Monday, March 29, 2010
I often say that cancer is the gift that keeps on giving because it seems as though the effects of having cancer last forever. After nearly 16 months of treatments there were and still are the follow-ups with the oncologist, the surgeon and the radiation oncologist. Add that to the regular doctor and dentist visits and I could be in an office monthly. The most profound effect of cancer has been on my reproductive system. You see, chemo kills everything in its path and it doesn't care about your eggs.
In discussing my treatment plan before chemo I asked the doctor about the effect it would have on my fertility. He replied that there would be no babies without a mommy. Simply, if you don't live this won't be an issue. We thought briefly of harvesting eggs at $10,000 a pop but the focus was just on getting me started in treatment. We didn't really look into saving the eggs. I might not have done things the same way now but there isn't any use in looking back.
Several months into treatment I stopped menstruating. It's called chemo-induced menopause.
Oh menopause, what every 27 year old wants to go thru. I have 2 words for you. Hot.Flashes. Also known as my own personal hell in which you literally fry from the inside out. This lasted for months and months. Even when I would eventually start spotting again, the hot flashes stayed for so much longer.
The result of chemofying my eggs was irregular menstruation, one inactive ovary and lots of guessing as too whether they would recover. Hello little friends, are you in there? Are you awake? Are you ready to jump into action?
About a year and a half ago my gynecologist told me that I would probably be in full menopause by the time I hit 40 years old. As peri-menopause (when your fertility starts to decrease) can start up to 10 years ahead and I was 29, I had better get a move on. We were told that conceiving would be a tough road for us. We weren't even sure it was a possibility. There is no way of telling how damaged your remaining eggs are. My poor little chemofied ovaries. So we wanted to get started right away. B and I wanted to make sure that we gave ourselves the time to try before we had to move on to the next step. Whatever the next step is.
Friends and family offered words of support and pregnancy became a different type of subject around us. What if? Can we? Will I? How? Why? When?
So here we are.
We've been married for less than 4 months and naturally.....