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Week 4: Chemo Has Reduced My Fertility By 50%

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So, I’m 28, I’m in an amazing relationship, I love babies, I want babies, lots of babies if I’m rich enough (no pressure Baz), so of course my main concern when I found out I’d be having chemo was how it was going to affect my fertility. I could take losing my hair, losing my eyebrows, and having my body battered by chemicals but I would be absolutely devastated if it meant I couldn’t conceive. And if I’d been given ABVD chemo then it would have been very unlikely that my fertility would have been affected at all. But no, I got the big, bad BEACOPP chemo – which, wait for it, decreases fertility by 50%. Gutted.

Once again, my knight in shining armour [my consultant] Chris K came to the rescue. He knew of an amazing charity called Future Fertility Trust, who work with females with cancer from the age of 0 (yes zero, as in new born) up to 25 years old, helping them to preserve their fertility using pioneering medical techniques and technology.

Cue the most inspirational woman I have ever met: Sheila Lane. She is a top children’s cancer consultant, a Professor in Oncology at Oxford University, and the founder and director of Future Fertility Trust. And she still manages to breeze into her consulting room in pink lipstick with a Prada handbag casually swinging from her arm like it’s all just in a day’s work. Her passion for what she does is infectious, and positivity and compassion for her patients oozes out of her.

The treatment itself involved me going under a general anaesthetic and having my little right ovary removed via key hole surgery. My little ovary was then taken to an ovary bank, the outer cortex where all the eggs live was cut into 50-100 strips and then frozen to minus 170, where they will wait until I decide I want to use them. As and when I need an extra egg boost, they will fuse some of these strips onto my left ovary, give it four months or so and hey presto! I should be able to conceive. I hope, I hope. My surgeon was also this cool as fuck German guy called Christian who made me promise him, with my fingers crossed, that I would get better. I promise you Christian, I will get better.

This treatment is completely free to me but the charity has no NHS funding, and relies entirely on donations, so if you'd like to help me, albeit indirectly, please donate to this amazing organisation. As Sheila put it: “Every woman should be entitled to the right to protect their fertility regardless of whether they are rich or poor” – and I can’t argue with that.

If you fancy donating please click here

They know that this way of preserving fertility has a high success rate, however, as it’s such a pioneering new treatment, there have only been 100 or so babies born around the world as a result of it and there are yet to be any babies born in the UK – so I’m thinking it would be pretty cool if I gave birth to the first ever baby in the UK to be born via this technique...

Read the first part of my story here
And the second part here
Part three


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