Fertility and Cancer: Amy's Story
Amy's personal account of fertility after a cancer diagnosis is courtesy of the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition's In Your Own Words series by ovarian cancer survivors:
"Life prior to my diagnosis was typical – spending time with family and friends, I was recently married and returning to college.
My diagnosis came as a result of a car accident in June 2013. No one was severely injured – and I refused care from emergency personnel. A couple weeks after the accident, I was having severe pain in my abdomen and went to the ER at a nearby hospital. There were fibroids visible in the CT scan and the practitioner recommended a follow-up with an OB/GYN. The gynecologist recommended an MRI and that’s when they realized my symptoms were more involved. I had a softball sized tumour resting on top of my uterus and multiple cysts and growths on my left ovary. I was told surgery was the best choice, and that it was the only way to determine what stage it was.
Surgery was scheduled about three weeks after the MRI. The surgeon, a gynecological oncologist, reported findings of Stage 1 ovarian cancer, left ovary and tube. I had no symptoms leading up to my diagnosis and had expressed that my cycles were irregular, but no further testing was completed.
I did not want anyone with me when I was diagnosed, and I remember that day thinking about the possibility of not being able to have children. I gained new appreciation for the simple things in life and fortunately no further treatment was necessary.
My family and friends are the best support system and my husband helped me change out my foley/cath[eter] – that’s love! My best friend inspires me daily, she one of the strongest women I know. I’ve learned that I am resilient and need to slow down.
The hardest thing I’ve had to deal with is being in menopause early and redirecting questions when people ask, “When are you going to have another baby?”
If I had to offer one piece of advice it would be to advocate for yourself and surround yourself with family and friends that will support you."