Health

‘Hey, you look swollen by your collarbone,’ my coworker stopped me. I groaned. I had a huge trip planned. The pain skyrocketed.’: Young woman lives with a chronic desmoid tumor, advocates so her ‘struggles can become guidance for someone else’

“My diagnosis began in a yoga studio. I noticed something was wrong when I couldn’t hold my balance easily. I developed a tight pinching and dull ache in my right shoulder. As I came out from anesthesia, my mom asked the doctor how it went. ‘Well, confusing,’ he replied. ‘The cause of your swelling and pain remains a mystery.’ I was stunned. I ended up in a surgeon’s office. ‘This is suspicious for a sarcoma.’ I had to interrupt. ‘I’m sorry, you said sarcoma? Do you mean I have cancer?’ I stammered in disbelief.”

‘Were you bit by a mosquito during pregnancy?’ The doctor said, ‘I’m having a hard time finding the baby’s head.’: Mom births miracle baby with microcephaly, ‘He brings us endless joy!’

“Every diaper I got to change came with so much excitement. Every feeding was so special to me. But secretly, I was still scared. My heart was attached, but my mind knew to keep a distance, just in case. And then I felt it. ‘This baby isn’t going anywhere.’”

‘You are GOOD FOR NOTHING!’ I sat in the bathroom, crying, asking, ‘Please, send me a new dad. Please!’: Young man creates his own adopted ‘family’ after surviving traumatic childhood, ‘We may not have the same bloodline, but they gave me life’

“My dad was the disciplinarian at home. DO NOT MAKE DAD ANGRY. I don’t remember hearing ‘I love you.’ From my dad. Ever. He was brought up in the traditional ‘macho’ way. He’d constantly tell me, ‘I had it MUCH worse than you growing up!’ But then something really weird began to happen at school – it made me feel warm and fuzzy. I was validated and encouraged by teachers. Wait, what? A hurricane of hormones was wreaking havoc on me. I was an angry teen who needed to fill the hole in my heart.”

‘In the middle of Target, I had a stabbing thought, ‘You didn’t turn the oven off.’ I’d never felt panic before. This was panic.’: Mom insists ‘anxiety will not win’ after suffering panic attack

“I hear a faint call, ‘Mom…Mom…. MOM!’. On the third ‘mom’ I was snapped back into reality. ‘MOOOOOM!’ A louder fourth one came out 2 inches from my face. I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t hide it. I sat on the floor in the middle of an aisle in Target and started bawling.”

‘Not many husbands would support their wives bringing someone else’s baby into the world.’: Woman becomes surrogate for struggling couple after giving birth to 2 rainbow babies

“The day before my vacation to the Caribbean, I realized my period was late. I spoke to my mom on the drive home from work. I’ll never forget her words: ‘Honey, it will probably be negative, but you will be drinking on your trip. Just take the test for peace of mind. ‘ I took it that night. It was POSITIVE! I laid there in so much pain, sobbing, and praying for a miracle.”

‘Telling her ‘he is gone’ was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. She has no siblings anymore. Just a big pile of heartache.’: Mom has to tell daughter her brother is dead due to opioid crisis

“John absolutely adored his sister. He was fine with people thinking that this beautiful blonde, this older woman, was his date – he would go out of his way to ham it up for whoever was commenting. ‘Come to me darling,’ I can hear him say. His eyes twinkling with glee. He would protect her. He just loved being with her.”

‘My ears got hot, my blood was boiling. I took a screen shot of his soul-crushing report card. My mommy instinct was pissed.’: Mom appalled by son with Down syndrome’s report card, ‘Stay angry. Keep fighting for your child.’

“The envelope showed up in Judah’s backpack. I wasn’t expecting his report card, but I was eager to see how the goals we put in place manifested themselves. Imagine my surprise when that paper was littered with the lowest scores possible. My stomach lurched. My logical brain understood, but my mommy instinct was still pissed. Imagine how this little boy will feel when he understands what those 1’s will signify?!”

‘Well, why didn’t you?’ She stared at me blankly. Her question stuck with me for months.’: Mom learns important lesson in politeness after daughter’s candid question

“Stunningly, two women said disparaging things about a close family member of mine. Instead of responding the way my inner voice wanted me to, engaging in a verbal street fight, I was polite. I pulled my daughter aside, got eye-to-eye with her and told her my lie. ‘I want you to know it’s always OK for you to not interact in situations like that.'”

‘They’re gone, we lost them.’ A substitute teacher touched my belly. There was no belly. I had to mutter these words.’: Couple struggling with Fragile X Syndrome, infertility, finally pregnant with rainbow baby, ‘People tell me how strong I am. I wasn’t given another choice.’

“We were having identical twin girls. My husband and I were overjoyed. But our twins did not develop their brains. We lost both our little girls. Because I am a teacher, I had to write to all of my students’ parents about what happened, asking them to explain it to their 5-year-old children. There was no belly. I had to mutter the words, ‘They’re gone, we lost them.’ It leaves behind scars, fears, and triggers.”

For our best love stories, subscribe to our free email newsletter: