Monday, March 28, 2011

And So It Begins...

Went for my yearly OBGYN appointment last week. Never a fun experience, especially since they always seem to be running at LEAST 30 minutes behind every time I’m there.

After all the “fun stuff” was over with, I was able to ask my doctor some questions and let her know that we were considering having kids sometime in the near future.

And then the question, “Will I be able to have kids?”

A pause.

Let me give you a brief rundown of my medical history:

Cancer: I had it. At the age of 17. Complete with chemotherapy, radiation and a LOT of drugs. My cycle stopped completely for a few months, and then after I was “cured” I started taking an oral contraceptive that helped it regulate again.

Retroverted uterus: I has one. This means that my uterus is tilted in the opposite direction from normal uteruses. Uteri? Crap, I’m so new to this baby stuff I can’t even speak the lingo!

Ovarian cysts: I have had two that I know of, one recently.

Ninja-style left ovary that ultrasound technicians have to search for every single time: I has one of those, too!

Mostly, I am just worried about the cancer treatment, because cancer treatment drugs and radiation can both cause infertility. And I want to know what my chances are before we start trying to have children. I want to know how high I can allow my hopes to me, or how cautiously to guard my heart.

My doctor couldn’t really tell me what my chances are without knowing more details about my treatment. She suggested that I obtain a list of all the medicines I was given during chemo, then take that list to an oncologist (she referred me to one) who could go over the list with me and tell be if any of the medicines I took cause either infertility of birth defects.

Then, she said, we would have to see if the chemo had killed my ovaries.

I’m sorry, WHAT?? Did the words, “killed my ovaries” actually just come out of this medical professional’s mouth.

Once I recovered from the shock (still grappling with the concept of “dead” ovaries), I learned that a simple blood test could determine my egg production levels. I just had to go get the blood drawn on the second or third day of my cycle.

She did throw one tiny, teensy bone my way, though. She said that the fact that I have regular cycles is a good sign.

So I left the appointment with my head whirling as I tried to grasp all the information and the concepts. The next day, I submitted a medical records request to the hospital where I was treated. I have no idea how long it will take to get the records, but at least I’m not in a hurry.

I had my blood drawn on Saturday, having to drive to a lab 30 minutes away from home because it was the only lab in my area that drew blood on Saturdays and my cycle just happened to fall that way.

So right now I am very anxiously awaiting the results of the blood tests. I don’t know how you tell someone news like this over the phone, although I’m sure this office is used to it by now. But what will they do, just say, “Well, sorry, your egg productions is like a 50 year-olds, no kids in the picture. Have a nice day!”

The awful thing is I have no idea how long it will take to get the results in so I have no idea how long I’ll have to worry!

So for a while, I will sit anxiously awaiting and turn pale every time a number I don’t recognize turns up on my phone.

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