2020 Ain’t All Bad

Miles and I traveled to City of Hope last week for my annual cancer scans, filled with the usual scanxiety. This was amplified by the fact that Miles would not – for the first time in 8+ years – be able to join me inside due to COVID-19 protocols. He has not only attended every single appointment, but he comes into the actual MRI room, and sits in my direct line of sight at the bottom of the MRI tube, in case I get scared and need a reassuring look from him. He’s the one who drops me off at one door for my CT scan, and races down the hallway to what he’s figured out is the exit door, just to make sure he’s there when I’m done with the scan. He carries my bag, rubs my back, and nervously holds my hand. So yeah, the fact he wasn’t even allowed in the building was weird for us.

I carried these with me on scan day – Hope made me the heart, & Maggie bestowed on me this precious feather…which she picked from a couch cushion ūüėČ

However, in respect and gratitude for these new COVID-19 protocols, I donned my mask, got my temperature check and wristband indicating I was cleared, and entered the building. Miles drove to an onsite parking lot to anxiously await my update texts and calls, chewing his nails, his legs jumping anxiously (I didn’t have to actually see this to know it was going on). I had my usual blood draw, popped over for a chest CT scan, then headed for my brain MRI. Except for the 3 extremely painful pic line attempts by the phlebotomist who couldn’t seem to find a vein (something I was actually grateful Miles wasn’t there for, as he’d have passed out by attempt number two), all went normally and surprisingly quickly.

I missed my main cheerleader, though, and when he swung the car around to pick me up, I collapsed across the center console into his arms. Being a patient can be a lonely job, and it’s times like this I remember how lucky I am to have his reassurances, his hand on my back, his reminders of why I’m fighting, and his love when blood draws go bad and I desperately need a hug.

Miles’ Scan Day wardrobe since 2012: Same “lucky” plaid shirt and ripped jeans, no matter the temps (usually in the 90s!).

This year was made further complicated by the fact that my amazing oncologist, Dr. Karen Reckamp, switched facilities. I am so happy for her at this awesome new position. But, Miles and I did have to admit that it put a bit of a wrench in our normal routine. We agonized for a few weeks over what to do: stay entirely at City of Hope for old times sake? Switch institutions with her? We opted for what we believe to be the best-case scenario: staying with City of Hope for testing and scans (the superstitions in us just couldn’t imagine doing these elsewhere), and keeping Dr. Reckamp as my oncologist (the thought of anyone else was unacceptable).

We felt good once the decision was made, but as my scan drew closer, new anxieties crept in: Would it be more difficult, now that my scans and doctor were in different places? Were we bucking an already-proven method, and would that somehow lead to some sort of issue? (superstition is a bitch – especially in the cancer world). And, most importantly, would we still be able to get same-day results? I’m not sure I can fully describe to you the amount of stress and anxiety involved in waiting for scan results. Waiting for the scans and tests themselves is bad enough, but the minute those are done begins the waiting and the worrying about what the tests will actually say. What they will mean for your future, your life, your family. All of it. Dr. Reckamp, her amazing PAs, and City of Hope have always gone above-and-beyond to make this wait as short as possible for us, saving us mountains of stress, and probably a few bottles of Xanax. We had no idea what to expect this year.

Our beach babies (ML/HR)

So, we waited. I texted Dr. Reckamp that morning to let her know Miles was wearing his trusty “Scan Day” outfit, something she gets a good chuckle from. And then Miles and I sat in bed, watching episode after episode of The Wire, mindlessly eating junk food, and blessedly distracted by photos and videos of our girls, who got to have a “vacation” at Grandma and Pop’s house while we just WAITED. Around 4:30 pm I (hopefully un-annoyingly) texted Dr. Reckamp a hail-mary, “Just wondering if you might have heard anything on the scans?”

Her response: “Brain and CT look clear. Sleep well tonight!”

My main cheerleader and I screamed and ran around the house, hugged and cried, and let the feeling of another cancer-free year wash over us. The waiting never gets easier. But the relief and hope…that gets better with each passing year.

Cheers to 7.5 years NED (No Evidence of Disease). Thank you all for your love and support.

Much love. Live in the moment.

EmBen

Cover Girls

I am honored to share with you our Cancer Today cover story! cancer-today-coer

Over a year ago, Senior Editor Marci Landsmann read my surrogacy blog post, and contacted me about telling our¬†story.¬†She wanted to focus on our¬†quest¬†for fertility throughout our cancer journey, and after a few interviews, said she’d be in touch for an update once our future children¬†were born.

Shortly after Maggie and Hope arrived, Marci reached out again, and talking with her was like catching up with an old friend. I am extremely grateful for the candid, beautiful, poignant¬†way she told our story. ¬†I’ll admit she made me cry…several times. This story will forever be cherished by our entire family, but it will also provide courage and hope to cancer patients as they struggle to realize dreams of their own families. Thank you, Marci.

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Hey girls, look what came in the mail today!

Also a big shout-out to the photographer, Dawn Bowery. This lady is a rockstar. She and her assistant, Marion, made the shoot so fun, dealt with 2 squirmy three-month-olds, and managed to capture some gorgeous photos of our family. Thank you, Dawn.

I am continually amazed where this journey has taken us.  Thank you to Cancer Today for making this moment possible!

xoxo – EmBen

 

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Mommy reads while the girls devour the article.

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Hope (L): “Wow, Mommy – this is amazing!” Maggie (R): “Check ‘cover girl’ off my bucket list!”

 

Letter From A Soon-to-Be Dad

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Aaron, Angela and EmBen in the hospital. Babies could be coming any day!

Miles wrote this post a few days ago as he flew into Lexington. Now, we are sitting in the hospital, as Angela is being admitted (she had some abnormal¬†bloodwork numbers yesterday, and they thought it best we come in). Since the girls are strong and healthy, if anything is off with Angela, it’s go time. We want to make sure our angel Angela is healthy as well!


“Write down where you see yourself in 10 years,” our professor instructed.

I was a sophomore in college.  Even though I had no idea how I was going to pay for beer that weekend, I had no trouble quickly jotting down my answer.

Classmates were divided and asked to share their goals with one another. The first kid in my group confidently told us that he would be a partner at a Big 4 accounting firm. ¬†Next, my college roommate shared that in 10 years he would like to be a CEO of a Fortune 100 company. ¬†And then it was my turn, so I read my sheet. “I see myself as a dad of two kids.”

Clearly, I lacked the corporate drive my professor was probably intending with the exercise. ¬†But it was the truth. ¬†I’ve always known what I wanted to be: a Dad.

When EmBen and I started dating, having children was not a priority in her life.   In retrospect, it was quite understandable.  She was only 20 years old and focused on securing a job post graduation.  Yet, it baffled me.  How could there be anything more fulfilling than having a family?  What else could you possibly want in life?

I learned in June of 2012 that what I wanted most in my life was to have a healthy Emily. Upon her diagnosis, my priorities were no longer fixated on whimsical visions of a future family, but solely focused on her immediate survival.

When EmBen informed me she wanted to save embryos, I was very apprehensive. I did not want to weaken her body before chemotherapy treatment.   And most of all, I did not want to delay her cancer treatment.  I remember coming to the realization that foregoing embryo preservation would mean we would most likely never have children.  For me, it was an easy decision. Giving up on a lifelong dream was easy in comparison to the threat of losing your life partner.

However, like most disagreements, EmBen won, convincing me that undergoing fertility treatment would assist her emotionally in the fight against cancer.  Our nine embryos were frozen in July of 2012, and remained so as she underwent her vast array of treatments.

Although EmBen always remained positive about children in our future, I was honestly doubtful.  With surgery typically not an option for Stage IV lung cancer, it appeared that chronic, lifelong treatment would be our best-case scenario.  Beyond that, clearance from doctors to have babies would most likely never come.   Even after her surgery, I remained pessimistic, believing children would be too taxing and too damaging to her health.  But like always, EmBen proved all doubts wrong.

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Hugging our angel, Angela. It was surreal to spend the next hour feeling our girls in her belly.

In 2012 I remember writing, after the San Francisco Gala, that the ALCF (Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation) had provided us hope. There was a huge mountain in front of us to clear, but the ALCF¬†had started us on the upward climb. We’ve been on the ascent for the past three years. ¬†¬†And although the climb never stops with cancer, I can’t help but reflect that I am now on a plane descending into Kentucky to meet our two baby girls.

Thanks to EmBen’s courage, determination, and endless fight, I will be a dad. ¬†And although she’s all I need, she is giving me the gift of a lifetime.

Much love. Live in the moment.
Miles

The Waiting Game

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On the way to LAX!

The babies are almost here!

On March 30th, I flew to Kentucky to spend the final weeks of the pregnancy with Angela and her family.  Miles drove me to the airport, and we confirmed his plans to join me when it appears the birth is imminent.

I’ve been in Lexington over a week, spending the first few days at Angela and Aaron’s home. My time has been filled playing games with their three sweet boys, and of course spending as much time as possible with Angela and the “bump.” ¬†Feeling the girls kicking and hiccuping and moving has been absolutely surreal.

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My mom caught this special moment as we were watching tv – the girls had hiccups!

My mom has come from Memphis, and we’ve¬†settled into a nearby rental. ¬†The waiting game has begun! ¬†In the meantime, we’ve¬†been making meals so Angela doesn’t need to cook, tagging along to¬†preschool pick-ups and soccer games, and helping¬†Angela get as much bed rest as possible by binge watching Gilmore Girls. Only 136 more episodes to go. ¬†Thanks, Netflix!

So far we’ve had several doctors appointments, and all news has been spectacular. ¬†The girls are developing well, and it looks like Angela will be able to carry them a few more weeks to put on the finishing touches.

I am not a person who gets overly stressed in difficult situations (see: me sleeping soundly every night since my diagnosis). ¬†But, I think somewhere, deep inside, I have been worried about these girls. I was worried early on we might lose one, or worse, both. ¬†I was scared they might have a genetic abnormality. ¬†I was terrified they’d come far too early, and our first few months would be NICU visits and constant fear.

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So grateful I finally go to be in a “bump” shot!

But being here with Angela and seeing all she has sacrificed for us, and how well she’s been caring for herself and for these babies, just shows me that as far as she was concerned, I had no reason to be worried at all. On top of running her household, and caring for her three (active!) boys, I am in awe of the grace she shows in carrying our precious cargo. She never seems to tire, and she always has a smile on her face. ¬†She has treated this pregnancy with the same tenderness and love I know¬†she gave to her own children, and that is a gift we can never repay. The gratitude Miles and I feel towards her knows no bounds, and we couldn’t have asked for a sweeter, more perfect person to share this experience with, and to bring our girls into the world.

Babies: Stay in there and bake those chubby little Buddha bellies as long as you possibly can. But know that I’m out here, just on the other side of Angela’s [amazingly-small-for-twins-and-incredibly-un-stretch-marked!] belly, feeling your beautiful movements, and just aching with excitement to see you.

Mommy loves you!!!

EmBen

For My Love

When I met my husband, Miles, in college, I was independent, carefree, strong-willed. I wanted a career, and I wasn’t sure marriage or children fit into that. But Miles – he made me laugh like I’d never laughed before. And that’s all it took. His desire for a whole basketball team of kids running around was infectious, and within weeks of dating I knew he was The One. ¬†I was lucky that he felt the same, and am so grateful this streak of luck continues all these years later.

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Miles carried me across the threshold of the little cottage we rented after college.

After college, we moved in together, and I got that business-suit-wearing career I’d always dreamed of. Throughout our 20s we worked hard and played hard, enjoying our “kid-free” time. ¬†We got married at 26, and agreed to take a few years to soak up married life, getting in as much travel and adventure as possible. ¬†

When we were 28, “the plunge” was something we were both ready for. Sure, it wasn’t easy giving up the idea of our carefree life, but together, we were ready for the change and responsibilities that a family involved.

Kickin' Cancer's AssInstead, we got cancer. I say¬†“we” because when I was diagnosed with Stage IV non-smokers lung cancer, I never once felt like I was on my own. This diagnosis affected both of us, and every step was made together. Sure, I was the one with the chemo IV in my arm – but Miles was the one lugging half our house into infusions in order to make me more comfortable: a laptop for movies, earphone splitter so we could laugh at comedies together, pillows and blankets for comfort, water and snacks.

Miles allowed me to focus on my treatments, and on beating this beast, while he took care of literally everything else. ¬†He continued to work, but cut back his hours so he could be at every appointment, furiously taking notes and asking questions. He stayed up long after he’d tucked me in – where he guided¬†me through meditation to ask¬†my body to kill the cancer – and would research obscure medical journals from around the globe in search of new treatment options for me.

9.9.12 NED

Only 2 months into treatment, Miles made this doodle for me, depicting my oncologist, Dr. Reckamp, telling me “Emily, you are NED!” At the time, this felt SO far away. A pipe dream. But, Miles believed this was our future; that faith gave me the strength to make it our reality.

He refused to believe the dire predictions of my diagnosis, and shielded me from all the scary statistics. He knew I needed mental peace in order to win this battle, and I trusted him enough not to consult “Dr. Google” on my own. He scheduled second and third opinions, held my hair back as I hugged the toilet bowl, and got me triple chocolate protein shakes when his research showed that I needed to gain some weight before starting chemo. He called those extra pounds my “chemo cushion” and believe me, I wasn’t complaining.

If I was sick, Miles forewent his beloved Steelers football Sundays. If the only thing I was craving was English muffins and applesauce, he’d drop whatever he was doing Hospital_1to go to the store. He made sure our beloved pup, Ginny, was always on hand to snuggle with me on those particularly difficult days.¬†Even though it doesn’t come naturally to him, he accepted the help that family and friends were offering, knowing that it would help him be a better caregiver to me.¬†When we found out I was allergic to the flowers friends were sending, he contacted our amazing support network to thank them, and request that any further gifts be non-floral. He carefully taped¬†each¬†and every get-well card I received onto our dining room walls, creating a wallpaper of hope and encouragement.

I owe the past 3 cancer-free years to my loving husband. He scoffs when I say this, as if his role has been minimal simply because I was the one getting poked and prodded and poisoned. But his role was anything but minimal. He found the surgeon who would operate on me when no one else would, giving me the cure we desperately desired. When radiation knocked me for a loop and I couldn’t get off the couch for months on end, he nursed me back to health, cheering me on as I took each small step toward recovery.

Miles decided, each day, to take some part of the¬†burden off my shoulders. ¬†He never gave up hope, even when the odds were so stacked against me. He never hesitated, even when we had no idea what the future held, or what life after treatment might look like. ¬†He kept his promise that “cancer would never take one day away from us” by never letting me doubt, and always filling me with hope.

And through it all, he continued doing what he does best: he made me laugh. And for me, that’s all it took.

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Before we were even pregnant, Miles surprised me with this shirt for my birthday. I think my grin says it all!

It’s taken a bit longer than we expected, but Miles and I are finally back on track with the life we always imagined. This April, “the plunge” awaits us – as many of you know, we are expecting twin girls via gestational surrogate. I know we are in for a doozie. But, through all the sleepless nights ahead, the midnight feedings, and the new-parent blunders, I have no doubt that Miles will continue doing what he’s always done: he’ll be there, right by my side, for whatever comes our way. And, inevitably, probably even in the middle of an epic double diaper blow-out,¬†he’ll make me laugh.¬†These little girls have no idea how lucky they are – they’ve got the best daddy in the world.

I love you, Miles. So much. Happy Valentine’s Day, baby!
Emmy

3 Years…NED!

Today marks a special day. ¬†Three years ago my loving husband, Miles, chased after Dr. Flores in the ICU to ask him if my surgery had made me “NED – No Evidence of Disease.” ¬†I held my breath – trust me, not easy with one lung – as Dr. Flores walked back into the room, and I cried tears of joy when he confirmed that yes, I was NED, and he could no longer see any cancer inside of me. ¬†You may remember that I called this “the best day of my life.”

Em, Miles, and NED

It’s true – up until then, that WAS the best day of my life. Hands down. ¬†Now, though (warning, I’m about to get a little philosophical here) every single day after that is my new best day. ¬†That surgery paved the way for every day to be better than the last, because it gave me a chance to live the life that was nearly taken away.

I love this anniversary.  It reminds me of where Miles and I have been, and how lucky we are to be where we are now.  It provides us with a concrete measuring point to look back on that first year mark, and then on the amazing developments that were made possible by turning two years NED.

COH speechYesterday, exactly 3 years after my surgery date, I had an incredible opportunity to reflect on the past three years, as I shared my patient story at the City of Hope Leadership Update summit. ¬†City of Hope is so near and dear to my heart, and I’m infinitely¬†grateful for the chance¬†to publicly thank Dr. Karen Reckamp, RN Carrie Christiansen, and the entire City of Hope team.

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And finally, just because I can’t resist…the latest picture of our beautiful Angela! ¬†She’s doing such a great job growing these little zucchinis! Can’t believe we’ll already be at 27 weeks tomorrow!

Much love. Live in the moment.

EmBen

I’m in PEOPLE Magazine, and the Rose Bowl Parade!

Wow – what an incredible thing to wake up to – we’re in PEOPLE Magazine!

Thank you to PEOPLE and to their reporter, Tiare Dunlap, for publishing such an extensive piece about our story. This will hopefully do much to raise awareness about lung cancer.  Please share to help us spread the word and to encourage follow-up stories!

CLICK HERE for full article and videos

ALSO – watch me tomorrow in the ROSE PARADE! ¬†I’m incredibly honored to be riding City of Hope’s float. ¬†I used to watch the Rose Parade every year with my family, and I cannot wait to fulfill this childhood dream!

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Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice

We recently headed up to the Santa Monica Mountains above our home to soak in the view, and open the envelope revealing our babies’ genders.

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We brought along the champagne Bonnie Addario sent us in New York nearly 3 years ago after my successful surgery. We had been saving it for a special occasion, and this was perfect!

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Sugar and spice and everything nice…that’s what our TWO¬†little girls are made of!

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(In case it isn’t obvious, Miles decorated his gingerbread man…rest assured, I’ll be the one dressing the twins!)

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Celebrating the wonderful news!

Can’t wait to welcome these little girls into the world. ¬†Twin due date: April 18th!

Much love. Live in the moment.

EmBen

Making Dreams Come True

Cancer evokes paralyzing fear as it threatens your entire future.  Life milestones, once assumed inevitable, become unlikely possibilities.   More, your mere existence hinges on factors outside of your control.  The fear can be suffocating; and not just for the patients, but for all those around us.

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Hanging out with Bonnie and some of the awesome patients she’s connected me with – Corey Wood and Sandy Jauregui-Baza.

Through my position at the Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF), I am in contact with new patients each week.¬†¬† The most common question I have is not about side effects or treatments, but rather ‚ÄúHow do you deal with the fear?‚ÄĚ

Miles often tries to paint a picture that I am stoic under all circumstances.  Almost inhuman with my composure.  I’ll admit his unwavering confidence in my own confidence makes me stronger.  But he forgets that on the day of my diagnosis, it was me he found curled in a ball, sobbing in the shower.  Fear had crippled my legs.  And there, under the falling water, I lay completely vulnerable without any strength.  I was suddenly fighting for my life and I felt unprepared, weak, and frightened.

That night, Miles and I made a vow: Cancer would never steal one more moment from us.  We began to plan and talk about our future…a future without cancer.   Each night, we envisioned the same three scenarios:

One, we would give back and help other patients.  The care and support we were receiving from oncologists, surgeons, family friends, and the ALCF was extraordinary.  We wanted to ensure all patients had the same opportunities and advantages that I was receiving.  And today, thanks to Bonnie, I have been given the opportunity to fulfill this promise each day through my work with her foundation.

Two, we would join in celebration with our family and friends to thank them for their overwhelming support.  You all provided us with the greatest gift: love.  We felt it around us constantly.  It gave us such strength.  It inspired us with so much hope.  It bolstered our fight.   So, we started planning a party that we would throw when I was two years cancer-free to thank everyone who helped make me a survivor.

To be honest, in the summer of 2012, a celebration party felt like a very distant dream.¬† There was so much to get through in the meantime: chemotherapy, finding a surgeon, traveling to New York for treatment, enduring radiation, a long and difficult recovery, and finding a new ‚Äúnormal.‚Ä̬† Whenever things got tough, Miles would remind me of how incredible our 2 Year NED party was going to be.¬† Often at night as I struggled, he would start imagining the event.¬† And to make me smile, he kept making it more and more grandiose. No, this was not going to be a typical summer BBQ.¬† It was going to be a fancy affair‚ĶLights illuminating the night sky‚ĶDJ spinning dance tunes‚ĶCaterers walking around offering appetizers with fancy names. He would survey the imaginary crowd of guests and tell me who was there. ¬†It would make me giggle with excitement.¬† I wanted that day to be a reality so badly.

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Some of the gang celebrating out on the dance floor!

And on May 23rd, it became one.  Miles and I threw the 2-Year NED party of our dreams.  And let me tell you: IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT!

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My boyfriend, NED, even made an appearance. And boy was he popular (see pictures below)!

That night, we welcomed about 75 of our dear family and friends to our home to celebrate this momentous occasion. Just as we had imagined over the past three years, the party was spectacular.  We were surrounded by so many people that we could never truly thank in words.  We had family, friends from college, workmates, college coaches, and even Dr. Reckamp and Carrie Christansen, my care team from City of Hope.  And under the glow of about 5,000 white Christmas lights, we ate, drank, and danced the night away in honor of this life event.  In the end, as hard as cancer tried to take away my life milestones, all it did was create new ones to enjoy.

Three, we would spend each night dreaming about our future family‚Ķ.which may not be such a dream anymore‚Ķstay tuned for that in the next post! ūüôā

Much love. Live in the moment.

Emily

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Pause. Play. BABY!

It was the first scan that I was nervous about…I mean really nervous.   So much was riding on this.

Statistically, 2 years of clean scans showing No Evidence of Disease (NED) represents a significant milestone and increase in survival.  But to be honest, as I’ve stated many times on this blog, I’ve never been one to be too hung up on the statistics.

Rather, the 2 year mark was so nerve-wracking because it signified something even bigger…something that cancer so cruelly pauses upon diagnosis…it presented me with the opportunity to finally push play on my life again.

Since my diagnosis in June of 2012, I‚Äôve been the cause of so much stress and pain on my family.¬†¬† Of course, they all never complain, but I could easily see the effects.¬† It‚Äôs not hard when Miles is continually gripping his chest and trying to beat the ulcer out of his stomach. ¬†Or, when I call my grandparents and my grandmother cries each time she says goodbye to me.¬†¬† I hate seeing my loved ones hurting over me.¬†¬† I once asked Miles to just relax and breathe easy, and he told me, ‚ÄúI‚Äôll breathe normally when you‚Äôre 2 years NED.‚ÄĚ So, I internalized his comment and earmarked that 2 year date.¬† Each night, I‚Äôve prayed and hoped for it to come sooner, as with it, I hoped it would finally bring peace to my family.

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We turned the pictures of our embryos into art, a constant source of motivation.

Perhaps what loomed largest though was the opportunity to start a family.  The first step we took after diagnosis was preserving our fertility.   Those nine embryos became my motivation.   I was no longer just fighting for myself.  I was fighting for my future family.   Each morning during meditation I would picture and see this family.  Hold them, love them, imagine a life with them.  It fueled me.  It inspired me to fight harder.   But, we were instructed not to consider a family until 2 years of clean scans, so that dream, like most things after diagnosis, was put on pause.

So a few weeks ago, as we sat there in the doctor’s room waiting for the results of my two-year scan, I could hardly control my emotions.

And then Carrie, our wonderful nurse practitioner, walked in and in her classic nonchalant way, looked at me and said, ‚ÄúYou‚Äôre fine!‚ÄĚ

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With my amazing care team,         Dr. Karen Reckamp, and Carrie Christiansen RN, MSN, C-FNP.

I broke down.¬† I sobbed.¬† I fell into Miles and cried.¬† I let years of frustration and fear out of me.¬† He held me and then whispered in my ear, ‚ÄúYou‚Äôre going to be a Mommy.‚Ä̬† ¬†And I cried even more, but with the biggest smile on my face.

As we shut the car door, ready to head home after seeing Dr. Reckamp (who, by the way, switched me to the twice-a-year schedule for routine scans ‚Äď YAY!), I paused¬† and looked over at the fountain in front of City of Hope.¬† Nearly three years ago, Miles and I and our families had held each other at that fountain after learning I had Stage IV lung cancer.¬† Today, I looked at that same fountain, and just reeled back and screamed, ‚ÄúI‚Äôm NED!!!!‚ÄĚ

It takes a village to raise a child.                     It takes Team EmBen to grow a baby!

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Baby pics from Miles and me at around the same age. I’m so excited to have a little cutie like him!

Miles and I are beyond excited to push play again on life, and start our own family.  But the reality is, we can’t do it alone: we will need a surrogate.   The hormone surges caused by pregnancy have been shown to be linked to recurrence of lung cancer.   As such, I have been advised by my doctors to not carry our embryos myself.

Since Team EmBen has been so resourceful and supportive in the past, we are reaching out to all of you for help in finding a surrogate. We would love to undergo this process with someone who comes from a trusted source.  We understand this is such a large ask of someone, as a pregnancy is a considerable undertaking.  However, if you know of anyone who may be interested in providing this immeasurable gift, we would love to hear from them.

Some questions that may arise:

  • When are we looking to have our child?

Ideally, we are hoping to perform an embryo transfer as soon as possible, preferably this summer.¬†¬† So, yeah, that’s soon.

  • Is there compensation?

Yes, of course!   Money for this process was so thoughtfully donated to us at the time of my diagnosis.  We would love for this money to go to someone we know (or someone who knows someone we know!), rather than an agency.

  • Who are you looking for?

Ideally, surrogates have no major medical issues, have at least one of their own children, had pregnancies and deliveries with no complications, and are physically healthy.

  • What would be expected of me (surrogate)?

Essentially, there would be 3 appointments in Los Angeles.  Each appointment would be a month apart.   You would be able to choose your own OB/GYN at home, and the baby would be born wherever you are.   In the meantime, your only job would be to have a healthy pregnancy.

 If you, or anyone you know, may be interested, please email us at eebennet@gmail.com.

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Sitting by the fountain at City of Hope, taking a moment to celebrate this wonderful milestone.

As ever, thank you all for joining and supporting us on this journey.  We are so grateful to our loving Team EmBen supporters!

Much love. Live in the moment.

Emily & Miles