There have been moments in my life where I have learned to just grin and bear it. I don't like what I have to do, but know I don't have another choice. Of course I could give up, throw in the towel as they say, but this is an option in which my strong-willed nature rarely even considers. My most recent experience with throwing on my big girl pants and taking action was my first few months of being diagnosed with Non Small Cell Lung Cancer. I already have talked about that time in my prior posts, but I wanted to dig a little deeper into my experience with making the decision to freeze my eggs. The process was not a full In Vitro Fertilization just because my eggs were not harvested with sperm.
It was February 2019, Braden and I made a trip out to MD Anderson for a second opinion in my cancer diagnosis/prognosis. During that visit they addressed the issue of fertility. Given my type of cancer, I will always (hopefully) have to be on cancer medications that inhibit the formation of my gene mutation. I state hopefully because in time my body will adapt to the medication and the hope is there is always a new drug available for me to replace the prior one. Unfortunately, these drugs prevent me from having the ability to carry a child of my own. If I was to become pregnant while on the medication it would ultimately result in a miscarriage. Given this information, Braden and I decided to freeze my eggs. At this time, we haven't made a decision on whether we will be using them, but we wanted the option to remain. This choice led us to the UC Health Fertility Clinic where we went through a two week process to harvest and retrieve my eggs. Now, I know my prior treatment of steroids and radiation played a big part on this experience, but it was one of the most challenging things I have put my body through. For two weeks, Braden was given the task of administering my shots, which worked their way up to three a day. My body completely freaked out on me. Within 24 hours my face had broken out so badly that it looked like a huge rash on my entire face. On top of that my ovaries created so many follicles, which is what they call the space that your ovaries create for eggs, that I was in constant discomfort. The amount of follicles I was producing was monitored every other day through bloodwork and ultrasounds. This was necessary so they could time the retrieval of the eggs at the right moment. Those two weeks took life out of me. I am so thankful that I never have to go through it again!
Despite how much I despised the process, I would do it again tomorrow. I am grateful to have the option of finding a surrogate one day. Although, Braden and I will have to do some major saving if that is the path we choose. This journey of fertility is one I NEVER thought I would be going through, but then again I never thought I would be a cancer patient. Constantly God is showing me that life is far from what I think it will be. God continuously challenges and pushes me in ways I didn't know possible, but He is also always there for me. It just requires that I stop long enough to listen and see Him. When I do, I see He is protecting and guiding me through these experiences. I am never left alone to tackle anything, but can convince myself that it's me against the world when I get caught up in my own mind. It takes constant awareness to allow God to join me. Often times I create my own suffering by choosing to shut off and go at it alone.
My advice to anyone going through a challenging journey is to open up your heart to God. Open your bible, have conversations with Him, yell at Him and allow Him to bring comfort in the way only He can. I have learned that a thriving soul is the biggest part of fully living! In my opinion, this can only be achieved through turning your sights toward the Lord! If you are unsure where to start, please take a look at the Thriving tab on my website menu. I have linked several different resources that have helped me when I have been confused on where to start. As always, don't hesitate to reach out if I can help in your journey!