Best news we could hope for

June 23, 2009

Today we got the best news we could hope for given what’s been going on since May 25th.

The abdominal wash to find cancerous cells found NOTHING (yeah!) and the D&C material had only one small cancerous lesion, leaving me diagnosed with cancer but with Stage 0 which if you know anything about cancer is the best you can ever hope for (it means it’s just cancer on the surface, not penetrating into anything).  Before we dance on the rooftops we do have to have the final pathology report (next week) which will have the hormonal status (estrogen, progesterone) which in turn will determine which drugs I will take for the 6 months of hormone therapy.  It sounds like I’ll also have a progesterone-infused IUD during that time, all designed to make my uterus ultra-quiet and all the bad nasty cancer cells go away.

At the end of this they’ll do more testing and if all is okay I’ll get to have a go at IVF and will have to make many choices about that (which I’ll discuss another time).

It has been a really tough day.  I took an Ambien last night because I havent slept well in days. Woke at 10 still groggy.  I took 2 hours to shower and get dressed just so I could keep busy before my appointment.  I was nauseous all through lunch and barely ate 5 bites.  I was trembling in the taxi going to the doctor and snapped at my husband’s secretary who was reluctant to interrupt him while on the phone (he was supposed to already be in the car).  Luckily had a very short wait at the doctor’s office, because I was climbing the walls.

My husband and I went from elated to realistic to sober and both of us cried a lot at tonight at the loss of normalcy and the loss of being able to have a baby really on our own.  I’ve known this longer than him – he has always thought that in between fertility treatments we might just sneak one past the goalie, a dream I gave up a long time ago.  I also have been reading a lot these past few weeks and know the risk of carrying a pregnancy with endometrial cancer is probably going to be out of the question for me (even if my doctor might allow it) but he hadn’t done the same homework and still believed that I could carry our baby, so it’s actually been a very sad and emotional night for us.  Relieved, for sure, that it’s not a struggle for life for me, but pain for the hard choices down the road.

Add to it that I am morally comfortable with other routes to become a mother – ideally a gestational carrier with my biological child, second best a donated egg or embryo with gestational carrier, and also okay with adopting.  He’s not at the same place, and he may never be.

But one of our hard, tearful conversations tonight is that I can’t agree to a pregnancy because he won’t agree to a surrogate.  I need to make a choice to be pregnant believing it is safe, not to experience it as 9 months of pure terror of cancer growth.  That would be a horrible emotional process for both me and baby (plus the very real physical risk of cancer growth during 9 months of hormones).

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