Fertility Treatment

Lymphoma treatment can sometimes affect your fertility for both men and women. When I was diagnosed I was told that there was a chance I would lose my fertility if I had to be put on a higher chemotherapy regimen. 

Some chemotherapy such as ABVD has a low risk of affecting an individuals fertility, and some such as BEACOPP has a high risk. 

Thankfully I was able to stay on ABVD throughout my treatment, however if my scan after my 4th round of chemotherapy didn't show complete remission I may of had to be put on BEACOPP, which would off probably made me infertile.

I have always wanted to be able to have children and to know that the chance of conceiving my own child could be taken away from me because of cancer was devastating.  I wasn't going to let cancer take away something that meant so much to me. So I had to make a decision, do I wait another 2 weeks to get treatment started and have fertility treatment, or do I take a chance and hope that I can stay on ABVD, and get my treatment started. This literally was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, as I really didn't know what was the best thing to do. I didn't know my stage at that point, so for all I knew my Lymphoma could be all through me or it could be at an earlier stage. Would waiting 2 weeks affect my chances of successful treatment?. Then on the other hand if I didn't go through with the fertility treatment I would be risking losing my fertility. Could i be able to deal with that emotionally if that happened? How would I feel seeing my friends with children in years to come and me with none because of cancer treatment. I know you are never guaranteed to be able to have children naturally anyway, but knowing cancer could cause you to lose it is another feeling altogether, when you could of been able to if you hadn't of had cancer. 

Fertility treatment has to be carried out before treatment starts, as your fertility can be affected from the treatment and the risk of infection can be high due to the egg collection process. I also had to discuss with my fiance on what I should do as this decision will obviously affect him. If I couldn't have children then he wouldn't be able to either unless we went down a donor route or adoption. It was really upsetting knowing that I could be taking away his chance of having his own child because of my condition. He was so supportive and told me at the end of the day he would rather have me than children, that he didn't want to lose me. 

I decided in the end to go ahead with the fertility treatment. I thought it has taken 5 months to get a diagnosis so I am prepared to delay treatment another 2 weeks to save something that means so much to me.

I am so glad I made that choice. Thankfully I am still on ABVD and my periods are still going strong. I always worry when that time of month comes around during treatment. I am scared of it stopping and not coming back. Just thinking that I am not ovulating really upsets me, even though I have been told if it stops during ABVD, which it can, it should come back after treatment is finished. 

I hope I will be able to have my own children naturally when I am ready and my body has recovered from treatment, however I will still use my embryos that I have frozen, as I want to give them a shot at life. 

I have been advised to wait 2 years post treatment before I try to conceive as  my body needs time to recover, and if Lymphoma relapses it usually happens within 2 years post treatment, so waiting after this time is safer for you and your baby. Hopefully this is me cancer free for good :). 

 

The Injections

10/06/2020

For around 2 weeks fertility treatment entails many injections every day. At one point I was having to take 3 injections a day. One injection is to stimulate the ovaries to produce more follicles so that I produce more mature eggs than the 1 that is naturally produced every month. Another one is used to stop me releasing these...

Egg Collection

10/06/2020

Egg collection day was scary. I didn't know what to expect. My fiance was able to go along with me and be in the procedure room while the egg collection was being carried out. I was given morphine for the pain and gas and air.

Throughout the 2 weeks running up to my egg collection, I had to travel up many times, sometimes daily, to the royal fertility treatment where I had blood tests carried out and ultrasounds to check how my eggs were developing. As I was having to get blood tests carried out every day I ended up with bruised veins. One...