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Morning

I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 28, 4 years ago, and had pretty aggressive chemotherapy for six months. My period came back intermittently so I presumed everything was fine. I had tried an IVF cycle before starting treatment with the aim of freezing embryos, however they couldn't stimulate any egg production and thought this was because I had the depo contraceptive injection about 6 months before and had just had major surgery.

So, my tests are rubbish - fsh 87 and amh 0.07. A scan showed I still had follicles and I am due to have another scan next month. I am currently having regular "periods" and have for the last 5 months. I have accepted that I am very very extremely unlikely to have my own child. With everything I have been through this is devastating, but not a terminal diagnosis so I am trying to be sensible about how much worse things could be. However, I wondered if anyone has been through something similar and/or anyone had views or advice on whether I should try and ivf cycle to see if some of the remaining eggs could be caught or if it simply isn't worth it? I am speaking to Drs but thing their advice is skewed towards feeling I should be glad I am not sick anymore and leave it at that. I want to know if it is worth pursuing. My wonderful sister has offered to be an egg donor so I am very lucky and doors are not closed, but thoughts/advice much appreciated.

Thanks

Liz
 

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Hi Liz-

Although I did not have breast cancer ( I had a very rare form of colon cancer (appendix cancer) and had my ovaries removed) I feel like I can sort of relate.  I do not have a lot of advice for you, but I  want to say how sorry I am that you are now faced with fertility problems.  My husband and I did fertility preservation prior to treatment but our last two attempts have failed.  We are now looking at egg donation.  Best of luck to you!  I hope that you can find a good team of doctors that will work hard for you.
 

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Lizalou, I am in a different situation, having had infertility first and now breast cancer. It is certainly fantastic that your cancer was treated successfully, that the traumatic time of the diagnosis at such a young age and treatment is behind you, and  that you are fine 4 years later. On the other hand, I don't agree with your doctors  that having had cancer means that you should be grateful for your life  and not try what you want to try to have a family.  May I ask which doctors you have been speaking to about your chances with IVF with your own eggs ? Only a good consultant specialist in fertility treatment can assess your likelihood of a success with your own eggs. Meanwhile, if you haven't done it already you can do a test through your GP that can perhaps give you an indication as to whether you are ovulating in your periods. They simply measure the level of progesterone about a week after your presumed ovulation day (estimated based on your period length).
It's so so great that you have a sister and that she's happy to donate her eggs. That can be a big positive route to overcoming any obstacle that the cancer might have created. I hope that medicine will be able to not only preserve your life for many years to come, but also bring you your children if they don't come the "normal" way. Good luck.
 

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Hi Liz

I had breast cancer two years ago at 37, just after I'd finished an unsuccessful round of IVF.  I'm actually Starting IVF today and feelign rather wobbly about it!  Someone once said to me, surviving is all very well, but what are you surviving FOR?  For many women, having kids is very important.  I have an AMH of less than one and they have picked up 1, maybe two follicles on my scan but the fertility specialist still thinks it is worth going ahead.  Happy to share my experiences with you if that is useful.

Don't give up hope, if you're having a period that's something.  And women conceive naturally with low AMH levels.

Take care and sorry you're in the same boat.  It's so tough, and particularly for someone your age.

Lisa x
 

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Hi Ladies

It's been interesting reading your posts as everyone shares so many of the feelings and emotions that go with IVF.

For the last 6 years my life has been a roller coaster ride.  Was diagnosed with Breast Cancer when i was 26 and had 6 months of chemo which has had a negative impact on my fertility.  My AMH was tested earlier this year and was 2 but my FSH seemed normal at 8 point something.  Not only do I have a low AMH but I also have moderate endo as-well.  I've had 2 laparoscopy operations to remove the endo the last one being nearly 2 years ago.

I've had 2 rounds of ICSI the first being back in April and the most recent only a few days ago, both of which have been negative.  The first cycle I responded with 6 follicles, 5 of which had eggs and 4 fertilised.  They put 2 grade 1, 8 cell embryos back but they didn't implant.  The other 2 weren't any good for freezing.

The 2nd round of tx I only produced 2 follicles and they both contained an egg.  This time only 1 fertilised but again didn't implant.

I'm wondering whether I should have another laparoscopy to get rid of any endo which might have come back to see whether it gives me a better chance of implantation.  What do people think??

Feeling like i'm losing the will to live and getting really fed up.  I want it to work so badly, but there is so much against me.

Think it's important to give things a try cause I didn't think I would produce any eggs so I guess for me it might be the endo which is adding to the problem. 

Good luck to people.

Susie xx

xx
 

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hi i havent been on here for sometime due to failes icsi  .
i have just been told i have brest cancer 2 week ago had op and the tumor was removed  then to be told on monday that i have to have a masectomy , it has not hit home yet .....
also inbetween all that i have started my fertility drugs to get egg retreval n eggs frozen  due to the cancer  have been takeing meds for nearly week didnt bleed b4 hand  but thre clinic decided to go ahead anyway ... i woke up to day to a bleed and have tryed to ring the clinic since 9am  now its  after12  still no reply ... is this normal ????  do i still carry on with meds i just do not no what to do i am at my whits end ....

jennifer
 

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Hi Jennifer

I''m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis.  I hope that your IVF treatment went to plan. Best of luck with the treatment.  Altough it seems horrendous, you will get through it.  I've also heard of a number of women who have had breast cancer and who have gone on to have children.

Breast Cancer Care is a great support charity with lots of advice and people you can talk to so you don't feel alone.

take care
Lisa x
 

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Hi girls
Just saw this thread and taking a chance some of you may still on here! Liz, I'm in a similar boat to you. Aggressive chemo in 06 and 07, ending with a stem cell transplant in 08. Tried my thawed eggs last Nov but unsuccessful after transferring 2 embies. Low AMH and high FSH. When I had scans during last IVF the doc could see some follicles so keen to try a full stimulated cycle this year and waiting for appt at ARGC.

i'm also keen to hear if any of you have gone on to IVF after chemo and the outcome. Would love to hear from you. I'd also just like to salute everyone on here who has been through the horror that is cancer & chemo and come out the other side. Being grateful for surviving shouldn't mean we can't still hope and aim for what is our natural right.

B xx
 

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Hi Brookie

I haven't been on here for a while so i'm not sure what's been happening to you since your last post. Since posting on here I've given up on the IVF for a while as it stresses me out too much, so instead my consultant has been doing follicle tracking scans on the nhs. I'm scanned in a natural cycle on day 12 to see how the follicle is developing and then gives a rough time of when ovulation will occur so you can plan the right time to do the deed and for the following days. The first month was unsuccessful so the second month he gave me an injection to take when he thought I was ready to ovulate so it was timed far more accurately. Again it failed, however during the scan in my third cycle there were 2 follicles which was exciting, so I took the Injection to make me ovulate and waited for af. I normally have a 26/27 day cycle so when I got to day 30 with no af I rang my consultant and he arranged a blood test for me. My hcg level was 1100 and 2 days later was over 2000... I was pregnant, naturally!! I couldn't believe it.
Unfortunately a week and a half later I had a bad bleed so they scanned me early and there was a small sac and a tiny foetus with a heart beat. So we were relieved but didn't want to get too excited. 4 days later I saw my consultant and he scanned me again and it had all grown and seemed to be doing ok. He did say that he thinks the bleed was me losing a twin as my hcg levels were so high  :( I was booked in for another scan 10 days later but unfortunately there was no heart beat. We were devastated to be told that it was a missed miscarriage and so I decided to have it surgically removed. I am so gutted but I'm staying positive as it did happen naturally. We mustn't give up hope and it can happen again.
Sorry for the essay but wanted to share my experience and give hope to others and although I am grateful to still be alive no one has the right to say that to us cause it's our right to become a mum.

Susie xx
 

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Hi Susie

Welcome back! Such a mixed reaction to your post - I'm so sad for you that your little angel didn't make it but as you say, it's a massive positive in a way because you at least know it's possible to produce eggs and get pregnant. Here's hoping your next BFP isn't too far off!  ^reiki^ ^reiki^ ^reiki^

I had a chat with a consultant last week and whilst he was keen to stress our chances are very very VERY low, he's willing to give it a go and we're going to start a stimm cycle in June. Hurrah!!  :) He's put me on DHEA for 6 weeks to help improve response. No AF since Jan though so I'm trying not to get my hopes up and have also been looking into egg donation, something I really never thought I'd do, strange how your attitudes can change as the process goes on!

Anyway, we'll see what happens over the next few months and take it from there. I'd really like to know how you get on too!

Brookie xx
 

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Hey Brookie

It's really good that your consultant is willing to give it a go. Because after all you never know it may well work and miracles do happen.
I hope that af comes back soon but try not to stress if it doesn't as that may prolong it from coming back.

In relation to egg donation, it was something that I was slowly getting my head around and I started feeling less negative about it. I started thinking that although it wouldn't biologically be mine, I would still be nurturing and keeping it alive as it was growing in my tummy so it would be very much a part if me and if it would be my only chance of becoming a mum then I would do it.

Everyone is different though and willing to go down various routes but at the end of the day it's what you and your partner are prepared to put yourselves through.

Good luck with it all and let me know how you get on. 

Take care

Susie xx
 
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