Patient Stories

Lauren's Story

  • State: MD
  • Cancer Type: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
  • Age at Diagnosis: 30
Lauren - Fertility Preservation Cancer

What is your current treatment state?
Currently undergoing treatment

Did you undergo any fertility preservation treatments?
Yes, Embryo Freezing

Did someone on your healthcare team speak to you about the possible effects of cancer treatments on your fertility?
Yes

Who raised the topic?
A member of my healthcare team did

Was the information you received thorough and helpful?
Yes

When were you told that your fertility might be affected by your cancer treatments?
Before I started active treatment

How did you pay for it?
I used a financial assistance program,I paid for it out of pocket,I got help paying for it from family\friends

Why did you undergo fertility preservation?
Becoming parents has been a lifelong dream for my husband and I. Even though there is a chance of natural pregnancy after active treatment, parenthood wasn't something we were willing to gamble with. Any chance of infertility, no matter how small, was enough for us to see the value of taking action and setting up 'an insurance plan'. Once we found out that chemotherapy was part of my treatment regimen, we moved quickly to meet with a reproductive endocrinologist.

Did you become a parent after cancer?
Not yet but I would like to

Lauren's Story

My husband and I had been married 6 months prior to my diagnosis. We had talked about starting a family, and after almost a decade of birth control, I had stopped taking the pill. We were lying in bed, reflecting on the positives in our life, when I found a lump in my right breast. The whirlwind of the learning the diagnosis, and then finding out that treatment may take 5 - 10 years (delaying pregnancy), and it's potential to render one infertile, left us at the lowest of lows. We never imagined such challenges would face us so early on in our marriage. My husband and I met with a reproductive endocrinoligst, prior to the start of chemotherapy. She was an angel. After a crash course in reproductive endocrinology, we decided to move forward with embryo preservation. Fertility preservation and all it can encompass - egg retrieval, cryopreservation, ovarian tissue preservation, embryo banking, genetic testing, etc. - were not covered by my health insurance. These additional costs were on top of the cancer treatment costs, and caused stress and uncertainty on our financial security. In addition to the cancer costs, my husband and I were searching for housing options as our lease was ending soon, and our landlord had made clear his intentions of selling the property. We had hoped to buy a house and felt that we might have to sacrifice yet another dream due to this devastating diagnosis. IVF totaled upwards of $15,000. While we received some funding support through the Livestrong Foundation, we had to go on a payment plan because we couldn’t front the remainder of the costs. We are still paying on fertility preservation to this day. On our wedding day my husband and I exchanged vows, we promised to work with each other to pursue and realize the dreams we share. Those dreams included raising a family. We are so thankful for the opportunity to undergo IVF treatment, and hope that others, with similar stories are provided the same information from their health care team, and financial resources to help pursue their dreams of parenthood. Cancer strips away enough as it is, future motherhood shouldn't be at risk. We still have a few more years of treatment prior to starting our family. We work to visualize our future; the day we will be able to grow our family; which gives us hope and encouragement.

Read Lauren's Story in The Baltimore Sun