Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A part of something bigger

For an initial update, I did go to the state fair and rolled around in a wheelchair to enjoy my favorites of corn on the cob and elephant ears. It was fantastic.

Now onto what I want to share with you....

On Friday, I woke up planning on attending what physicians call a "noon conference" at a nearby hospital with my fertility doctor. The office had invited me to attend with them to hear some presentations about what new options are arising for patients facing fertility issues due to surgeries and treatments (like me). When Glenda and I arrived, I quickly learned that not only was I invited to attend, but they wanted me to tell my story as an advocate for education on fertility preservation options for cancer patients. I was quite caught off guard, but was honored to be a part of something bigger. I've been racking my brain to find a way to make my experience more than just survival, and it landed in my lap - how often does that happen? I shared my experience with the hospital staff starting with my diagnosis and how fertility preservation has given me a sense of calmness, security, and hope for the future. See, I am not at the stage of my life that I am ready to have children - but I am not ok with the possibility of losing that chance because of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The challenge here is that most women facing treatments like these are never exposed to the options they have in fertility preservation - and may not even be informed that the treatments they are about to endure may affect her fertility. To put it this way, the first oncologist I visited had a nurse practitioner give me a 10 minute presentation on all the horrible things that could happen to me, but never mentioned the possibility of infertility - why!? Well, I hope to assist in my fertility doctor's quest to gain support from the medical community and spread awareness to the public about fertility preservation for patients to prevent the loss of the amazing gift of fertility, or as the movie "Couple's Retreat" would put it, saving the "earth." I'm good with that :)

Post script: My hair has been falling out in massive clumps and I had to cut my hair to about an inch long. I'm not ready to share photos of this near crew cut. Just know I'm getting use of my baseball caps and wig.

9 comments :

THE Stephanie said...

What an amazing opportunity you've had - and what a great outlook you seem to maintain. I'm sure you have your days, but I'm so inspired by reading your updates.

I will keep you in my prayers. Really.

DeDe said...

How inspiring! Of course advocating for patient education is most important, especially dealing with fertility, male or female. Kudos to your for braving public speaking to share your story and what you were glad to know ahead of time. I continue to pray for you!

theharrisgirl said...

What a fantastic opportunity for you and those who were able to hear you speak. I am glad agreed to share your story. And as far as the fair is concerned, well, I know it wasn't the Indiana State Fair or the corn on the cob would have been deep fried. :) Hugs, Hughes

Sara said...

That is incredible that an opportunity to share your experience and very likely make it better for those who will follow you better came to you. It is very sad that the first nurse didn't inform you. Praying for you and wishing you the best.

Meredith said...

So proud of you sister.

RN Mama said...

I can't remember if I've ever commented, but just wanted to tell you I've been following you since your diagnosis, and I am thinking of you. How awesome that you were able to share your story! I'm sure you look gorgeous with your crew cut!

Lacey Jo said...

Hello Sara,

I'm a new reader and fellow Arizonan! I just wanted to say how much I admire your incredible strength and positive attitude.

Josie said...

I know you will continue to do a beautiful job of sharing your journey with people so they will benefit from the knowledge and experinces you are having. I love you so much and am so proud of you!!!!

Emily said...

Very very proud of you! Something good will come of this...you are right! You are already inspiring tons through your blog and now throuh the sharing of your story. I love you BB.

 

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