Monday, December 17, 2007

Baby Talk

Alan and I have been having a pretty serious discussion lately. It revolves around babies. As in having them. For those of you hip to the beginning of this whole pink ribbon tale, you know that my world was pretty much ovulation kits and pee sticks before I was diagnosed.

Then the "big C" hit. And any and all plans went right out the window.

So here I am, almost 2 years out from my diagnosis, and so far so good. What does that mean for the fetus factory?

Well, it's a complicated thing. See, I'm hormone positive. Meaning, my cancer fed on estrogen like a high frat boy eats doritos. And pregnancy usually means skyrocketing hormone levels. At the same time, there's no real evidence that shows pregnancy has an adverse effect. Why don't we know for sure? Well, there just aren't enough hormone positive women who have babies after breast cancer to really show us anything. The perks of being special. Some doctors say absolutely no pregnancy. Thankfully, I don't see those doctors. Mine tend to go for a cautious optimism. If it's really a priority of mine, and they can't prove it will hurt me, then they can't stop me.

Pregnancy could very well raise my risk of recurrence. Or not. We just don't know. I guess I could be uber cautious... adopt, get a surrogate, go kid free. But I just can't. And yes, I know it's a risk. I guess it's a risk I'm willing to take. Why?

Because cancer has already taken enough from me, dammit. I refuse to let it take one thing more.

Now, the current thought it that I should continue on my hormonal therapy for 5 years. In fact, I'm in a clinical trial for just that. But all my doctors have told me I could take a "break" after 2 years and try for a kiddie. Pop out one or two, then close up shop for good. I could move to permanent menopause and take another kind of drug - one that's been shown to be a bit more beneficial in post menopausal women. Sounds like a plan to me.

I will say, however, that Alan and I are toying with the idea of stopping tamoxifen and my monthly menopause shots before the 2 full years of hormonal treatment. This seems totally against my usually harsh medical advice I dole out to others. Part of it is life stuff... it's just easier to do it sooner. Then there's the "if you're stopping the drugs early, what's a couple of months?" And maybe the prevailing thought for me is that breast cancer is a crap shoot. You can do everything right and it will come back. You blow off treatment and it never does. There's a bit of "shit happens."

So maybe I have the fatalistic approach of "if I'm going to get breast cancer again, I'll get it again."

Sure, could I get pregnant, get breast cancer again and kick myself? Yep.
But could I do everything right, never get breast cancer but not have a child either? Yep.

I guess I'd rather go through door #1.

I think a lot about getting breast cancer again with small kids. What it would do to them... and I suppose we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Needless to say, Alan and I have a lot to think about.

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