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Hi to all the partners of Cancer survivors,

Not sure if this is the right place but I would like to compare notes with any other partners of cancer survivors facing fertility issues.

My DH was dx'ed with testicular cancer in 1999 and it's been a long battle. We have had 2 full ICSI cyles and one FET - not given up yet but exhausted and not sure where to find the resources to continue.

Would be interested to hear of others experiences.

With love from,
 

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Hiya Flopsy

Great idea Flopsy - ther are quite a few of us in this situation it will be nice to bring us all together.

Thought i would add our story!
DH diagnosed with leaukemia Oct 02 and we had sperm stored before he started treatment which we used for 1st ICSI in may this year.  We are hoping to try again before the end of the year if we can, but our clinic are so busy that is why we have had to wait this long.

DH is waiting to hear if he will have a bone marrow transplant ( the only cure) but it is not likey to be before middle of next year so we are concetrating on our next shot at ICSI.  ^reiki^  ^reiki^  ^reiki^  ^reiki^

It is so hard that we all have to deal with the heartache of both cancer and fertility issues, one is enough for anyone but hey, we have to get on with it dont we. ???

Clare
xx
 

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Hello all
I cannot believe i have stumbled upon this topic!! I am relieved to see that i am not the only person out there in this situation.
Im 25 and DH is 28. He has had cancer twice in his life, once aged 17 and again aged 21(now been clear for 6 years, thankfully). We married in May this year and i have a lovely 5 year old daughter from a previous relationship. We have recently has an official sperm count back which (surprise, surprise!) says there are 0 swimmers present!
We are having our first appointment on monday with a specialist to see what he recommends.
I have read up on things and am totally freaking it. I probably sound a little mad but this is completely alien to me and i dont really know how i should fell and what to expect. Will they suggest IVF straight away or can we try IUI?? Oh forgot to mention that we have swimmers in storage!!!
One thing which may give some others on here a little hope is that apparantly after his first illness and treatment(chemo and radiotherapy) his sperm count did go back to normal - but the sencong bout put end to that!!!
Love to all
x
 

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Hello everyone
So relieved to finally meet people our age in our situation.
Will fill you all in on our story.

Me Julie (23) and Steve (25).
Dh and I have known each other for about 6 years. Life was going well for us, we moved in together got 2 dogs and life was going swimmingly. We had planned to marry May 04 when in March 04 Steve was playing football, he was stamped in the groin and after a few weeks of swelling he went to see the local nurse and GP he was told he had a hydroseal on his left testicle and would have to wait for an operation to have it fixed(it's where water gets into the testicle and can't get back out of the tubes) it became more painful and in April because we were going to be married and go on honeymoon we decided to go to the local A&E. We were told again that it was a hydroseal and could have it operated on privately for a price. Dh was in bad pain by then and we borrowed money from family for him to have the operation privately.
The hospital did an ultrasound and found a blood clot the size of walnut, they operated within days because of the blood clot and after such a close shave with death Steve thought he could get on with his life. We went to Liverpool for the weekend after his operation but when we came home the consultant had left a message on our answer machine at home demanding that we call him immediately. He confirmed that the blood clot was cancerous and dh would have to have a CT scan. We borrowed more money to go private to find out how severe the spread was and Steve was diagnosed with a malignant teratoma with vascular invasion, with a spread to the lymph nodes in his stomach.
At the age of 24 Steve had never smoked, doesn't drink and is never off of the football field or golf course! So we were devastated.
We paid privately to see a consultant to get Steve seen quicker and then when he had to have his chemotherapy treatment we went back to NHS, we were later told that this had meant we had jumped the queue by several months!!
Steve had 3 cycles of BEP which made him loose his hair and he had bad sickness, he lost 2 stone but fought hard throughout. We decided to go ahead with our wedding in May as we were unsure of the spread of the cancer (vascular invasion means it has got into your bloodsteam and could regrow anywhere), and Steve managed to keep his hair until the day after the wedding (see our pic in the gallery)
He was treated by Professor Rustin at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre and in September this year we were told that his remaining tumour had shrunk to less than a millimeter and was unlikely to regrow.
A few weeks before his treatment Steve left 3 samples of frozen sperm in London(18 vials) for future fertility treatments (but the sperm was lazy due to the anesthetic from his tumour operation).
After having had pains in my side a few weeks before we were married i had a laparoscopy, it was discovered that i had endometriosis and we were advised to try for a family whilst we were young just in case.
We have had 4 iui treatments through Pinehill hospital in Hitchin and Harley Street Clinic in London which have so far been unsuccessful and my ovaries are acting polycystic (producing lots of little follies). We began a 5th and possibly last iui on the 25th Setember 04 and if it is not successful then i will have a laparoscopy to fix the PCOS and we will hopefully have IVF treatment.

We have been told that Steve's sperm may return but it could be years or it may not return at all so we are having our fertility treatment now whilst we are both still young to give us time to adopt if necessary.

We are both very positive people and we both battled against Steve's cancer with the support of our family and friends. They have supported us through the darkest days of our lives so far and for that we are truly grateful.

The whole experience of Steve's cancer has been the hardest of our adult lives but we have made many new friends and met many fantastic professionals along the way.
We owe many thanks to Professor Rustin at Mount Vernon, Dr Banerjee our fertility consultant (who is possibly the nicest and most genuine person that you could ever meet) and Saeeda Rahman who is the fundraiser for the Paul Strickland Scanner Centre at Mount Vernon (the only scanner in Europe bought entirely with donated funds). Steve has now got involved in raising money, through sport, for the scanner center that helped diagnose his cancer

All of us have an amazing story to tell and all of us have been through hard times. Often i think why do we have to have the difficulty of coping with cancer and then infertility?? But then i think we are lucky in so many ways, Steve and i now have a long future ahead whether that be with our without children we will always have each other.
 

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I just want to wish you all the very best of luck xx
 

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Hiya all

Sicknote - cant believe how your DH found out about his cancer - footie!  My DH found out due to a football injury as well - i cursed football until then!  DH was football mad - well still is but cant play at the moment as he cant take the risk of injury as he is on chemo tabs daily.  Anyway he got kicked in the stomach and went to the dr's a week later (men)! and found to have an enlarged spleen (full of cancerous blood cells) - much longer and it would have ruptured so football saved his bacon !!  After being on various chemo tablets for 2 years which has controlled it well we are now waiting to hear if DH will have a bone marrow transplant as that is the only cure for his leaukemia.

Like your DH mine was 25, non smoker , rare drinker, healthy eater, footballer - it seems impossible to think things like this happen to such healthy people - all the warnings what not to eat/do and does it really make a difference?

Good luck with you IUI sicknote  ^reiki^ ^reiki^ ^reiki^ sending positive vibes!

Mrs G -  Just thought i would say - we could have IUI but because we have limited sperm it was up to us which we did but for IUI they need to defrost a few vials for each try and only 1 for IVF/ICSI and IVF/ICSI has a better chance of sucess - (but higher costs) ?! we went for that.  It will probably be up to  you but your consultant will advise you.  Try not to freak out about it - i found the whole thing not as bad as i had imagined and at times i got 'freaked out' I just thought of the possible outcome and that kept me going.

Good luck to everyone in their treatment.

Clare
xx

   
 

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Hi Everyone

My story is differnet to some as Dh had leaukemia when he was 6 sadly he has no sperm frozen and we have to use donor sperm we have been through 5 IVF and one FET  got ++ with FET but sadly m/c at 8 weeks i am on IVF number 6 have ec tomorrow just wanted to wish all you girls so much luck i hope we get our longed for babys soon

love always lilly xxx
 

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Hiya Lilly

Good Luck tomorrow and for your 2ww, i hope this time it is THE time for you.

^reiki^ ^reiki^ ^reiki^ ^reiki^ ^reiki^ ^reiki^

Did your dh have a bone marrow transplant to recover from leauk?  Hope you dont mind me asking.

Clare
xx
 

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Hi Claire

Yes hun he did and when he had leaukemia he was very rare to come through it thank god he is well and the only thing he has is high blood pressure which he takes a pill daily for thanks so much for goodluck wishes hun all the best to you i hope we all get our dreams soon hope to chat soon

love always lilly xx
 

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Hi

Just wanted to say, i posted my (and DH's) story on the introductions page, but he also had Leukemia and had a Bone marrow transplant last July, he is in full remission and doing great!

We have had 2 ICSI attempts and have been successful at both, although the first sadly resulted in miscarriage at 10 weeks, but we are now 9 weeks pg again.
We decided to have ICSI instead of IUI for the same reason as Clare, we didn't want to waste any vials, we have quite a few stored, but i can't help but think we need to maximise our chances, using the least amount of vials as possible.

Lily - so wish you all the luck in the world tomorrow! you know like the rest of us what power positive thinking has!  will be thinking about you!!

Clare- hi, how's things when is your apt???

Love Nicki x x x
 

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Hi

Just wanted to say hello to everyone. 

My dh was diagnosed with testicular cancer 7 years ago, after we were involed in a motorway accident.
He was diagnosed on the Monday and was operated a couple of days later, so we didnt get a chance to store any sperm.  After the operation to remove the tumor he had to have chemotherapy.  After which we found tests came back with 0 sperm count.  We were devastated.  Although the doctors said it could return we decided to go down the road of donor.

We had 7 attempts of iui and then two rounds of ivf, we were so blessed get pg with our very last ivf attempt on the nhs. Anthony Paul was born on 19 December 2003. 

I just want to wish you all the very best of luck with treatment whatever you all decide. 

Lot of Love

Lisa
xxx
 

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Hi everyone

It's so good to talk to people who know what it's like being with someone who has or has had cancer.  All my friends sympathise, but don't know what it's really like.

Julie: I was nearly in tears after reading your post. I wish you all the luck with your treatment.

Jason and I waited for 9 years to get engaged and I was over the moon when it finally happened.  Then 2 weeks later he was rushed into hospital and after a lot of tests we found out he had an extremely rare and incurable form of cancer.  In fact the only way to treat it was to operate and there was only a 50/50 chance that he wouldn't bleed to death.  He had a 3 stone tumour removed from his abdomen in the september and we got married the following February. I couldn't bear thinking that if I lost him I wouldn't have any part of him left.  We tried for a baby as soon as he recovered from the op and fortunately we got lucky. Ashley May was born on 15th Jan 04.  I think she was a miracle, during my pregnancy Jason became very ill again and I thanked God that if I lost him at least I'd have my little girl.

Jason's tumour is attached to a main vein in his abdomen and therefore it cannot be removed, so it will keep coming back.  So far he's had 2 operations and an attempt at chemo - which was unsuccessful.  We banked sperm prior to chemo and we are just in the process of deciding what treatment to take.  I think I want to go down the ICSI route because the consultant said it is more effective.

Good luck to everyone and thanks for listening...

Love
kate
xx
 

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Hiya Nicki.....if you see this!

We had our appointment last week and PCR blood test showed 0.3 and the consultant wants the levels to be under 0.07 so still waiting to find out what the future holds, DH could choose to have BMT now but we are going to wait a bit longer.  aarrrghh dont know what is best to do. We go again in Jan.... until then hopefully another cycle of ICSI and a good christmas. 

Clare
xx
 

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Hi Clare

Like i have said before, w were lucky in that we didn't have to make the choice, our's was made for us! we didn't have any other option!
So glad you will be cycling again before christmas! when do you start?  ^reiki^

We thought of you, there is a big CML patient/carer seminar in Birmingham and there are consultanats from all over coming to talk about it, we missed out on getting tickets, then called our consultant to see if they had a back door and they do - but Owen has to talk about his transplant as it was so unusual!  - he is quite excited, but then he always was a bit of a showoff!! ;)

Best wishes!
Nicki x x
 

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Lisac - it's so lovely to see your outcome, thanks for sharing it was a rocky road, but you got there, what in inspiration and wish you, DH and Anthony all the luck in the world!

Kate - you sound like a strong team and i as do many of us in this situation totally understand the (for us, sudden) need for a child, when DH was dx we were in China, the moment the Dr came in with the news, he said right get that bloody contraceptive implant out and lets have a baby!  we didn't try before his treatment because it all happened so quickly.  But when we told 'his' family members that we wanted a family we underwent ALOT of criticism, and how I should not be so selfish, when the truth of the matter was that we BOTH wanted this, like you say we wanted a bit of Owen to live on forever, now he will hopefully live on forever we want a child to share and enjoy our long, happy, healthy lives with us!
I do agree, when you look at the odds, IVF/ICSI are more successfull, not that IUI doesn't work, but if you can afford it, give it your best shot, you have enough going on in your lives, without the rollercoaster of ongoing fertility cycles!    i so wish you all the luck in the world!

Anyone know how lily got on??

Love to all

Nicki x x x

 

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Hi Shannon

Jason's got liposarcoma - fat cells that have a tendency to turn nasty.  Fortunately it's the 'pusher' type so when it grows it just pushes his organs aside rather than infecting them.  This means he can just have regular operations to cut it back (probably every 12 - 18 months) until a more suitable treatment or cure is found.  When he was dx we were told that you stand more chance of winning the lottery than getting this type of cancer!  Jason had his last operation in April and his latest scan results show that it hasn't changed since then so fingers crossed that it's taking a break for a while!!

I am a strong believer in always being positive - I also believe miracles do happen and it's Jason's determination that gets us both through the ups and downs.  Many people in our family think we don't always face up to his illness and that we don't open up to them about our fears, but they couldn't be more wrong.  Jason and I are always there for each other as and when we need to be and we find it easier when people act normally with us rather than treat us differently. 
 
Loads of luck to everyone and think positive!!

Love
Kate
xx
 

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Hi Girls

Just thought i would tell you all i had ec yesturday got 7 eggs and call this morning we have 5 embrios we r so happy we r also doing blast this time will you please keep everything crossed for us thanks

love always lilly xxxx

Liasc you give me hope as we r using donor sperm ty hun xxx

hello to everyone will chta soon im alittle sore today
 

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Hi lilly

That's great news about your 5 embryos I'll keep all my fingers and toes crossed for you!!

What's blast by the way??  Sorry I'm still learning...
Love
Kate
xx
 

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Good to see everyone's very positive on this thread at the moment. Have just popped in as i haven't had a chance to for ages and I'm on my hols in less than a week.  ^banana^ ^banana^ ^banana^

Lilly am keeping everything crossed for you hun.. Hope it goes well. ^reiki^ ^reiki^

Koco i think you're fantastic for being so strong through everything. Hope your dreams come true.

Clare and  Nicky am thinking of you both.
^Cuddle^
Lisac you give us all hope, it shows there is a chance for us all!
^jumpin^ ^jumpin^ ^jumpin^
Flopsy how are you, haven't heard from you in a while or you MrsG.

Currently we're doing our 5th IUI we have 6 follies standing by for Steve's swimmers (although follies a little small at the moment) hopefully iui transfer will be Friday and I'll have had chance to grow my follies a little bit more by then.

Just wanted to explain why we were advised to have IUI as a couple of people have asked me. DH had quite a remarkable case apparently, when he was diagnosed the Professor of the hospital took his case on because of how they found the blood clot and the cancer. When he had his chemo (BEP) he had very few side affects and only lost his hair 2 weeks after his 2nd cycle of BEP. The professor told us this is very unusual, as it is almost unheard of for anyone to keep their hair for so long. 2 weeks after his last chemo top up his hair began to come through, thick and fast and he now has a thickish full head of hair. The Professor has remarked that hair is a very slow growing organ and usual takes months to return, so if his hair is doing that then his swimmers should return very quickly. When they measured the spread of the cancer in his stomach at his second CT scan it had shrunk by 75% which they said was also remarkable. and on his 3rd CT scan it had shrunk to less than 1mm!! So the doctors have been so impressed by his SUPERHUMAN  ^Exercise!1^body that they are confident that his swimmers  ^sperm^will return, we will test after Christmas to see if there are any results but we still have 13 vials left. DH of course now thinks he has some super human strength and believes he is invincible!!!
So we are doing IUI as it's cheaper  and easier to handle the drugs (and i have a bit of a hang up about leaving things frozen in a lab somewhere.)
Hopefully the IUI's will work for us if not we will persevere.
All of my friends say that we deserve the BROWNIE (Notting Hill) but when i read some of the stories on here i start to assess how really lucky we are, we don't know anyone personally who has been through as much as we have at such a young age but my DAD always said to me when i was little,
'there will always be someone in life better off than you, but also remember that there will always be someone more worse off than you..'
It is this that keeps me grounded and when our IUI s failed i just took a minute to think of those people who had no chances left and suddenly i felt like the luckiest person in the world. Everyone has there own way of staying grounded and that is mine.
Anyway I'm just going to go and start a new thread about a problem i have with my DH didn't want to interupt this thread so I'm going to start a new one. (How is your DH coping with Cancer)
Love to you all
(Ju)Sicknote

Spreading loadsa baby dust ^fairydust^
GROW FOLLIES GROW
 

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Hi again,
Hope everyone is doing ok!!
Went for our first appointment on monday and was told that the best chance of a pregnancy is to opt for ICSI as DH only has 2 lots of swimmers in deep freeze and even then they might be compromised as they were saved after first cancer and treatment. 

To say i had a panic was an understatement.  I guess i just thought they would say IUI and bob's ur uncle but i now realise that this journey is going to be a little bumpy to say the least! 

Our consultant(Mr Cowen at the portland) even said that DH's sperm could return at some point as he has known some men which this has happened to.  I just think that if it was going to return then it would have by now as he is now 6 years post bone marrow transplant.
The last 48 hrs have been a bit emotional but im finally accepting things and have so many questions which are probably pretty silly really!
Poor DH keeps apologising for his inability but i keep telling him that Im just glad hes here and we are together!
We have another appointment on 18th Oct but im really not sure what for!LOL Doctor says we can have one cycle before xmas which is great.  All our bloods were tested mon and all clear which is fab - so i guess we just have to wait!
Any advice on any aspect very much appreciated!
Keep positive everyone.
Lots of love
Amanda

 
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