- When I was diagnosed with cancer, I was 50 years old and the mother of two. I’ve since met many cancer survivors who were diagnosed much younger than I. A huge part of their stories is the struggle with fertility issues after cancer. As my husband and I suffered two miscarriages and years of infertility before our first child was born, I relate to the fear of not knowing if you will ever be able to have a child. What I cannot even imagine is living with this fear and cancer at the same time.
A resource I found for anyone struggling with this issue is Fertile Hope. A national, nonprofit organization, Fertile Hope’s mission is to provide “reproductive information, support and hope to cancer patients and survivors whose medical treatments present the risk of infertility.” As a result of her own struggles with fertility after cancer, Lindsay Nohr Beck founded Fertile Hope in 2001.
Fertile Hope is now working in tandem with LIVESTRONG to offer a powerful informational tool for survivors. The website offers information on risk factors, questions to ask your doctor, fertility preservation, finding support, educational programs, funding for research, a fertility resource guide and financial assistance. All decisions must be made with your doctor, of course, but this is a great place to start for tons of information and support.
It took my husband and I five years to have our first child. It would have taken less time if we had known how to ask the right questions and find the right doctor. Now, eighteen years later, my husband still calls her our miracle baby. The miracle of birth, notwithstanding, she would not be here today without the help of our very knowledgeable and compassionate infertility doctor.
There’s one piece of advice I always give anyone new to the struggle of infertility: Don’t wait another minute to find a fertility specialist to guide you through the process. If you need a doctor who specializes in infertility and reproductive medicine, start your search at Fertile Hope. For some of us, it’s a Herculean struggle to bring a child into the world, but it’s the most worthwhile thing I’ve ever done in my life.
Survival > Existence,