As an adult, we make tough decisions regularly. I feel that I have made quite a few since I was diagnosed with lung cancer. We all must make the decision as to what treatment to start or to what extent we want to go with our treatments. We also must decide where to be treated.
I made the decision to travel for treatment. All very important topics to lung cancer or any type of cancer patient. I was diagnosed at a young age where the possibility of having children was still on the table. I recently made a very tough decision, and I will talk about it now.
Family planning decisions
In 2014, my oncologist was forward-thinking and had me speak with a fertility specialist. They drew some blood and did some tests that came out that I had a good egg reserve and that if I wanted to, we could harvest some eggs in case I ever decided to be a mom.
To do this I would have needed to postpone treatment and at the time I was a new cancer patient and did not understand. I wanted to start treatment as soon as possible. I started treatment immediately. It was suggested that if I ever decided to want children that I could use a donor egg, my twin sister for example.
Traveling for treatment
In 2016, I traveled back and forth to Boston from Chicago for treatment. I participated in a clinical trial for 11 months. While I was in this clinical trial the topic of children was introduced again. I do not remember this conversation, but my mom has told me that they spoke with her about this. We again decided that we did not want to move forward with harvesting eggs.
Coming to terms with my family's future
Now fast forward to 2021, I am as healthy today as I was pre-diagnosis and I have been happily married for almost 5 years. I have come across many articles on women having successful pregnancies post-cancer diagnosis so I decide to send my oncologist a message via MyChart that I would like to talk about this at my next appointment. I received a message back with a plan to see if this is a possibility. The first person that I would speak with would be the same fertility specialist that I spoke within 2014. She looked up my file and we talked realistically about my thoughts. She set me up with a blood appointment and with a tele-med appointment to talk about the results.
Unfortunately, the numbers were not in my favor. It has never been my dream to be a mom and I (as well as my husband) had already grieved the idea of never having biological children. I cried at the thought of not having children of my own this time around but I will eventually come to peace with it.
Sharing my story to help others
In the beginning, it was hard for me to fathom the idea that I would be where I am today. I wish that there was someone that I could give this information to and have them help me decide which way to go. I may still seek out a second opinion but we will see.
Have you taken our Lung Cancer In America Survey yet?