One of the most unexpected emotionally challenging aspects so far about having breast cancer was the egg freezing part. I was encouraged by a couple surgeons that I was consulting with to freeze my eggs since there is a chance I’ll have to have chemo therapy. Apparently, pumping poison into your body can completely F**k up your reproductive system. Go figure.
So I made a quick call to Shady Grove and they got me in super fast. Easy peasy….not.
After a 4 hour appointment one Friday afternoon (after the fact, I realized, I should not have gone to that doozy of an appointment by myself…hindsight is a bitch), I came home, completely overwhelmed, shocked and DEFINITELY depressed. In fact, I pretty much stayed inside the entire the weekend and tried to process what I was now going to put my body through BEFORE I even got to my mastectomy.
Let me just put it this way, despite what surgeons and doctors may say, egg freezing ain’t no cake walk. You have to shoot yourself up with hormones every day. And I hate needles, which is why it was particularly challenging to me. That, and the fact that I just didn’t like the unnatural process that I felt like I was forced to put my body through.. that added to the mental anxiety and distress I was already feeling, due to my cancer diagnosis. YEAH.
Anyways, I knew it was necessary so I did it. I’ve never been one to know that I really want kids, but I definitely know that I do not want that option taken away from me. So, down the egg freezing road I went. And I will say, I did come out the other end and I’m 100% happy I did it. I’ve now got myself a $5,500 insurance policy on my future babies. All 22 of them.
I think that most people who decide to freeze their eggs are actually trying to conceive so I picture those girls as being more like, “Bring it on! Let’s do this.” But for me, I was kind of like….hmmm, still deciding on a surgeon for my mastectomy, I’m going to be losing a boob, maybe my ovaries, depending on the results of my genetic test, maybe both boobs will have to go, then maybe after all that there’s a good chance I’ll have chemo and loose all my hair. Oh, I guess I’ll just go ahead and freeze my eggs now before my mastectomy. Might as well get another minnie surgery in before the big one. NBD.
Now, your mindset going into the egg-freezing process is very important and will impact how you deal with it. I didn’t do well. I was pretty much miserable the entire time. I did have some consolation though. My best friend is currently pregnant, so I bonded with her. Shit, I don’t know how woman are pregnant for 9 months. They should get paid for that. Like hard, cold cash $$$.
The people at Shady Grove were AMAZING though, especially my nurse. (They assign you a nurse who basically holds your hand through the entire process and makes sure you don’t cause any unnecessary harm to yourself…or your babies). She was a great teacher, and she made me an expert at drug mixing and syringe handling all in the space of one afternoon.
Once I got over the shock of injecting myself with shots about 3 times a day, all I had to deal with were the frequent blood draws and transvaginal ultrasounds (which occur about every other day at first, then every day as you get closer to your procedure). Mine lasted 12 days, the 12th day being the day that I had the egg removal procedure.
The actual egg removal procedure itself wasn’t terrible. For me, it was actually kind of like a nice little pre-game for my mastectomy. I got experience going under anesthesia and waking up in what seems like 3 seconds later and having everything be done.
For the first day, I took pain meds and pretty much just lounged around with a warm cozy heating pad placed over my stomach. By day 2 I was walking around, popping Tylenol here and there. Day 3 I was like…what, I had surgery two days ago? Don’t feel thing!
I did still feel bloated for probably about 5ish days after, but now that’s gone and it feels like nothing ever happened.
But something did happen…my future babies are frozen in time, in a jar in the back of a freezer somewhere, ready to be taken out years from now and placed in my belly.
I’m hoping that by the time I’m actually ready to have children, they won’t even be required to re-insert the egg into my uterus. I’m hoping they’ll have figured out a way to incubate them all on their own by then, so I can just swing by and pick up my baby when it’s ready.
Come on, science, is that too much to ask?