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To freeze eggs or not to freeze eggs, that is the question

Kubie
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2020

Hi everyone! I have just been diagnosed and have been given bout a three month window to potentially pursue some egg freezing.  I'm 29 and have never had a significant other. I have always thought that one day I would be pregnant and have a baby of my own, but now I need to have a hysterectomy and can never scare little kids with the "I ate a watermelon seed" pregnancy shirt. I'm trying to make this impossible decision of whether or not I should freeze some eggs in the hopes that one day I can use them and be successful. It's just so tricky because there is no guarantee that it might work and there are other options to have children. I'm just wondering if anyone here has had to make this choice and how did you decide to go one way over the other? Are there any recourses out there that have helped you make this choice?

Thank you so much for your help and for sharing your story!

MAbound
Posts: 1153
Joined: Jun 2016

I've been here 4 years and I've never seen this come up in conversation. It's a good question, especially if havesting eggs involves the use of hormones. You didn't say which type of uterine cancer you have. If it's hormone driven, that may be an impediment for what you are thinking of. None of us are doctors here, so I think you need to talk to your oncologist or a fertility specialist to find out if you can even consider this.

Kubie
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2020

I have endometrial adenocarcinoma and my oncologist thinks it's related to my Lynch Syndrome. She suggested I go see a fertility specialist to see if I was even a candidate for egg harvesting, so I'm assuming she thinks it would be safe enough for me to do so while being closely monitored. They are saying that I would be a good candidate for it. I just can't decide if it is something worth pursuing or not given the fact that there is no guarantee and such a small window for success.

zsazsa1
Posts: 557
Joined: Oct 2018

I agree, depending upon what type of uterine cancer you have, the hormonal stimulation for inducing ovulation may not be advisable.  You need to discuss this in depth with your oncologist.

MAbound
Posts: 1153
Joined: Jun 2016

1.) Here's an article you may find informative:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5265623/

2.) It sounds like you'd be putting yourself through a lot physically, emotionally, and financially to preserve your eggs with no guarantee that it will work, that you'd want to use them later on, or that it wouldn't increase your risk for metastasis of this cancer if you treat it conservatively now. 

3.) You have Lynch Syndrome. It's hereditary. It also means that you are at higher risk for other cancers, so you need to consider if you want to be in the middle of raising children should you develop another cancer after this one. It's not fair to have to add in this consideration, but these are the cards that you have been dealt.

4.) Having kids is an all-in proposition. There's no going back when it gets hard. And it always gets hard. You need to be really determined with no doubts to go down the path you are considering. Only you can decide if that's what you want badly enough or not. 

Kubie
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2020

1. Thank you for the article.

2. So true. No one has focused on the idea that this could just make things worse, so thank you for bringing that up.

3. I have been thinking about whether or not this would be something I would want to pass down and it definitely isn't. I have never though about what it would be like to have cancer pop up while raising a kid in any stage of their life, heaven forbid a younger stage.

4. As the oldest of 7 children I totally agree with this and have seen some of it more first hand than others! But thank you for putting it into words, so it is more at the front of my mind than at the back.

There isn't a lot of tools out there to help things like this out when there is so much at stake and time is of the essence, so thank you for your help in making this choice a little bit easier and more informed for me.

janaes
Posts: 800
Joined: May 2016

I am not sure how to respond to this but felt like I need to. I am in my 40's and had uterine cancer over 4 years ago in early 40's. It was a second cancer of mine that my oncologist said was caused by my treatments of first cancer that i had a little more than 20 years before uterine cancer. I have two kids. They are teenagers now but they were a part of my uterine cancer experience at the time.  It was hard for them but they did it and in fact were a great support to me and hopfully I to them. My youngest has been going to a cancer camp every summer for the last 4 summers. Its a camp only for kids that had or have a parent with cancer. My daughter loves that camp. Its her favorite thing to do. So I didnt consider that i might get cancer again when I became a mom, even though in general the knowledge that radiation given to cure cancer was known to cause second cancers.  I just knew i wanted to be a mom. I guess what I want to say is the camp my daughter goes to is a camp they put on in all the different states( many in each state). The college student orginize and put it on every year. Probably not exatly my story, but there are many many many kids with parent who have or have had cancer. 

There are different ways to have children and I think that should be considered also. My kids were adopted and thats the way mine came. That is another option.

If you would like to pm me I am ok with that. 

Just wanted to share my pespective.

Donna Faye's picture
Donna Faye
Posts: 430
Joined: Jan 2017

Kubie, I could not contribute any info on your question but reading the responses almost brings me to tears of JOY. Where could you get such honest and beautiful advice all given in love and understanding? I read this site every day because there is so much wisdom and courage displayed here. When you have walked in cancer's shoes, you become stronger and wiser. I just had to say a big thank you for the honesty these messages convey.I am sure Kubie feels the same .

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2905
Joined: Mar 2013

Kubie, I can't imagine to be so young and put in such a position.  My prayers are with you.

zsazsa1
Posts: 557
Joined: Oct 2018

Another thing to consider.  If you were to be with a male life partner who wanted his own biological children, you would have to use a surrogate to carry the pregnancy.  It would be possible to use donor egg, and I think that the donor would have been pre-screened for any known genetic diseases or syndromes at that future time (more than we know about today, for sure).  To me, it seems like a better decision to forgo the egg freezing (because of the LYNCH and because of the risk that the hormonal stimulation required for egg harvesting couold stimulate the cancer), and plan to use donor egg if the issue comes up.

 

jan9wils's picture
jan9wils
Posts: 164
Joined: Mar 2017

Kubie,

You have received  good information and suggestions for your consideration. I just want to add that you are very brave. I think this will be a great asset for you to have as you confront this disease. 

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