I’m sure a lot of you know and understand that a lot of chemotherapy treatments can affect your whole body and not just the cancer itself. One of this being your fertility. Because the cancer had spread quite drastically the doctors made me aware that the treatment I would be having will definitely affect it and that I didn’t have time to freeze my eggs. I understood that my life was much more important at the moment and I honestly couldn’t even begin to think about my fertility with everything else I had going on.
Until that is, when they discussed the stem cell transplant. They informed me that the chemotherapy to go with the transplant will make me infertile. I literally felt my heart break. Obviously, at this young age I hadn’t thought about kids. I haven’t needed to and as a female you just think that’s something that’ll naturally happen down the track. The thought of that being taken away from me was honestly heart rending. I’m aware of all the many options out there these days, which none of that made me feel any better. The thought of possibly not having my OWN children pains me. My own little mini me’s. I just so badly want to be a mummy!
Originally, freezing my eggs wasn’t an option and I had to somehow accept that. It wasn’t until I had finished all the cycles of ICE that I started getting my period back. (I had never been so excited to have my period) haha! I had let my doctor know, purely because I just tell her anything that goes on with my body. Although I wasn’t expecting anything to come of it. She had spoken with one of the top nurse’s in the Oncology department about it as she also used to work in midwifery. Apparently they have never seen a patient come off this intense chemotherapy and get their period back. They gave me the option to try freeze some eggs before the transplant.
I was soooo bloody excited about this. I felt my face light up and I couldn’t stop smiling. I just thought, wow, the universe is finally working in my favour!! I could have my own child one day and my heart felt so full in that moment!
The procedure was basically like an IVF procedure where you have a certain amount of injections into your stomach everyday. Mine was for about 10 days. Normally your ovaries only produce 1 egg, where as this injection encourages the follicles in your ovaries to produce more. Once the 10 days is up, you go into the clinic to have them collected out and in my circumstance frozen until I’m ready to use them in the future.
Before the procedure the nurse’s in the clinic have to let you know that there may be a chance they don’t get enough, or any at all. This didn’t worry me as I was so certain and so positive that things were going to be okay. And by looking at the ultrasound things definitely were looking great.
The procedure itself was super straight forward and barely hurt. It was more of an uncomfortable sensation, like a sharp cramp in the stomach when they drain out the fluid from the follicles to get the eggs, which was bearable but they do give you the green whistle to suck on during. To be honest, I could have definitely done it without. Whilst they are draining the fluid they have a scientist searching for the eggs. As we finished, she came in and delivered the news that they couldn’t find any. As I’m writing this now I have the same sick, heartbreaking feeling in my stomach. My heart is actually beating so fast, I don’t really know why! But to hear that news was so devastating I literally cannot describe the feeling. I just sat in the chair and balled my eyes out while all the nurse’s gathered around me and brought me cups of tea and tissues. They were seriously the sweetest ladies ever!
Once I had settled a little, the scientist who was collecting the “eggs” came in for a chat. He told me that my ovaries looked as though they had been messed about, most likely from my situation. He was very sympathetic and gave me the option to have another go, although it most likely would be the same outcome. I’m definitely going to have another go (if it’s okay with my doctor) and I probably would have tried sooner, but with everything else that has happened since, I’ve held off to gather my thoughts and to process everything.
Since the collection which was in September I have been taking a herbal supplement called “Chaste tree” which is a dried fruit. It offers a natural solution to many fertility issues affecting woman. Considering I love to lead a healthy, clean, natural as possible lifestyle, I’m obviously always open minded to trying out natural remedies when someone’s approached me about something or I’ve done my own research, so when a naturopath came to me with this I thought why not? What have I got to lose?
I’m hoping that this along side with taking care of my body and having been out of the intense chemo for 6 months now (immunotherapy doesn’t affect fertility) things may be on the mend. I understand the doctors think I could be infertile now, but I personally believe in miracles and being able to heal the body. You read and hear about them all the time. Especially pregnancy miracles after chemotherapy! If I can do another egg collection, and IF it doesn’t work out which I’m going to stay positive that it will, I absolutely WILL NOT be giving up on my body in the sense of having babies. The human body is pretty damn amazing, and can do pretty amazing things!