Making the best decisions we can

This morning there was an article in the paper about parents who opt to freeze their daughters' eggs before cancer treatment in the hope that one day their children will have a better chance of having children.

I remember having this discussion with Doctor Anne last year on the 5th of June 2007. This was the first time Bianca went to theatre and she had a bone marrow biopsy and her first treatment and they managed to establish exactly what type of leukemia Bianca had. The day before we knew that Bianca had leukemia, but we didn't know what type, her prognosis or anything. So there we sat in this tiny little room. I knew we were going to have a meeting and I sat there with my little list of questions, one of which was Bianca's chance to have children. The answer to this: "we don't know". Unfortunately it is true that a side-effect of some of the chemo drugs is that it can cause infertility. A sad thought when your little girl is only 3.

The problem of course with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia is that you have to start treatment straightaway, you cannot sit and wait, so for us the important thing was to start treatment and then deal with side-effects later on. Of course Bianca was only 3 at the time and then I guess we'd have to ask how effective a procedure such as this would be for her? So in all honesty I can't say that it is a subject we researched to such an extent that we were able to make a decision. Our doctor wasn't able to assure us that it would be in Bianca's best interest or that it would guarantee or improve her chances. Then rather treat the cancer straightaway. In any case it wasn't as if we had weeks to look into different options or to research things like this, it wasn't as if we could get second opinions. It was pretty much like being pushed off a diving board - we had no choice but to move forward. And that's what we did. We didn't dwell on the "what ifs" We focused on now, on being positive, on making things as happy as possible for Bianca (and us).

I recently read a book called "Hannah's Gift" and the one thing I remember reading was where the doctor told them to always make the best decisions with the information you have at the time. In this journey there will be many times that we think "if only I did this or that or the other", "if only we didn't do this or that or the other". And of course many people from the sideline who will stand there and say "If it was me...".

And right now? Who knows what lies around the corner? Who knows what long term effects we will have to deal with? Who knows? We cannot choose the things that happen to us, we can only choose how we handle these things, and that's about all we can do, every day.

1 comment:

Annie Fox! said...

Hi Lea,

I too didn't really have a choice about my fertility when I was first was diagnosed, just had to go straight into chemo and there was no question, I would definately lose my fertility.

But making a decision - if you can call it that - for your own daughter must have been hard, but yes, you land up following the best advice you can get and just keep moving forward.