Hear candid conversations between people conquering cancer – patients, their family and friends, and doctors and researchers working to help us all.
“I remember, vividly, the quiet, the shock … I will never forget that feeling," said Bethany, who was told treatment would leave her unable to give birth to children. "Those are very big things to wrap your mind around, let alone all together at once.”
Now cancer-free and an advocate for other survivors, Bethany speaks with fellow survivor, Brenda Brody, about learning to live with profound loss and how she created the family she’d dreamed about before cancer.
WHAT YOU'LL HEAR IN THIS EPISODE:
• Ways to navigate feelings of survivor’s guilt
• Advice on adoption as a cancer survivor
• Tips for supporting patients and families through grief
• The benefits of seeking support in the cancer community
Living with Loss
Bethany experienced shattering news after giving birth via c-section to her baby, Hallie: her daughter would not survive. But her pregnancy with Hallie also saved her life. This marked the start of Bethany’s challenging journey with survivor’s guilt. While in treatment, many of the patients Bethany befriended passed away from cancer. Such sobering experiences of loss and grief weigh heavily on her to this day.
“Survivor’s guilt is a very big component of survivorship. When you’re going through this, you meet people with the same cancer, you become a family,” says Bethany. “It’s very hard as a survivor to reconcile, ‘how do I complain about hip pain or pelvic radiation when so and so is no longer with us?”
Starting a Family
Despite losing her fertility to cancer, Bethany and her husband made their dream come true: They became parents. After a long two-year matching process, Bethany adopted her first child. And she got to be in the delivery room while her son was born.
“Adoption is a leap of faith,” says Bethany. “But I knew, no matter how tumultuous it was going to get, that in that moment, this child was meant to be ours.”
More recently, Bethany and her husband adopted again. She remains grateful for the opportunity to grow her family and experience the lessons parenthood brings.
"There is just so much joy and so much gratitude for what this life has unfolded into,” says Bethany.
Bethany Hart was pregnant when she received a devastating diagnosis. She lost her baby, Hallie, and was told treatment would leave her unable to have children naturally. Now cancer-free and an advocate for other survivors, Bethany shares how she created the family she’d dreamed about before cancer.