What comes first? Easy…the Egg!

24 Jun

Although first hearing the news that I had cancer was devastating, never once did I think I couldn’t beat it.  It was simply an inconvenient bump along the road that I would soon look back upon and feel strength for having conquered.  It wasn’t a permanent ailment, rather a temporary obstacle.

When meeting with one radiation oncologist with less than stellar bedside manner, however, I was hit was a stark realization.  My ovaries would be fried after chemo and radiation treatment.  Yes, I actually think he used the word ‘fried’.  I had finally been hit with one of the first permanent realizations of this entire process.  I had been told – in a rather crude way – that I would never be able to have children.  Prepared for this – I was not.  In fact this news completely blindsided me in a way that made me feel so powerless.  For the first time in a long time I felt I had no control over something…and I wasn’t prepared to relinquish this control.

We marched out of that doctor’s office putting all talk of treatment options on hold.  We had now been presented with a new mission, a side mission if you will:  Save the Eggs!  A new team member was about to be added to the E-Team.  Several years ago a former co-worker of mine had gone to a fertility clinic and had great success with them.  Instantly recalling its name, the Fertility Center of Las Vegas, I googled the address on my phone and we were at their front desk minutes later. (One thing we’ve learned throughout this entire process is that appointments are for those who are patient and have time to spare.  Well, I am one of the most impatient people I know, and time in this case was certainly of the essence.)

After a crash course on IVF (in-vitro fertilization) the decision was easy.  Expensive but easy.  We were going to proceed with a 10-day treatment that would mature multiple eggs simultaneously.  Following this maturation period, the eggs would surgically be extracted.  At this point, one has the decision to freeze eggs or freeze embryos.  Due to its higher success rate, we made the decision to do the latter.  The likelihood of the radiation treatments destroying my ovaries and the finite number of eggs in them was very good.  We were presented with this one chance to harvest as many eggs as possible for future insemination.  Crazy!  Nick and I have always known we wanted kids but not anytime in the near future.  We were thinking 4-5 years out.  Never did I think I would be on hormone injections and pre-natal pills less than three months before our wedding!  While the entire process is still not a guaranteed thing, we couldn’t bear the idea of knowing we hadn’t at least attempted to save my eggs.  And on the other hand, there is still a very slight chance that I will have eggs that survive the treatment, however despite the fact I live in Vegas, I’ve never been a betting person – especially on something like this.  We viewed this entire process as an insurance policy.


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