Thursday, November 10, 2016

Resolution Reflections: Why I Said No to Fertility Preservation

I remember exactly what I was wearing at my first appointment with my oncologist over six years ago. It was late August and I had introduced long pants into my weekly rotation to accommodate the unseasonably cool weather. I paired my newly acquired (and newly fashionable) ripped, boyfriend jeans with my pale, salmon-coloured, large-knit, short-sleeved sweater. The wide neck of the sweater fell loosely over my bony shoulders and my jeans showed no signs of my typically curvy hips. I had no clue that my weight loss had a sinister source.

In the ten days since a particularly cold thoracic surgeon told me I had cancer, I had prepared for this appointment. I researched everything I could relating to my diagnosis (making sure to casually pass over data on mortality rates). I solicited advice from others I knew who had been through a similar diagnosis before. I made a long list of questions and waited with anticipation to meet my oncologist.

The first question I asked based on the advice from my sister's friend, who had just finished treatment for colon cancer was: "Can I freeze my eggs?"

My oncologist is a kind, focused man who was not at all shaken by my directness.

In his very calm, collected manner, he told me: 
  • We don't freeze eggs. The chances of getting a viable egg after it is frozen is low. 
  • We freeze embryos (a fertilized egg). In order to have my egg fertilized, I would need either a private donor or to select from a catalogue of anonymous donors.
  • Even after fertilizing the egg, not all embryos are viable after being frozen.
  • The process of retrieving my eggs would require delaying treatment for a full menstrual cycle to stimulate ovulation and collect eggs (which could be up to 6 weeks all in).
This information included two dealbreakers:

Dealbreaker 1: The requirement of a sperm donor. My partner and I were only dating one short year. I had given him the out after I was diagnosed - he didn't need to stay with me if this wasn't how he imagined his life as a 26-year-old. We were in no position to begin discussing making an embryo together. The option of a sperm donor fell way too far on the other end of the spectrum. Why would I make an embryo with a stranger when I have access to sperm from a man I know and love?

Dealbreaker 2: Delaying the start of my chemotherapy treatment. I had waited all summer to get to this moment - to sit in front of this oncologist, who knew exactly what kind of cancer I had, who had the keys to all the right treatment, and who held my survival in his hands... After months of powerlessness, patience, and the panic of the unknown, I was finally in control. I had a plan for how to fix the problem. Delaying that plan to preserve my fertility - which came with no guarantees, that raised more questions than it provided answers - was not an option.

What he didn't tell me, that I now know, is the above outlined process costs at minimum $5,000. That would have been a third dealbreaker, considering I didn't have coverage at the time. (There is now, however.) But we didn't get that far in our discussion. 

We agreed that delaying treatment was not an option. I would not freeze an embryo.

My curious, inquisitive disposition only broke that day when my oncologist told me, directly and without any room for question or negotiation: I would lose my hair. And I would gain weight.

I still own the boyfriend jeans I wore that day. I use them as a way to gauge my eating habits. Some years they fit, some years they don't. Last September I was ten pounds lighter than normal after a summer full of running and biking, so the jeans fit me loosely around my hips again. In January of this year, however, I discovered on a trip to Australia (wearing summer clothes during what are normally cozy winter months), the jeans fit snug and tight in all the wrong places. The daily consumption of sweets throughout December had added shape everywhere below my belly button.

The side-effects of chemotherapy are most devastating where they are least visible, however. My ovaries have not shown the same resilience as my hair and hips, leaving me where I am today: 32-years-old, recently married, facing a reality I was not prepared for. And fantasizing about an alternate reality - not one where I agreed to preserve my fertility, I still believe I was right on that - but imagining a world where that young 25-year-old woman, who wanted nothing more than to stay thin and keep her hair, never had to make such a decision.

33 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. America Gun Ban Home, Syndicated by Countrymen Your News Source Worldwide. Taking the stink out of Gun Control and being a Patriot.  live psychic readings

    ReplyDelete
  3. I enjoy just taking a break from studying and visiting your blog. I just wish you posted more regularly. https://royalcbd.com/product/cbd-salve/

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can see that you are a specialist at your field! I am propelling a site soon, and your data will be exceptionally valuable for me.. A debt of gratitude is buy google reviews in order for all your help and wishing all of you the accomplishment in your business.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I concede, I have not been on this site page in quite a while... be that as it may it was another delight to see It is such a vital subject and overlooked by Pompa pabrik kelapa sawit such a variety of, even experts. experts. I thank you to help making individuals more mindful of conceivable issues.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Brilliantly composed article, if just all bloggers offered the same substance as you, the mobile price in bd 2021 web would be a far superior spot..

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you. I'll be back every time. Please always write good comments. 먹튀사이트

    ReplyDelete
  8. Shopping for Google Opinions could be a highly effective strategy to promote your website or weblog. You would possibly suppose that having the voice of your organization heard on Google is an efficient technique to construct up your model, however sadly, that goodwill is not going to come low cost. On common, the value of a Google search range from $35 - $70, whereas the value varies significantly for various firms. It's due to this fact necessary to grasp simply what you'll be able to count on while you Buy Google Reviews India, the best way to use them in your marketing campaign, and the place to purchase them from, to be sure you get one of the best worth for money.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I like what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the very good works guys I’ve added you guys to our blogroll.

    Try to check my blog: 대구오피
    (jk)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Such a great accompanimentPropane Fire Pit



    to your Italian feasts but also a really helpful and refreshing way to learn about wine in the comfort of your own home!x

    ReplyDelete
  11. These are very nice suggestions for reading. You can get more ideas for reading through our blogs.
    Propane Fire Pit

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you. I'll be back every time. Please always write good comments. Propane Fire Pit

    ReplyDelete
  13. I found decent information in your article. I am impressed with how nicely you described this subject,
    Propane Fire Pit
    It is a gainful article for us.
    Thanks for share it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. You've made a very Propane Fire Pit important post.This post is very important and thank you for completing it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Nice info. I am a digital marketer and seo expert. If you want to growth your business please contact me

    ReplyDelete
  16. Well, consider that the good ‘All days, because freelancing is officially EVERYWHERE. Your neighbor, aunt, and high school teacher likely ALL have a freelancing these days.
    And if you want to know how YOU can earn money as a freelancer too, stick around for the end of this article, where I’ll go over 3 things that you can do to start making money TODAY on the Internet.
    Yes, it’s no secret that freelancing is taking over the freakin’ world…
    From social media managers to copywriters, to bloggers, proofreaders, branding specialists, web designers, video editors, and more… there’s a freelancing hustle for just about any and every industry out there…

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you for sharing this great post. For health tipsClick here

    ReplyDelete
  18. A debt of gratitude is in order for the post and incredible buy website traffic
    I likewise feel that diligent work is buy website traffic the most critical
    part of getting achievement..

    ReplyDelete
  19. When it comes to choosing the
    Rajshahi It center for your learning, it’s important to consider a few factors. The first is Expertise trainer- make sure the center can give proper training from a good trainer. The next is Experience – you want to be sure the center is more experience compared to another one. Finally, you’ll want to consider the cost. Make sure you get good value for your money.

    ReplyDelete
  20. When it comes to choosing the
    cba it for your learning, it’s important to consider a few factors. The first is Expertise trainer- make sure the center can give proper training from a good trainer. The next is Experience – you want to be sure the center is more experience compared to another one. Finally, you’ll want to consider the cost. Make sure you get good value for your money.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I like what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the very good works guys I’ve added you guys to our blogroll.cba it

    ReplyDelete
  22. Are you interested to know about freelancing? We have come up with some of the best topics about freelancing on our website.Lets check out in
    rajshahi it center

    ReplyDelete
  23. When it comes to choosing theRajshahi It for your learning, it’s important to consider a few factors. The first is Expertise trainer- make sure the center can give proper training from a good trainer. The next is Experience – you want to be sure the center is more experience compared to another one. Finally, you’ll want to consider the cost. Make sure you get good value for your money

    ReplyDelete
  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have perused your online journal it is exceptionally useful for me. I need to express profound gratitude to you. I have bookmark your site for future redesigns.
    Rajshahi It

    ReplyDelete
  26. it is really helpful. the information in this article is satisfied me. And the information it is very interesting.
    Thanks for this kind of article.인천출장안마

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks for your insight for your fantastic posting. I’m exhilarated I have taken the time to see this. It is not enough;
    I will visit your site every day.종로출장안마

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology.To develop ur career click here Backlink checker

    ReplyDelete
  29. Click to find out how many backlinks have been created for a website Backlink checker

    ReplyDelete
  30. A good ambience and a positive environment leads to a peaceful atmosphere. Having a beautiful home is everybody 's wish. Everyone wants a beautiful home where they can spend some peaceful time with their family. Designing a home is not rocket science. All you need is a creative mind and a vision. Decorating a home requires knowledge and creativity. interior decoration requires a vision and creative ideas. it is rocket science all you need is time and resources. the following ideas always prove beneficial and add quite a charm to the interior decoration: information click hare Backlink checker

    ReplyDelete