A question of fertility.
One of the stark #breastcancertruths that premenopausal women face. As a treatment plan is mapped out, the question of having kids comes up. I was in my first appointment with my then fiancé and mom beside me. Asking if I wanted to take the steps to preserve my fertility, because the likelihood that chemo would make me infertile was high. Talk about a gut punch right after hearing the details of my cancer.
I’d barely been engaged 6 months and we’d been looking forward to becoming parents someday. But there we were, faced with not only my mortality, but the question of our potential family.
It’s a stark reality, and I took the risking putting chemotherapy off for a month to try for just ONE cycle to preserve as many viable embryos as possible.
The other shit part of it? Fertility preservation for cancer patients is NOT covered by insurance. Yes, I appealed the decision. Even though it wouldn’t be happening otherwise, it’s not deemed “medically necessary.” I was outraged and heartbroken.
So in our desperation and short time frame, a nurse recommended the preservation grants from Livestrong Fertility. I applied and thank God; we got the financial assistance from their grant to make it happen. That was 4 years ago this week.
We successfully saved 7 lucky embryos which are still cryo-preserved at Northern California Fertility Medical Center.
Fast forward to last summer, I took a break from my hormone blocking meds, so we could either try and get pregnant naturally, or go for IVF with our embryos.
I was given a year to try, and after just one cycle we found out we were expecting. Miracle of miracles. I fully recognize my story can be triggering for a lot of survivors. This is the exception scenario, not the rule.
But it’s given me renewed faith in my body, that cancer stripped from me years ago, after it felt like it betrayed me getting sick.
This photo was taken hours after we welcomed our son into the world, and the pure joy I felt is indescribable. I’m crying just writing this.
Fertility is such a deep and intimate topic for young cancer survivors, of all kinds. I’m beyond grateful for how my story has unfolded and don’t take it for granted for a second.