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Infertility & Cancer

severina80's picture
severina80
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2013

My husband was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. We're 33 and have no children. We were going to try next year but now with the chemo we can't. By the time he gets better, I'll be too old to have children. We were given information about freezing his sperm, but we only had two weeks from diagnosis to treatment. We couldn't come up with the $ we needed to pay for all the lab work/tests (our insurance didn't cover it). 

I know I should be thinking about him and supporting him as his caregiver...but I'm just so damned angry. Our future is gone. We will never have a family. We were trying to get on better financial ground before we had children...now it doesn't matter because we can't have kids and we'll be bankrupt due to his medical bills. I'm mourning the family we'll never have. I didn't think I'd get pregnant if we tried anyway due to my advanced age, but damn it, we didn't even get to try! 

I'm also mourning our sex life. It's over now. He's sick and I don't ever see him getting better. I know I shouldn't be thinking that way, but I'm the strong one in our relationship. I'm the tough one. If there was ever a zombie outbreak, I'd be the one in front of him, fighting the monsters. I don't know how he's going to get through this. 

What am I supposed to do? I'm trying to be strong but I just want to scream and put my fist through a wall. We have no support system, we live 1000 miles from the nearest family member. Even if we lived close, they're too wrapped up in their lives to care. My husband tells me I should rely on my friends for support, but I know that no matter what they say they don't actually want to help. I get it, they've got their own stuff to deal with. Who wants to be around someone who is upset and miserable? Plus, late 20s - early 30s people don't know what it's like to realize they can't have children or that they'll never have sex again. They can't relate. 

I know I'm selfish for thinking about me right now. I can't help it. I feel like I should be able to find a solution to this problem and I can't. 

 

severina80's picture
severina80
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2013

Since no one read this comment I'm going to just use this as a place to talk to myself. 

Today is better than when I originally posted. I'm still angry. He won't fill out disability paperwork or a living will. He gets pissed when I bring it up. I feel completely unprepared and like I'm not doing the work I'm supposed to be doing - should I be reading things/studies on cancer? Should I be combing through his insurance policy? Should I be planning his funeral?

He's not losing his hair. I've been told that means he won't recover.    

No one I know has ever been through this so I have no idea. I guess I must be the worst caretaker - others just know where to go for resources/support, right? None of what I read seems to apply to us.  

A friend just had a baby. He's adorably chubby in the way that only babies can be. I'm happy for my friend but it's just another reminder of how my life and our life together has just been completely ruined. Our life is over now.  

jen2012
Posts: 1252
Joined: Aug 2012

Have the doctors told your husband he is terminal? Or that he cant have kids? What is he having for treatment? Cancer sucks big time, but unless the doctors have told you these things..and your second opinion docs have confirmed, try to take things one step at a time. My father had lymphoma many yrs ago and a reoccurence about 6 or 7 yrs ago and hes still here.

Hang in there.

jen2012
Posts: 1252
Joined: Aug 2012

And the hair loss thing is not true.

severina80's picture
severina80
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2013

Thank you for replying. My husband is doing ABVD. The doctors said it usually doesn't impact fertility, but I did read that 2 years is recommended after treatment before you can try to have kids. I'm 33 almost 34. By the time he recovers (what, like 5 years? 10?) plus 2 years, I'll be too damn old to have children. We can't do fertility treatments because we're poor, and we'll be bankrupted by his treatment anyway.

I'm sorry to be so negative. I just wish this hadn't happened to us.

But thank you again for replying. I haven't found anyone to talk to about this since it happened.  

jen2012
Posts: 1252
Joined: Aug 2012

Im really sorry you dont have support.  We've had 16 months of hell, and I really dont know how we would have made it without friends and family.  Can you talk to the social worker where your husband is treated for support groups?  

 

So a year before my husband stage 4 diagnosis, we had our third child.  I was 43, he was our greatest surprise ever.  People have been having babies in their 40s forever.

 

Try to stay positive and hope for the best.

kdb1433's picture
kdb1433
Posts: 15
Joined: Apr 2013

Best advice I can give is that being diagnosed is a long and very very trying journey you will go through, it may even be the hardest thng you'll ever experience..there will be some days better than others as we all know there will be some really really tough days..you have to take one step at a time, day by day..stop looking so far ahead into the future because you don't even know what tomorrow may bring..there is always a chance to have a family unless the Doc(s) have proven otherwise..and in some instances thats not even 100% guaranteed, science is an amazing thing and there are other options to having a baby there are some women who are having babies at age 50! try looking into them your future is not gone try to cherish everything in your life right now and try not to focus on the negatives I know it is hard but it only makes things that much harder, that is a promise.

severina80's picture
severina80
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2013

Thank you for replying. I know I should be trying to find the positives, but there are no positives. We're alone here with no help or support system. No one wants to talk to me about this, and I can't blame them. Nor would I burden them with this. What do you say to someone who just had their world destroyed? There's nothing to say, you know?

Again, thank you for responding. It means a lot.  

MChantal's picture
MChantal
Posts: 105
Joined: Apr 2013

Hello Severino80,

After reading through your posts from the past couple of months... I understand your anger and frustration that you are experiencing. However, from one caregiver to another...you need to realize that your spouse has been given some of the worse news that he could ever imagine. His world has been torn apart and he is scared s***-less. The last thing he needs is for his wall (you) to crumble as well. You need to step back and reassess the situation. Give your fiancé a break if he does not want to discuss his living will at that time. That was one of the most difficult things my fiancé had to endure was signing his living will and power of attorney at 23. He truly felt like he was dying... Let him mourn, cry, be angry and scream. 

In reference to the possibility of infertility and "selfishness," there's comes a point in this experience where you will realize what is important. Believe me, at 23 years old the last thing my fiancé and I wanted to hear after a long year battle with stage IV Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma is that he will possibly be infertile after the transplant. That is not fair! Yet, to me what is most important in this day and time is saving my fiancé's life. He is my best friend and the most important person in my life. I think you should also consider that he is mourning the lost of potential fertility. The one thing men are able to do, procreate... Your husband has possibly lost that ability. In saying that, do not believe everything you read on the internet. I would definitely recommend a second opinion. And, if that does not work out.. Maybe you two were meant to adopt. Just remember there are so many resources and you should check them out. Your husband needs YOU to be strong for him.

Cancer teaches you some of the most marvelous and unforgettable experiences that some people go on in their life never knowIng. 

 

 

 

 

 

atma9
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2014

My husband was diagnosed with metastatic thymic carcinoma spread to multiple bones in Dec 2009. He was 31 then and I was 30. Fast forward 4 years of surgery, radiation treatments, multiple cycles of intravenous and oral chemotherapies etc, and we just found out after semen analysis that he has zero sperm. We finally got his semen analysis done because hoping to be pregnant every month was making me miserable. He is still on chemo and still has many tumors in his bones that are being followed, and we have all the uncertainties and fears that you understand too well, however I can't help wanting to get pregnant - perhaps because I feel like the choice was taken away from us or perhaps because i foolishly believe it will give us something lovely to look forward too instead of dreading the next PET scan or worrying about everything. Then, of course, I feel guilty for even thinking about having a baby when things are so uncertain in our life.

I am not sure why I joined this site to be able to post a comment, but I guess I wanted to tell you that you're not alone in feeling angry, devastated, selfish, hopeless etc. I know I should be happy that my husband is alive and doing well all things considered, but being happy for certain things does not diminish the sadness and grief I have over getting my period again today. The ability to hope is beautiful and horrible - even seeing on paper that it is impossible for us to conceive right now didn't make me fantasize that this month would be different. 

Has anyone had their husband's sperm return many years after treatment? Just curious - and looking for more reasons to not give up! 

 

sharpy102's picture
sharpy102
Posts: 347
Joined: Apr 2009

Maybe because I am so far from marriage, and being pregnant, but I don't understand...have you guys ever thought about adoption? I know, I know, by biology that kid won't be your kid, but

1. you still can have kid(s) that you have dreamed of

2. you actually do something really good for the baby/kid you are adopting

...and now I'm speaking as a 16 year old girl from children home...I would've paid a million to grow up in a family...

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