My experience seeking information about treatment and fertility preservation options
You can also read the transcript of the video below.
I got diagnosed actually Thanksgiving morning. So, the day after Thanksgiving, I had tried to contact every doctor I could possibly think of. From a surgeon, to a general doctor to an oncologist, and, we forget that the day after Thanksgiving—everybody’s closed. That’s worse than New Year’s Day. I finally got in touch with my general practitioner and he gave me a name of a breast surgeon and I contacted him on Monday, after Thanksgiving, and just started my treatment right after that.
What I mean by treatment is actually starting to see the plastic surgeon, starting to see the breast surgeon, made an appointment with an oncologist and tried to gather all of my doctors, to get all my ducks in a row before I started any of the actual procedures.
The research that I found online I tried to do immediately because just like everyone else, you want to kind of see what’s out there, who’s out there, what kind of books are out there and there was nothing on fertility. I had such a difficult time, knowing that I was single and I did not have children, I wanted to know what was going to happen to me, were they going to have to take my ovaries? I did opt for a bilateral mastectomy, but I didn’t know whether they were going to have to take my ovaries, if my ovaries were going to be affected by the chemotherapy. That was a very big concern to me and I couldn’t find anything out there on it. I asked my doctors, I asked my oncologist, I asked my breast surgeon and nobody had any information for me.
When I had started my treatment, my oncologist had talked to me about either harvesting some eggs, or just letting nature take its course and what she did tell me though is that the dose dense chemotherapy program that I was going to be on would basically put my ovaries in, she used the word “hibernation.”
It was very much like menopause. It stopped my ovaries from working and basically it saved my ovaries and that was the only fertility I really knew about. I did not harvest any eggs, but that she was going to make sure that my ovaries were put into menopause, basically saving my ovaries from working during chemotherapy.
Shortly after I finished my chemotherapy, I got married and subsequently a year and a half after my diagnosis, I was blessed and got pregnant with a daughter, and had her, obviously, 9 months later, and just most recently, we had a second child, so we were very blessed and we’ve had two children post-chemotherapy.