Cancer & Infertility, A Story of Hope
If I was to describe our journey, the words that come to mind are heart ache, emotional, challenging are just a few. It all started back in November 2017, just one month after my now husband, proposed to me. Like every November, I went to get my annual checkup just this time with different results for the first time ever. We were brought in to be told I had cervical cancer at 29 years old. First thing I thought was how? Never had any hiccup and from one visit to next it progressed this fast? The unknown of what this means for my future and my body was so scary, but all I knew was I had one option and that was to push forward.
In December, I had my procedure to remove the cancer from my cervix to then be called to say, “we didn’t get it all”. March 2018, I went in for another surgery, and at that time became cancer free!
May 2018 I was released by doctors to start trying for a family, but the oncologist said you have about 5 years and then you will need a hysterectomy. She was trying all she could to safely save my cervix and fulfill my dreams of being a mother. She also said we want to monitor you every 6 months to make sure it doesn’t come back because that can change things as well. We started trying organically, because we had NO idea we had a fertility issue as well.
We were referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist to perform even more screenings just to make sure all checked out. The only thing that came back was due to my surgeries my cervix was worse off than they thought. This led me to another surgery September 2019 of an abdominal cerclage to close off my cervix so I can carry full term. I went back a week later to be released to work to be told that abnormal cells have reappeared. This was the news I never wanted to hear again because it could mean my journey to become a mother could come to an end. As it was not cancer like before, it is something that needed to be removed.
October 2019, another surgery to have the cells removed. The Oncologist and Reach both told us our 5 years’ timeline is a “now timeline” and you have 1 year then you need to have a hysterotomy. Both said we need to do IVF immediately, we don’t have time to try every option anymore.
5 surgeries in and more doctor visits than I like to admit later I am healthy, cancer free and have been cleared to start a family for one year. Now where would 30k come from in 30 days? We applied for two grants and I’m blessed to say I got awarded both! This was our first true blessing after years of trial and tribulations.
That leads me to our IVF journey. We started on 1/1/2020. Doctors, nurses and other people I had met along my journey did a pretty good job preparing me for the road I was about to embark on, but I’m here to say with no disrespect no one will ever fully prepare you. It became mentally, emotionally trying on all levels. We did our egg retrieval with genetic testing following. We ended with 3 strong fighting embryos. Finally transferred our perfect BA embryo early March, and found out 12 long torturing days later, we were pregnant! Our miracle little boy will be welcomed into this world in November 2020. The scariest thing is the unknown and not knowing will I ever be a mother? Why is it so easy for some? Everyone around you is announcing pregnancy like it's easy, why me? My friends are changing, they don’t understand. These are all thoughts that ran thru my head constantly.
Several pieces of advice I give to anyone battling cancer and/or infertility: Never ever lose your faith, hope or your positivity. Always be grateful for what you do have and not worry about what you don’t have. Find a support system, those who lift your spirits, that answer the phone in the middle of the night, and you can turn to for anything. Don’t let this over take your life, take one day at a time, and what will happen, will happen. Remember, God is always on time.