Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fertility Rescue

This post is on the semi-controversial topic but ever so important topic of fertility salvaging before chemo or stem cell transplants. I originally started a post a year ago upon meeting with my fertility specialist the first time but it is so hard to put the entire experience into words everything in my head onto paper blog. Being 23, now 24, and single is just really weird/awkward to be discussing my fertility at all much less in a blog post.

I met with a fertility specialist to rescue and preserve my abilities to have kids with my future husband at some other point in my life and honestly it was probably one of the best and most important decisions I did in my journey to dominate cancer so far. It is so weird to think about and act upon fertility salvaging at such a young age with no prospective beau in sight. But with the chemo and SCT(stem cell transplant) was just that much worse on a body and with being told it renders most sterile my decision was pretty easy. My doctors recommended rescuing of eggs even though we didn't know the state of my eggs just from the cancer and my original 6 months of ABVD chemo. Faith and trust in your fertility specialist is key and during my first meeting with Dr. D he said "we might as well try because we can." and so we did.

After 3 weeks of fertility shots I was able to harvest 29 eggs and of those eggs 28 were viable which I feel has to be a percentile record or something since it was understood typically 1/3 of eggs harvested are not viable. 

The experience of fertility salvaging was one that I hold with extreme emotion still. Fertility salvaging is not for the faint of heart. I had to get over my fear of needles significantly with fertility salvaging. I had gotten over people taking my blood at the age of 21 when I coughed up blood and life started changing forever, but it was another step to have to give myself a shot was something that blew my mind. I mean I looked at the nurse like she had 3 heads when she told me I had to give myself shots. I did it though, I overcame, I conquered and I only gave myself a bruise once in three weeks of shots. One night I ended up on some reality show following alternative conception stories and a nurse was going through fertility shots and she had bruises all over her stomach so I felt much better myself and my shot giving abilities while praying she never gave a patient a needle of any kind.

Fear not though you will survive the daily blood draws, the invasive sonograms, and shots because at the end of the chemo you may be like me and your monthly gift from mother nature may not return. I have not had my fertility checked since the chemo and SCT last summer so I don't "officially" know it's gone for good but when normal natural functions are gone I begin to wonder. Fertility salvaging is a humbling experience because I at least know that when I have to tell my future husband about the side effects that chemo and my SCTs did to me and I have to explain that I may not be able to naturally conceive I have set up a back up plan that can be explored. I also say that to say this I have always believed adoption in my future as well and that was long before cancer and chemo ever came around and messed with my fertility. I am happy I looked at my options and was able to get egg harvesting fit into my tight scheduling windows.


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