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Fertility Question

Hey everyone. I don't know what kind of help I can get from here since I'm not getting very much help from my doctor. But I was just recently diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma Stage II in June of this year. One of the first things my oncologist told me was that I would be needing to do chemo every other week (ABVD) starting in July and ending in December. I believe it's 12 sessions. She wants to avoid radiation. Anyway my doctor continued on and told me all the horrible side effects that went with chemo...hair loss, mouth sores, etc...but the thing that stood out to me was infertility. I'm 22 years old and really want a family of my own one day. I understand there is always adoption and have even considered it for the future but I would also like to experience having a child. My mother thinks it's selfish to think that way...I don't know...I just feel very heartbroken over this issue since it's something I always dreamed of having one day.And I'm the only girl in the family who was considered able to have kids one day too...
My oncologist suggested I freeze my eggs but it's extremely expensive and not covered by my insurance so I had passed. I just had my second session of chemo and it just had me worried about my chances of one day having a child...
What I guess I'm trying to say is....has anyone had a similar experience and ended up being pregnant in the end? How long did it take for you to get pregnant if you did? What are the chances?

Comments

  • Rocquie
    Rocquie Member Posts: 853 **
    Fertility

     

    I have seen discussions on this topic here before. It is not selfish for a young woman to dream of one day having a baby. It is perfectly natural. Perhaps you might find some kind of hope if you do your own research. Maybe you could find some posts in the archives. I do know there have been people who have delivered healthy babies after chemo. 

    For now, I hope you will focus on your own health and recovery. There are many emotions in dealing with a cancer diagnosis and worry about the future is a big one, also feelings of loss are common. Don't hesitate to tell your doctor if you feel you need to talk with someone. My Doctor's group has an Oncology Social Worker you can talk to. 

    Blessings,

    Rocquie

     

     

     

  • NHL_122
    NHL_122 Member Posts: 2
    I cannot comment specifically

    I cannot comment specifically to your chemotherapy regimen but I do understand that there are some studies out there indicating that the younger you are when receiving treatment, the lower the likelihood of POF (permanent ovarian failure, aka early menopause). I think your age puts you in strongly favorable odds. 

    I really hate how uneducated doctors are on fertility preservation. There are several non-profit organizations (LiveStrong being one) that work to help women go through the preservation option, even when insurance is unavailable to assist. There is also a shot, Lupron (sp?), that is suppose to shock the ovaries before chemo that is believed to provide better protection against the damanaged caused by high-dose chemotherapy drugs. 

    After you are through with treatment, you may want to consider revisting fertility preservation. Even if you don't experience POF due to treatment, there is a small chance it could result in you experiencing menopause earlier in life, than otherwise. 

  • girliefighter
    girliefighter Member Posts: 232
    infertility

    Hey.. I am 39, and started chemo 3 years ago CVP+R and never had the side effects they said i would have. I too was told I woud go through menapause, so I was sent to see about freezing eggs, however that was extremely expensive SO I decided to leave it in GODS hands whether I would have anymore children or not. I am a single mother of one child and it scared me to think I couldn' have more children. I would like to share some TMI, but I continued to get my cycle all throughout treatments and still do to this day. I have spoken to many women that have gotten pregnant after chemo and had very healthy babies, so there is hope. KEEP YOUR FAITH. Stay healthy and take care

    XXXOOO

    Carie

  • debraun
    debraun Member Posts: 1
    Fertility

    I was given the same list of side effects before beginning my treatment for Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma at 26. I had 8 cycles of ABVD (16 total treatments).  I was engaged at the time but we decided to take our chances and not delay treatment to go through egg retrieval and freezing embryos. About 3 years post-treatment I was comfortable enough with my remission to feel ready to try to get pregnant. we didn't have success immediately so after a year we did seek assistance in the form of fertility meds for me. I did have one miscarriage, but ultimately got pregnant and gave birth to a little girl. Not quite a year later, I became pregnant again with no fertility drugs whatsoever and had another healthy little girl.  

    I have a dear friend who was diagnosed Stage 3 a year before me and went on to have 2 healthy children after 6 cycles of ABVD. No infertility issues at all for her.   

    My my onc told me that there was not a ton of research about ferltility & ABVD (at least not 14 years ago) but that in his experience there was generally not a high risk of damage to fertility. In my situation, he & my obstetrician said they couldn't be sure that I wouldn't have had problems getting pregnant anyway since up until then I'd only ever tried NOT to get pregnant.  

    I hope that gives you back a little hope of a future family. Best of luck to you!