I was corresponding back and forth in the comments section of the Elizabeth Edwards post about selfishness, having children, not having children, going to enormous effort to have them. You could call me selfish for not having children. I was always afraid they'd have asthma, I was afraid I'd run out on them in a panic, that I would be selfish and not want to pay attention to them. I realized that I think strangers who've tried very hard (hormones, in vitro, etc.) are spoiled, but when my friends and family have taken this route, I'm very sympathetic. What does this mean except that I'm judgmental? Or maybe that I'm envious of celebrities who have been able to stop the clock, the way they've been successful in doing so much else. Both Wendy Wasserstein and Elizabeth Edwards had children late and both died of cancer. Connection? I don't know. I do know that both ovarian and breast cancer have been known as "the nun's disease." My sister has three children and has never had even a cancer scare. I don't have the BRCA gene, and I would bet neither does she. My mother has never had breast or ovarian cancer. She had two children and no more. Is there a part of me that wishes that I could have gone through all the body mechanics to have a child late in life? The truth is that I like options. I always want to feel that I could take up anything, marathon-running, or art or a new language, with my middle-aged chemo-addled brain and body. And you can always find role models. Take Grandma Moses, for example. I've always wanted to experience pregnancy and childbirth. When I come across an ad for a surrogate, I read it, and it takes me a second or two to realize that yes, though I am healthy (if you ignore the breast and blood cancer and asthma), I am not 35 years old any more.