Counting My Blessings – the fertility issue


So as well as dealing with the ‘here and now’ it seems that you also need to try to focus on the future.

You see when you are young, and you are diagnosed with breast cancer the fertility issue is bound to creep up… and it doesn’t just creep, it slaps you square in the face.

As well as deciding about surgery it becomes apparent quite quickly that any resulting treatment (be it chemotherapy or radiotherapy) can damage your chances of having children.  That, together with the prospect of early onset menopause from hormone therapy means your options are fairly limited.

I’m sure that my friends & family would tell you that my head is dizzy at the best of times.  Since my diagnosis, my concentration and memory have reached shockingly low levels (this can no longer be blamed on ‘baby brain’ when you have a three year old). Having said that, I am pretty sure – no actually positive, that I hadn’t finished my family.

Both myself and my husband ran a standing joke as to whether we were finished having babies (usually after a sleepless night, a dramatic tantrum or too much wine).  Yet when asked if we had finished our family by my breast care nurse, we did not have a real answer – the thing is that we had not yet decided.

Quickly referred to a fertility specialist we were given the option of IVF or several other drugs to try to minimise any damage that treatment would inevitably have on my body.  Reluctantly we decided to let nature decide, given that we already have two beautiful, healthy children.

Now I can’t imagine what it feels like to have to make such decisions before you start a family.  Or even to be told that having children is not an option.  But I do truly have a greater empathy with all of my friends who have had to go down the IVF road.

The best I can do is to say is how it feels to accept that breast cancer has taken away our choice.

It feels like something very precious has been stolen from us before we even realised it had happened. Something that may have never been there in the first place, but if it was, it has now gone, and that is truly heartbreaking.

In truth, I cannot think about it for too long because I get that ‘girly’ anger where you get so mad the tears well up in your eyes.  So what I try to do instead, is to think of the things that I am thankful for.

I don’t take for granted a single thing that I have.  I know how lucky I am to have two beautiful children and a husband who loves me – and for that I am truly grateful, no matter what the future holds.

7 thoughts on “Counting My Blessings – the fertility issue

  1. This rings so true! Well done for getting it out there, I’m currently in remission from Hodgkins lymphomaI was diagnosed 5 months after I was married, we had no children and we’re discussing plans to start a family and then bang. Unfortunately it was too late to freeze embryos the process would have taken too much time I didn’t have, so like you I had to see what nature would do and was warned babies for us may never happen. I finished 8 months of chemo in 2013, and I’m now sat reading this blog with my beautiful 4 month old baby boy sleeping soundly in his cot! Always keep the faith xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anna you must have been exhausted after 8 months of chemo & even more so now with a 4 month old – it’s so nice to hear things work out for some people, thank you for your message, Dee x


  2. I can completely sympathize with you as I’m in the same situation. Was diagnosed with breast cancer in April and have only just started chemo. Me and my husband was blessed with our first baby girl in December and would love for her to have a brother or sister at some point. At the moment I don’t know if I ever will be able to come off the chemo drugs as it might have spread to my bones but am taking Zoladex injections as a precaution. So happy to have my baby as she keeps my mind off things, got to keep it together for her as she and my husband is the most important things in my life.
    It is great to hear that there is hope still Anna. Congratulations on your baby boy 🙂
    I wish you all the best on your journey Detrice. Sending lots of positive vibes and hope you are soon clear of this horrible disease.
    Diana xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Diana, I hope that you are getting through chemo with the help of your husband, family and baby girl?

      You are right this is a shitty disease but when times get dark (and let’s face it they do) try to look at the positives and any little things that help you personally. I wish you well & please feel free to msg me if you ever need to, Dee x


  3. Thanks for this post Dee – I feel your heartache. I’m in same situ, I was diagnosed in April (my hubby and I had been trying for a baby a long time before this). I went through a cycle of IVF a couple of weeks ago and we now have 3 little embryos in the freezer for when the time is right. This thing is a b@stard – I hope it’s not robbed us of our chance to have our own child.

    I too suffer from lack of memory and concentration ..God knows what it’s going to be like on chemo?!

    Cherish your dear children and I wish you well and a speedy recovery.
    Allie xoxo


    1. Thank you Allie, I hope that your IVF is successful and the rest of your treatment goes as smoothly as possible. If you ever want to know anything I hope I could help (I’m also quite good at talking nonsense!) Dee x

      Liked by 1 person

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