‘I Always Knew I Wanted to be a Mommy’ – Cancer Survivor Stephanie Virgin’s Story

SurvivorNet Staff

Being parents was always part of the plan for Stephanie Virgin and her husband. After being married for about three years, they decided the time was right, and Stephanie went off her birth control.

Soon afterwards, she started experiencing symptoms that she now knows are signs of ovarian cancer. “I had cramping, but I thought it was a good sign for getting pregnant,” she says. “And lower back pain.” She made an appointment with her primary care doctor, who told her he thought a large ovarian cyst was causing her symptoms. “He said that it was very common in women after going off birth control, and that the cysts sometimes resolve on their own, but when they get big they may require surgery.”

Stephanie went into the hospital for what was supposed to be a simple laparoscopic procedure. “But when the doctor came in to wake me up, he told me I had ovarian cancer and they had to do a total hysterectomy.”

The loss of her fertility was devastating for Stephanie, but her husband was there to support her. “He was just so sweet,” she says. “He said, ‘I promise I’m going to do everything I an to make you a mommy.'”

And he made good on that promise. Several months later the couple applied for and were approved as foster parents. The couple’s friends and family made them a “planning for parenthood” party “to make sure we didn’t miss out on as many parenting experiences as we possibly could.”

What Stephanie wants other women with ovarian cancer and dreams of parenthood to know is that while the loss of fertility is a true loss, parenthood is still possible. “I love my beautiful boys, and I think in some way I was always meant to be their mommy. This just happens to be the way we got to it.”

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