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Infertility and Stem Cell Transplant

MChantal's picture
MChantal
Posts: 94
Joined: Apr 2013

Well Kyle is currently undergoing his 4th round of chemotherapy out of 6 rounds.

 

As time approaches, he will be undergoing a stem cell transplant and we were under the assumption that Kyle's fertility would not be affected by his current chemo regime. However, no one mentioned the fact that the stem cell transplant would indeed make him infertile. I have been researching this and stupid me, should of known! Of course, a higher-dose than what he is receiving now would make him infertile! I think I am in a bit of shock and denial right now. What do we do?

 

Is it possible to perserve his sperm before the procedure? Will they even allow that as he is still undergoing treatment? Lastly, even if they do allow it, I would hate is for our child to suffer and have some type of abnormality due to us?

 

As I type this, I do not even know what to write as there is so much on my mind. We were under the assumption that he was going to be okay in terms of his fertility due to what Dr. Nowakowski told us at the Mayo Clinic. We decided to not go through with the sperm banking because of that reasoning and second, insurance would not cover any of it and it would all be out of pocket. I am so confused.

 

Does anyone know anything in reference to infertility and stem cell transplant?

 

Why is this so complicated? Why is this stupid cancer chasing us around in every aspect!?

illead's picture
illead
Posts: 489
Joined: Aug 2012

You have been on my mind and figured you would write when you needed to.  I am so glad things are going as planned as far as Kyle's treatment, (that's what I know we are all hoping for) but so sorry you have this other issue to face.  I'm sorry that I don't know much about the fertility part.  I am sure someone will know though, or at least have some good info or thoughts for you.  I just wanted to thank you for keeping us informed of Kyle's condition.  I know this must be so overwhelmeing for you both and for your families too.  You are both very young and of course, as such a responsible couple, having children is a priority in your lives together.  There are some definites in the cancer battle but also many alternate paths that the battle takes.  I would email some doctors who have done SCTs.  Make your inquiry very brief, you just never know, they may just answer.  Of course we have to be realistic, and that is not easy, but you must never let go of the hope.  Most importantly though is the love you have for each other.  Keep fighting you two and know that we are always here and we all care.  Thoughts and prayers to you both, Becky

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1984
Joined: Aug 2011

I agree with Becky.  I would check to see if the sperm bank option is still available and if it's safe after his chemo and before the stem cell transplant (if possible and chemo has cleared his system).  Adoption (when you're ready) is another choice too.

Great to hear from you and wish you both luck in continued treatment and future parenting :).

Hugs - Jim

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1018
Joined: May 2012

I do not know what drugs Kyle is receiving, but two of the drugs in abvd (Bleomycine and Vinblastine) not only warn against conception during pregnancy, they warn agains any sex during use unless barrier protection is also used.  Vincristine, which is very similiar to Vinblastine, also carries this waring (Vincristine is in many of the NHL combinations). 

Since he is already using chemo, I doubt any clinic would want to store current seman, but I am absolutely no expert at this.

Also, many chemo drugs cause infertility, even at "regular" doses (i.e., much weaker doses than are employed in stem cell transplantation).  But like many chemo side-effects, these are usually temporary.  Besides talking to his oncologist, I would consult a fertility expert when you two feel the time is "right."

You can very easily look up each of his drugs, and their side-effects, at Chemocare.com.  I usually insert this as a link, but when I tested it this time, it was going somewhere else, so just Google "chemocare.com" yourself.  It's a very easy site to navigate.

Best of luck to the both of you,

max

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 465
Joined: Mar 2013

I am happy to hear that Kyle's treatment plan is still on track. Four of of six chemos already is great progress. I am happy for your dedication to him and to your relationship. It is natural for you to think of family planning and hopes for the future. I think Max gave good advice to consult a fertility specialist for answers. I continue to pray for you both.

Rocquie

 

MChantal's picture
MChantal
Posts: 94
Joined: Apr 2013

Thank you everyone. Again, I can't express my gratitude for all your unconditional support. We are currently speaking with FertilityHope, they are a part of LiveStrong Corp. and we are trying to see whether he will be able to perserve his sperm before the stem cell transplant. He has to absolutley do it before than tho, because, it is pretty much guaranteed he will be infertile after the transplant. Frown

God has a plan tho. We are trusting in Him.

Kyle will be going to Presbyterian St. Luke's Hospital in September for his stem cell transplant. We are so ready for this to be over! It is crazy to think tho, time definitely does fly by.  I always try to express to him that this is merely "a moment in time."  This is NOT going to be around the rest of our lives. We will be done with this by the end of this year!

 

Hahaha, Kyle being silly. He would kill me for putting this up! Tee-hee!!

illead's picture
illead
Posts: 489
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi Michelle,

     I remember when you first wrote, you were like a deer in the headlights.  Now you are both doing so well in accepting, learning about and living to the best with what you have been dealt.  I think I can speak for all of us in saying that we are very proud of you both.  I know you have a lot ahead of you and wish the very best outcome.  I sure hope you have a good outcome with the fertility org., but no matter what, I know you both will deal with it.  As was said before you will have other options in the future and your experience now will help you both make a wise and happy decision no matter what the outcome.  Just keep care of each other and please let us know how everything is going.  Love the picture, does he know what he's getting himself into to with you? UndecidedLaughing I must say, he looks very happy and healthy.  

Thinking of you as always, Becky

 

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1984
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Michelle.  Tell Kyle he looks great.  Just think - with the money he's saving on shampoo and shaving supplies, he can make a down payment on a house! ;)  I looked like that once - just not as young and handsome :).  

Hugs to you both and keep smiling,

Jim

girliefighter's picture
girliefighter
Posts: 198
Joined: Mar 2013

Michelle and Kyle,

I do not know what you are personally going through with all of this, it seems like you keep getting a new curveball thrown your way. I am so sorry that you do have to go through this.

This might be too much info, but I will share it anyway. I too was told that I would not be able to have children and would go into menopause from the chemo. I thought, "well this sucks", I can deal with it if it was my decision but for someone else to decide for me was such a definitive thing. It didn't seem fair and I too explored the option of storing eggs prior to having any procedures and it would cost way tooo much out of pocket for me for the procedure and then they told me that you have to pay like $800 a year for them to just store your eggs. I realize that we are dealing with sperm in your case in stead of eggs, but at the end of the day they both must function together to get the job done.  Anyhow, to the point...I have not went into menopause and currently still have my monthly cycle, it might be slightly different than prior to beginning my treatment but she still comes to visit. I have no idea if after having all those toxins pumped in if it would be safe to conceive and too have struggled with my own selfishness bringing suffering to another tiny human. I have went through this a million times in my head and all I can tell you is research, ask questions and pray...Pray that if it is meant to be, that it can and will happen even after the extreme drugs and procedures. It has happened for many people and you two deserve such a miracle for yourselves, when you are ready for the blessing.

Focus on getting healthy and enjoying each other as much as possible and everything else will fall into place.

FAITHInnocent

XXXOOO

Carie

DadysGirl
Posts: 305
Joined: Aug 2011

You are soooo right Carie, if something is meant to happen by God or a little one is to come to this world no chemo nothing can prevent that from happening. Of course take precautions and educate yourself but at the end it is all in Gods hands... I told similar to Michele in private msg... As well as a story of someone I knew who had a baby even though she was told she could not after her treatments... Lots of love to you Carie... Sometimes I'm not that great in writing here so I prefer private msgs...

MChantal's picture
MChantal
Posts: 94
Joined: Apr 2013

Thank you Carie and DadysGirl. I know you two are exactly right. It is just so "Grr!!!"  You described it completely perfect Carie, its how dare someone else make the decision for us on whether or not to basically have children. That is definitely another concern, to try and create another child out of harsh chemicals of chemo. Thus, potentially altering their own being due to our own selfishness.

Cancer sucks! Plain and simple.

Miracles do happen everyday. We are just waiting for ours.

Thank you ladies!

Love,

Michelle

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