Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pieces of the puzzle...

Two recent "Thoughtful Thursday" questions made me think and gave me reason for not just commenting on the posts but writing a bit more here on my own blog.

The first one is related to the TT from May 21, 2010 - which made me wonder if my infertility is a stand-alone thing or if there is a genetic link somewhere. There are two instances of known infertility in my family - my aunt didn't have any children because her husband had a fertility problem (and their marriage wasn't strong enough to endure the treatments) - but there is no blood connection between him and me, so that doesn't count. Then my maternal uncle and his wife were never able to conceive, but they never went to the doctor to find out why, so I don't know where the problem was for them. My dad and his siblings are all five years apart, which could be an indication of fertility problems, but I've never asked my paternal grandmother and don't think I will (as it's pretty impossible to talk about anything except the weather with her).

I know that I have some similarities in the woman's department with my maternal grandmother: we both experience(d) very painful menstruation cramps and carry our babies (well, I've only had one, so no idea if it would be the same for a second one) well past term, almost to 10 months. However, she had four children in a row (between 14 and 28 months apart), so she didn't seem to have any fertility problems. My parents' first child was stillborn and my mom had a miscarriage after that (probably because she got pregnant too soon after the first one - the only thing the stupid OBGYN had said to her was "I hope you'll get pregnant again very soon". So she did, and when she miscarried he scolded her for getting pregnant so soon...). My sister was TTCing for about two years before getting pregnant, which ended in a missed miscarriage. She then got pregnant about six months later and now has two beautiful children.

So... no definite clues for infertility problems, but there is a history of problems later in life with the reproductive organs on my mom's side of the family. Both her sisters had their uterus removed around the time of menopause (I don't know the exact reasons, but I think it was a bit of a 'better safe than sorry approach'). I think my grandma had something similar. My mom had polyps removed about 10 years ago and oh, I wish they had removed her uterus as well back then, because she has recently been diagnosed with endometrial cancer, which has spread to the cervix and the surrounding lymph nodes. She is currently recovering from surgery where they removed everything and will have radiation therapy in a couple of weeks. We don't know what the future will bring.

When I consulted Dr Google just after her diagnosis, I found a list of 'possible causes' for this cancer. One of them is infertility... Which leads me to the other TT from April 29, 2010 that deals with possible future problems related to infertility (treatment). This made me wonder if every women on my mom's side of our family has to deal with some problems related to our reproductive organs at one point in life, and mine happens to be infertility, or if I should expect to be a future endometrial cancer candidate because of my infertility history. Of course I don't have the answer to this question, but it seems like some pieces of the puzzle are coming together, no idea what the final shape will be though. Time will probably tell.

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