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Pregnancy after 3 x cancer and a stem cell transplant

Pregnancy after 3 x cancer and a stem cell transplant

So here’s some bloody surprising news – I’m up the duff!

Yup, after three rides on the cancer train, some chemo, a stem cell transplant, radiotherapy and too many operations, my body has done what the doctors said it wouldn’t and I’m growing a kid!

Children after cancer has always been a massive question mark. Early menopause and infertility are super common for us warriors - especially after a stem cell transplant.

"Few survivors had children following transplant (3.3%). However, for those of reproductive age at HSCT, 22% reported trying to conceive, with 10.3% reporting success."

(A survey of fertility and sexual health following allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in New South Wales, Australia)

It's devastating to be told that your ability to have babies naturally is being taken away. It was one of the irreversible parts of kicking cancer's ass and it was certainly the one that hurt the most.

Psembi and I were geared up to return home from London and try our luck with my 5 frozen eggs. We’d talked plenty about adoption or using some of my sister’s eggs. Although I knew it would be tricky, I felt lucky to be living in a world where science and IVF existed. We had back-up plans upon back-up plans.

Blood tests last year told me that I was on the brink of menopause and a sonographer told me my ovaries appeared to have gone ‘nigh-nighs.’ They looked small and shrivelled. Everything was looking very quiet on the ovarian front.

So you can imagine I basically fell off the toilet when the test showed two lines!

(It also explained why I was feeling so rubbish for so long after my nerve operation in April.)

Obligatory bump photo. (There's a baby in there.)

I'm now 22 weeks pregnant. Get ready for turban tutorials with an expanding belly and my new Pamela Anderson style boobs. P and I are still a little shocked but over the moon. We’ll have someone new at the Christmas table this year.

To my warriors that have been given similar fertility predictions - although I know my story is rare, I hope it brings a bit of hope, because sometimes the doctors get it wrong. Don’t underestimate your body. It really is the most resilient machine ever invented and it’s built to heal.

Em xo


Since I’ve completely strayed from typical Bravery business I'll add that we got engaged in February! So here are few snaps of our new bling. (We both decided we should get engagement rings!)

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