Coming off tamoxifen early to have a baby
I'm a little lonely over here in the UK and was hoping to find some kindred spirits. I'm now almost two years on from my diagnosis. I was diagnosed with Her 2+, weakly ER+ breast cancer in April 09 at the age of 37 about three months before we were due to be married and a few weeks after completion of our first round of IVF (sadly unsuccessful) for which I'd given up my rather stressful job to give it the best chance. The last few years have been a whirlwind of chemo, surgery (I had a mastectomy and reconstruction and lymph node clearance), radiotherapy followed by herceptin, taking me to mid 2010. For a full five months the Doctors thought I had secondary cancer but thankfully later results showed that they had been mistaken. I'm now on tamoxifen (just over a year in with four more to go) and zoladex and am contemplating coming off the tamoxifen early to have a baby.
I'm waiting for a test on my ovarian reserve which will show whether I am producing sufficient follicles to make embryo freezing viable. Once that comes through (and I suspect it will show that there is no point going down the embryo freezing route) I will have to make the decision whether to come off the tamoxifen this year whilst I'm still 39 and therefore eligible for free treatment (I know, we are SO lucky in the UK) and have presumably a higher fertility rate. Or wait a year or two when my fertility will be at rock bottom. I've never felt so old!!!
This is a very lonely decision to have to make, with no statistics and limited evidence to spell out the risks. My oncologist is very happy with me going down the IVF route, but the odds really do seem to be stacked against it being successful. Adoption also looks challenging for us because of my medical history and my partners (he has a spinal injury and is paralysed from the chest down).
I went for a consult with the fertility clinic over the weekend and was shocked to hear that one of the UK's most famous fertility clinics had never treated anyone in my situation. It seems that very few women of child bearing age, who want children but are at that crucial age when they can't wait five years get the sort of aggressive cancer that I had. Most people have either had their family or have had time to freeze their embryos. So I'm feeling a little alone. Whilst I wouldn't wish this situation on anyone, it would be great to hear from someone else who is struggling with the decision whether or not to come off tamoxifen after a year and a half to try for pregnancy.
Take care allLisa x