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Feb 17, 2018 02:15PM
Feb 17, 2018 02:20PM
There are different reasons why someone would end up in a forum titled "Is freezing eggs worth it?"
I'll share my personal experience and maybe that will help someone through their decision process.
I was diagnosed at 41 (Sept. 2014) with estrogen positive bc plus HER-2 positive, sizable tumor but no lymph involvement. I'll share with you the reasons why I didn't freeze my eggs and what I've learned since then, 3 1/2 years later.
I didn't freeze my eggs because...
1. I was scared. Scared that delaying chemo would make it spread to the lymphs or just simply keep growing. Oncologists told me from the get go that I might go into menopause as a result of chemotherapy but they don't educate you much on the specifics of fertility issues, at least that was my experience. So I was also afraid that the estrogen involved in stimulating the eggs would also cause the cancer to grow.
What I've learned since then...
They haven't found pregnancy to increase recurrences and the hormones involved in fertility treatments involve much less hormones, so the idea of getting "more cancer" when I already had cancer I think was more fear than science.
The process of stimulating ovulation to retrieve the eggs takes about three weeks maybe even less when you're premenopausal at least, I don't know otherwise. I was diagnosed Sept. 8, 2014 and started chemo Oct. 22, 2014, while I found the right hospital to treat me, I could have frozen my eggs. Which leads me to reason 2...
2. Besides being scared I had to figure out how I was going to take time off from work. I was running around getting all these scans and tests done while trying to choose the best oncologist and hospital. The less time I took off work, the more sick time I was reserving. So I prioritized my treatment. Makes sense, but now looking back: My boss was supportive and I think I've always been a bit of a workaholic, specially precancer, so I remember coming back to work after scanning my brain or a biopsy, because I was so concerned about getting my work done.
Looking back on that...
I should have just made time for it. Period. My fertility should have also been prioritized. I can't imagine it wouldn't have been something I couldn't somehow schedule.
3. I was told that because I was 41 there was 50% I would/wouldn't get my period back. Because I was scared and trying to balance the logistics/planning of my treatment I left it up to faith. In my heart, I felt I would be in the 50% that would get her period back because...my mother didn't start menopause until age 54, and my sisters at that time, 52 and 53, were not in menopause yet, and the reason women over 40 often don't get their period back is because they're closer to menopause, so I figured that wasn't me. Also I was extremely regular, like clockwork, I would know I was ovulating because I had that egg white like fluid coming out of me, very noticeably, every month. I couldn't even conceptualize myself as infertile.
Naive me. What I know now is that my treatment was very aggressive. I never got my period back. And that you can't leave something like this up to faith, you have to be proactive. "Help thyself and I shall help thee."
4. At the time these were my exact words "I am 41 years old, I have not prioritized having a family up to this point, I'm not about to delay my treatment". Of course, like I explained, I didn't realize that I wouldn't really be delaying treatment. But why did I say these words?
Now looking back I realize that the reason why I hadn't had children by 41 wasn't because I didn't WANT kids. In fact, looking back a lot of the decisions I made before age 41 had to do with GETTING to be at good place to have a child. In my heart, there was ALWAYS that little seed, though I was traveling and working on my career, there was a tiny part of me that was open to the possibility of kids.
5. I wasn't around babies much. LOL, but seriously all of my friends were career orientated like me. I have nieces and nephews, but they're older. Then two of my friends had babies, after I got cancer. Watching them go through their pregnancies and being around their babies while being in menopause caused by cancer treatment has been hard for me.
In conclusion, I personally wish I would have frozen my eggs because if I had I would have what cancer took from me: CHOICE. Cancer changed me, I see life differently now, and that desire to have my own children that I didn't feel very strongly about now is strong, and now I don't have options.