Infertility Support Week
Today I want to take an opportunity to let you know what you can expect on the JBBC blog for this coming week.
This is a subject very close to my heart. Of all the loses associated with breast cancer, not being able to have a biological child has been the most devastating for me.
Improved survival rates among reproductive-age females diagnosed with cancer have increased the focus on long-term quality of life, including maintenance of the ability to conceive biological children. Standard fertility preservation strategies such as embryo and oocyte cryopreservation before the onset of therapy offer the opportunity to conserve fertility, but they may not be feasible because of the urgency to start cancer therapy, financial limitations, and a lack of access to reproductive endocrinologists. Ovarian tissue freezing is considered experimental, with limited data related to pregnancies, but it minimizes treatment delay. Studies evaluating gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues have had mixed results, although a recent randomized, prospective study in women with breast cancer demonstrated a protective effect.
There may be options to preserve fertility prior to undergoing cancer treatment. It’s important for patients to understand this fact up front, because they’ll often have to advocate for themselves. Oncologists are focused primarily on saving the life of the person in the exam room, not so much on their potential offspring (see What I Wish I’d Known Then for more on advocating for fertility when newly diagnosed).
I have spent years trying to come to terms with childlessness, and truth be told, I am not there yet. When I first read Justine Froekler’s blog Ever Upward and afterwards her book on learning to come to terms with a child-free life, I felt for the first time a glimmer of hope that I could come out the other side of this pain. Justine has been a source of support and inspiration to me, and I feel sure she will be for you too. This is why I am so happy to be teaming up with her for this special week on the Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer blog.
So what can you expect to find here this week? Here’s the running order of guest posts.
Monday: Stacey writes of the constant reminder of her lost fertility.
Tuesday: Catherine writes movingly of how her first breast cancer diagnosis came just months before she and her husband had planned on trying for children.
Wednesday: Chloe on Fertility and the Single Girl
Thursday: Sharon shares her story of adoption after cancer.
Friday: Laurel writes of her decision to go the surrogacy route to parenthood.
Saturday: Justine writes about acceptance.
And there’s more!
Ever Upward Book Club
Justine will be hosting two book clubs via Google Hangouts. If you have questions you’d like her to answer, feel free to ask them this week via your comments, or send them through email.
First Book Club
Chapters 1-4 will be discussed on 2/26 at 8pm CST.
Chapters 5- Epilogue will be discussed on 3/5 at 8pm CST.
Second Book Club
Chapters 1-4 will be discussed on 3/19 at 8pm CST.
Chapters 5- Epilogue will be discussed on 3/26 at 8pm CST
Special Discount Price
- There is a 50% discount on the purchase of the book all this week. Click on this Shopify link and enter the code MARIE to avail of this great offer.
Justine is offering a personalized signed copy of her book Ever Upward to readers. In order to be in with a chance to win this lovely prize, simply leave a comment on any of the guest posts this week. At the end of the week, I will put names in the proverbial hat and choose a winner.
Support Justine’s Thunderclap Campaign: Define Your Own Happy Ending
Thunderclap is a new platform that allows people to pledge a Tweet or Facebook message that is concentrated and unleashed all at the same time. Think of it as a massive online social media flash mob. It is completely safe and will automatically post exactly one message on your behalf. Takes just 5 seconds and your support in spreading the message of support in both the infertility and cancer communities can help so many.
Looking forward to having you join us for this special week.
Reblogged this on Ever Upward™.
What a great initiative. I don’t think people realize the complex consequences of being diagnosed with cancer–they tend to simplify it because thankfully for them, they have never been through it. But writing initiatives such as these help us acquire a deeper understanding and hopefully will translate into better support for those suffering not just of cancer, but of the consequences they have to deal with. Go ladies!!!
Thanks Sahar for your comment – we appreciate your support on this important issue.
Hi Marie, I’m so glad you and Justine are taking this initiative on such an important topic. This one is near and dear to my heart, too, as chemo rendered me infertile, and I felt horrific pain about this at the time. I am here to support this initiative.
Beth, your story is an important one. Sharon will be sharing her experience of adoption after cancer and I would love for you to add your voice to this discussion.
Dear Marie and Justice
Just a note to say thank you for running this initiative.
As an infertile cancer survivor myself (hmm not sure whether I like referring to myself like that!) these subjects are close to my heart.
It really helps to read how others are dealing with their personal challenges. It’s all too easy to feel isolated and alone.
I think I will encourage my friends who don’t understand how I feel to have a read.
I follow both your blogs regularly and you are a source of great comfort and inspiration to me.
Just wanted to say a big thank you.