accept my situation and the fact that i will not have any children now.

please take good care!