There have been concerns on the long term effects of fertility treatments on our bodies. While there is not much concrete evidence, it is important to stay informed and listen to stories that may be worth hearing. Today, we wanted to share an article/post that was in our most recent e-newsletter...
JJ blogged about her infertility journey for five years at Reproductive Jeans. Now a retired blog, she is and will forever remain connected to the infertility community. You can also find her over at twitter: @reprojeans
Here's her story about infertility and how it relates to her current cancer treatment.
For what seemed like an eternity, this was my life: A dash of IUI, peppered with IVF (x2), add a side of ICSI, covered in FET. This recipe of treatments was our life for 2.5 years as we went through a multitude of procedures/tests/needle jabs due to male factor infertility in hopes to pass on our family "jeans". Then, in February 2009, our miracle was born - a healthy baby boy, who is now a very active and loved 3 1/2 year old!
About a year after I had O-man, I started to experience some unique health issues - I suddenly became allergic to kiwi, strawberries and latex, I developed a skin condition called Bowen's disease, I had a large mole removed (carcinoma) from my pelvic bone, a cyst on my head developed and began to cause blood flow restriction and blurred vision, and a severe B12 deficiency that required injections and beta blockers for my heart. Most recently in May of 2012, I was diagnosed with Stage 2C malignant melanoma. I may be able to contend for the world record for amount of time spent in waiting rooms and doctor's offices.
I consider myself pretty well versed and knowledgeable at this point about a lot of medical "stuff" - but I am in no way qualified to say with 100% certainty that the issues above are in direct correlation with the multitude of synthetic hormones plus the other concoctions of drugs I took (medically prescribed, of course) for 2+ years. However....there's a lot of medical professionals that I am seen by right now who support the theory that those hormones/drugs did in some form and fashion, play a role in the above medical issues.
So now that I've confused you....
Basically, my body did not like those hormones one bit. While it is probable that I would have dealt with some variation of the medical issues I've mentioned, it's the consensus of ALL of my doctor's (and I have a lot right now) that my fertility treatments have wreaked havoc on my body. I do worry about the medical studies that will come out 5, 10, 20 years from now linking more and more cancers to women/men who have gone through fertility treatments.
Would I personally change my journey?
I have an amazing little boy who was worth every injection, every doctor visit then and now. While it's not something I would LIKE to be going through, I am thankful for my doctor's and the medical treatments that are available to me. My hope is that with continued monitoring and care, my body will settle down and allow me to heal physically and mentally. It's felt like I haven't had a chance to really heal from the emotions from my infertility journey and now along with these health issues, my mental health is in turmoil. So I am taking steps to make sure that part is treated with TLC, too! I surround myself with my loving friends and family, and have made the decision to go to counseling. I am thankful for all the resources that are available to me - and I hope to start blogging again, too. That's always been therapy for me!
In closing, while October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, please remember and reach out to those you know and love who are dealing with any type of cancer.