Long messy ramble - fertility after BC - needed a vent (thanks & sorry!)

Karen T
Karen T Member Posts: 95
Well once again I havent stopped by here for a while. I have been feeling too sad and needed to get my thoughts sorted out a bit better before trying to write it out. (this website is very cathartic)

In December I decided to be proactive with the idea of starting a family since I had been given permission to stop taking Tamoxifen (Yay!).
I excitedly went and had a blood test to see what my ovarian reserve was like after chemo/zoladex/radio.  Unfortunately the results were so low we were told that we would have to do IVF as soon as possible at a cost of over 12k (which we dont have) but the specialist wanted me to have another blood test in Feb 3 days into my period to see if my AMH results improved at all.
I had the original AMH test very soon after finishing tamoxifen and my Dr thought it may have influenced the results. My result in December was: 2  At my age (37) it should have been between 17 and twenty something (27?). 
This news was just heart breaking. I know that IVF doesnt work for everyone and is a crazy emotional rollercoaster that costs money we just dont have.  I started looking into accessing my Super which apparently you can do for IVF and there is some company that helps with the from at a cost of $200

Waiting for Feb to have the blood test was a long wait so we decided to just give it a go naturally in the mean time. I started taking the right vitamins and ditched the condoms.

I had been feeling a bit weird and started to wonder if we had managed to beat the odds so off I went to buy some home pregnancy tests. They were positive! Straight to the GP the next day to confirm with a blood test and yup. I was pregnant.
We just couldn't believe our luck! 
Being pregnant after BC treatment automatically deems you 'high risk' so I tried desperately not to get too excited but it was just impossible not too. When you can feel your body changing there is no way you can not think about it and all my blood tests were coming in with good numbers so things were going well.
Being high risk means you get sent for ultrasounds much sooner than normal so we had four all up. At the 3rd we got to see a little squiggle with a heart beat and by ultrasound 4 its little heart had stopped.  I think it was called a missed miscarriage. Its when the baby stops growing but your body doesn't realise.  I was still getting all the symptoms of being pregnant but it wasn't ment to be.
The standard next step is to wait 2 weeks to see if your body passes it all naturally, if not you need to go in for a procedure.
It was the hardest 2 weeks ever.  I couldn't go to work as I was convinced the final part of the miscarriage would start while at work and it takes me an hour to get home on the train - there was no way I was going to spend and hour on the train bleeding and bawling my eyes out!

I ended up needing to have the procedure which went well. By that point I was just happy to get closure on that front.

So it has been two weeks since the procedure and I now have my annual boob ultrasound and mammogram next coming up next week.
While I was pregnant my 'normal' boob was crazy tender where as my operated on boob was just occasionally feeling weird. Since my hormones have been coming back to normal I have had a whole bunch of pimples and my operated on boob has been feeling weird more frequently under my scar.  I am so emotionally spent that I am now stressing more than normal about the upcoming check up.
I was only pregnant for 2 months but my cancer was hormone positive.  I have read stats that pregnancy doesnt cause cancer but as I said, I am emotionally wrecked at the moment, the combo of hormones and not sleeping doesnt help!
I havent had time to fully process the miscarriage yet. I know it sounds dramatic but I am scared that this was our one and only chance.

I have always been a very positive person and after going through BC I thought everything else would be a breeze. I couldnt have been more wrong.  It has taken me awhile to figure out why I am not handling this as well (hahaha) as I did BC but I realised that my escapes during treatment were facebook, tv & movies. It seems at the moment every facebook post is another friends pregnant belly, pics of adorable babies and people posting about how amazing it is to be a parent. TV and movies are just as bad!  While I was pregnant I was researching baby stuff online and now all my pop up ads are baby related.  There just seems to be no escape!

Logically I know that we can try again and IVF might be an option money permitting. I also know that if we cant have children it isnt the end of the world - I mean. I beat BC! I should be happy right?!
I guess I am just grieving. Looking forward to progressing to the angry phase instead of sad. 

There is no real point to this ramble. I was just hoping that having a little vent would help. I thought things would be easier since treatment finished but I guess the roller-coaster ride continues.



  • Cosette
    Cosette Member Posts: 637
    Ramble on, @Karen T. I'm so sorry that you miscarried. Yes, you should be happy that you beat breast cancer, but that doesn't mean you can't be angry or sad about other things. It sounds like you're having your body well looked after, but don't neglect your emotional and mental health. You've been through a lot. You might want to talk to your GP about seeing a clinical psychologist. 

    As for Facebook, if you find it hard to stay away, but you don't want to look at the baby content, unfollow those friends. You can unfollow without unfriending. It just means it won't come up in your feed. You can always follow them again later when you're ready. You can also hide or block the ads. Do whatever you need to do to take care of you.
  • SoldierCrab
    SoldierCrab Member Posts: 3,446
    oh Karen what a horrible time you have had it is ok to be sad and struggling with the added emotions of losing your baby. 
    Like Cosette said you might benefit from seeing a  clinical psychologist you can see them with a mental health plan via your GP under medicare as you had a cancer diagnosis.  Of course your boob is sensitive when our hormones change for the pregnancy then we get all sorts of changes.... Be gentle on yourself. 
    YOU are not ranting or raving you are grieving 
    Just know I want to hug you and give you comfort as you go through this process. 

    Soldier Crab xoxox 

  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,372
    @karent. What a totally screwed up situation. That the pain and grief of a cancer diagnosis is compounded by your miscarriage is particularly cruel and beyond the understanding of anyone who hasn't lived it. No wonder you need a rant. You probably need a series of them
    Good luck, Karen, I hope that some small thing in the next few weeks brings a smile to your dial. Marg xxx
  • brightspace
    brightspace Member Posts: 445
    Hi Karen big huggs..those bloody hormones are to blame! Lots of things going on so  take things a bit slower as we say be kind to your self
     hope all goes well with next few months 
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
    Oh Karen T, such a sad and stressful time you've had. Losing a baby is devastating regardless of having had breast cancer and all your fears of fertility and your feelings of loss are absolutely understandable. My breasts increased 1 bra and 4 cup sizes in the first 9 weeks of my first pregnancy. ...so I'm not surprised your breasts feel weird and tender. 

    Don't feel sorry for your need to vent. It's  very healthy and we are humbled that you feel you could share your fears and tragedy with us. I know there is nothing we can say to make any of it better for you. But know we care, have shed a tear and really really understand your sadness and fears. Take care. Kath x
  • fairydust
    fairydust Member Posts: 290
    @Karen T I would have liked a happy ending. What is good is that you were actually
    able to get pregnant. Lots of woman do have miscarriage and then have a normal pregnancy.
      So if IVF on the cards the probability of it working may be good.Who is to know?
    Saying that... loosing a baby is devastating and on top of cancer not easy. Not sure if I could cope.

  • Brenda5
    Brenda5 Member Posts: 2,423
    Sorry to hear of the lost little one. Take this time to keep you relationship strong with your husband. He has had a loss as well. Bonus for him is no more condoms (men like to thing on the physical aspects). You beat cancer girl so you are already a warrior. Try again and don't give up. <3
  • Karen T
    Karen T Member Posts: 95
    Well it has been over a year since I posted this and thought an update was needed. 
    Time passed and I managed to get pregnant again only to miscarry a week after getting the positive test result.  That time was much easier emotionally as I didnt feel pregnant or let myself get excited.
    More time passed. I changed jobs, moved house and got pregnant again! I am now currently at 35 weeks (36 weeks on Sunday) and it took a LONG time to adjust to this one.  I was beyond stressed the entire first 6 months that something would go wrong again. I told people close to me but have made no announcement on social networking. I get anxious when people get too excited for us as he isnt here safely yet but I am now super excited and cant wait to meet our little boy.
    I havent stopped by here as being hormonal I was worried that I would start worrying about reoccurrence which I have managed to avoid thinking about at all so far.
    I need to read up on the latest stats on Tamoxifen to see if I still want to start taking it again after he is here safely but for now I just wont to focus on staying positive.  Every so often I try find success stories about ladies having children after treatment but never seem to have any luck.  Would be nice to have a folder somewhere on this site where you can go for some positive stories when you are feeling a bit flat - I never seem to have luck searching key words!
    Basically I am feeling a bit reflective today. The last 5 years have been extremely full on: Got married, BC + treatment, changed jobs, work was robbed at gun point twice, moved house, changed jobs, two miscarriages, now waiting for our first child to arrive.  Talk about a rollercoaster!  
    Thank you for all of the kind words you shared on my original post. So nice to be able to post a happier update :)
  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,372
    Excellent news,  @karent Best wishes for the future for you and your family--you are right, it is great to see a positive story, thanks for sharing yours. Mxx
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,561
    Lovely to hear!  Best wishes and take care 
  • Sister
    Sister Member Posts: 4,960
    @karent My cancer came long after pregnancies but I have gone through the anguish of miscarriage and IVF cycles so your story brought back a lot of memories. And it does seem as if everyone is popping them out without a care in the world. I am so happy that you are so close to meeting your little one. Your life will never be the same. Gaye
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    What a wonderful post! The warmest and heartiest of congratulations to you  :*<3:) I hope that all your dreams continue to come true. Enjoy the months ahead! Kate xox
  • Kiwi Angel
    Kiwi Angel Member Posts: 1,952
    That is the most amazing news - just made my weekend - the biggest of congratulations xoxo
  • lrb_03
    lrb_03 Member Posts: 1,267
    Hi @Karen T. What a lovely update. I'm sorry for what you've been through to get to this point,  but so pleased for you that you have got here.
    I'm not surprised you had such a hard time emotionally for those first months of your pregnancy. There's a lot of reasearch out there about the impact of pregnancy loss on subsequent pregnancies, and evenon parenting, so be gentle with yourself  :) 

    In a former life, I was a midwife. I have certainly looked after women in the postnatal period who have had  a history of BC. Of course,  we spend such a short time with them in hospital,  so can't answer about longer term. I do, however, recall caring for one woman who had had her 2nd baby after her BC diagnosis.
    If you have other questions around this, don't hesitate to message me
    Fingers firmly crossed for you
  • Giovanna_BCNA
    Giovanna_BCNA Member Posts: 1,839
    Hello @Karen T congratulations that is wonderful news, wishing you much love and happiness in the months to come