When you hear the words, "You've got cancer," an auto pilot switches on to carry you through, to numb the experience, to make the reality and accompanying fear more tolerable. Doctor appointments come and go. Facts and scientific jargon fly around you. Needles and more needles invade your veins without a flinch, while poking and prodding gets all too familiar. There is little to think about, minimal decisions to be made, rare opportunity to be in control. Life is happening TO YOU at this point, and you are in restraints.
When the date for surgery was put on the calendar, I got a moment to breathe. Knowing the day that would move me closer to recovery and health, I found more space in my mind, grace in my heart and sight into the future. At this point, I was able to take into consideration a newly presented idea of fertility preservation. My doctor explained the risks that would come with my surgery and treatment plan, believing the removal of my uterus would be highly likely and although they would move my ovaries out of the radiation site, there was the risk that they would be harmed. With this information, and a restored hope for the future and motherhood, I began the process of egg freezing.
Ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval can cost a woman roughly $15,000. Insurance does not always cover this gift, and resources for financial support are lean, especially when time is of the essence. After hesitation due to cost and a questioning of my "right" path, I was reassured by my supporters that I should give myself the choice to one day have my own biological children. Thankfully, my family and I were able to split the cost over a handful of credit cards. I can't imagine the additional pain I would have had to work through if this option was not available to me. I can't imagine what it would be like to have my lifelong dream of creating a child, taken away from me. I can't imagine what it would feel like to not have my 18 eggs waiting patiently for me to give them life.
These feelings of gratitude for my fortunate situation paired with an intense empathy for the women who had motherhood stripped from them has driven me to create a solution. I hope to put an end to this additional pain, anger, sadness, and loss that no woman should endure. Cancer is a huge battle to overcome in itself. Losing the ability to create doesn't need to be an additional source of hardship.
Friends, I introduce to you The Fly Buddha Foundation - assisting women with gynecological cancer in the preservation of their fertility. Through financial assistance and community resources, we strive to create a possibility where one would otherwise not exist; the possibility for a woman to have her own biological child.