Younger people with bowel cancer

Ruth563

Fertility

Hi all, am after a bit of advice, thoughts, ideas. I hope it is OK to post here. My hubby (44) has recent diagnosis and he is awaiting open bowel surgery, There is also a spot to his liver currently operable they say. I am 35 and before all this turmoil and dread we were trying for our first baby together. It's obviously gone on the back burner now but we are asking the oncologist about preserving some sperm as he will be having chemo after bowel surgery and apparently this affects fertility. We were trying for over a year and we weren't sure if there was any problem with his fertility or whether the cancer was causing problems now we know the reason for his severe anaemia. It is of course not the primary concern now but don't want to leave it too late and in some ways pursuing the fertility option may be a good distraction from this dreadful disease and the onslaught of the treatments. Does anyone have experience of this or any advice? Would we be mad to pursue this given what we are about to go through and more so my poor husband. Thank you for any help/suggestions and sending a big hello/hug to everyone :x:

charleyb

@Ruth563 we are blessed with two beautiful sons but just before my husband had his diagnosis we were discussing another baby. Obviously Charlies treatment was the priority but as we were unsure of what we wanted for the future we looked into fertility preservation. We spoke to the Onc and his GP and spoke to the local fertility centre and they tried every thing to get this to happen, he then went on and had surgery and we were told there was no time. So we accepted it and moved on, he actually ended up having an ileus which delayed chemo, approval came thru from the centre and he managed to go thru with the preservation, but it was a crazy rush and pretty stressful. Since then he has finished his treatment and out of his own curiosity had his sperm tested to see if he was still fertile, and amazingly he is (but a low count). What i would say is go for it, as long as your hubby wants to do this, and you can get approval and find a centre that will do it for you and it wont affect treatment. What i will say is that if there is any issues with his fertility then my understanding is they may not preserve it, they need a few samples for it to be viable to save. Not sure if any of this helps :x::x::x:

Lexi

@Ruth563 I tend to agree with Charleyb the other thing to remember and I am sorry to mention it, my hubbie has erectile dysfunction, as a result of his surgery I know some people say pop a blue pill, but we tried that and he had a really bad migrain all day as a result of it! Our doctor says it's not worth it, so you just have to accept the side effects as a result of getting rid of the tumour in the bowel, you are not selfish, how inadequate would he feel if he knew you wanted a baby and he could not manage it! It also gives him and you a focus for the future! Sending you lots of hugs :x::x:

Ruth563

Thank you this is all really helpful. @Lexi we did read this about the op as a side effect, obvs getting the tumour out is the priority but if we can do anything to preserve fertility we want to try. He has a doctors appt this Thursday so he will discuss it then and hopefully get it tested but may be a bit of a push and stressful like your experience @charleyb as his surgery is planned for 20th Nov and he's got to have another iron infusion and possibly a blood transfusion before then too. Thank you for your help. Am new to this website and the forums but finding it a lifeline already x Hugs :x:

charleyb

@Ruth563 if you are looking to preserve on the NHS you need to do it quick, it takes a while to get everything in place, i would advise you to contact the GP straight away next week to get the ball moving. If you are funding yourself then it probably wouldn`t matter. We didn`t realise what was needed to get it all in place, but it did take a few weeks, and lots of phone calls and begging!! He will need bloods and then a consultation with the centre. He will not be allowed to preserve if he has started treatment unfortunately. :x::x::x:

Ruth563

Ok. That means we need to get it all sorted by his op date on the 20th. Yikes!

Tiffany

@Ruth563

Hi there. Having already had three kids when my hubby was diagnosed we didn't have to worry about this but I think it is very sensible to think about it now. One thing I know about cancer is that you never really know what is going to happen. It could well be that your hubby will be absolutely fine after all the treatment and that you get pregnant one day naturally but what if.....?

Personally I would not take any chances and as the others have said if your hubby is up for it and it won't be too difficult I would definitely preserve some sperm and if you never need to use it then that's great but if you do then you have been very forward thinking.

Either way wishing him the best of luck with his upcoming surgery. Lots of love Tiffany :x::x:

Ruth563

@Tiffany thank you so much. Will definitely try I think. He is keen to preserve some if time allows. If not, there are other options I guess. :x::x:

MrsMoors

We went private and they organised it within 48 hours! I’m 32 and know I want more babies one day and sow does he! :x::x:

Ruth563

Thank u all. We had a appt with the gp today who is going to try and rush it through before surgery. If not there is. Time after surgery as he will need 4-6 weeks recovery before chemo as it is an open procedure. He has an iron infusion today and we met with the nurses, that was when they told us he has stage 4 bowel cancer. Devastating to hear, we kind of knew but it has sent me into a pit of despair 😢. I know there is lots they can do. I worry about the liver met growing while he recovers from surgery. And they have said they will try to get the lymph nodes but they can't be sure due to their location (high up on right side of bowel). This is such an awful disease :x::x:

AnnaO

Aw Ruth my heart goes out to you. I really hope you get the results you need. My partner Jon was asked if he wanted to have more children (we have a 2yr old Jack) which we said yes to so they advised preserving before his op on 30th November. Apparently they’ve said we’ll probably have to pay since he’s not on chemo but I do want to go down that avenue so we’re willing to do that. It made me wonder if I should also preserve my eggs (I’m 36) in case by the time we’re ready to go my count might be low due to my age. I’m not sure. It’s all so much to take in at once isn’t it?! All the best though and stay strong :x: