In the little bit of research I’ve done on Chemotherapy, I’ve learned that the treatment doesn’t target Cancer cells specifically; it targets fast dividing cells. Fast dividing cells include hair, fingernails, my tumor, and yes… sperm. When this whole thing began, I was advised to freeze some of my Little Gentlemen based on the small chance that normal sperm production wouldn’t start up again. As you may have guessed, this was a strange process.
In Manitoba, fertility clinics are privately run, so Amanda and I went to one close to our house. We waited in the waiting room (with a woman in the process of having quadruplets, among others), then were brought into the clinic room. We had a good talk to the doctor about the whole process, then were left to wait for the nurse to take me into the “donation room”.
When the nurse came in to get me, she asked me something that took me completely off guard. “Would you like your wife to come in with you?”.
I feel like this is a question they need to prepare you for! There was this moment of absolute panic where I didn’t wan’t to be presumptuous and say “yes”, but I also didn’t want to offend my wife and say “no”.
A split second later, the nurse started listing the stipulations… all the things that couldn’t take place in “the room”. It was then quickly decided that the awkwardness of what was about to happen would best be taken on alone.
So here’s this action, that I’ve been literally hiding since I was a preteen. And I’m just being lead by a nurse and my wife, through a waiting room, to perform this… action. I could feel the unborn quadruplets judging me.
The first thing I noticed was how dimly lit the room was… why? They might as well have had pumpkin spice candles and rose pedals lining the linoleum. There was a stack of magazines (which I decided not to touch), and a chair (which I decided not to use). I washed my hands before and after…
Later that day, I got a phone call from the fertility clinic. While I’m not one to toot my own horn (if you know me, you’ll know that’s a total lie), the nurse was very pleased with the amount of “specimen” that we’d managed to save. So if chemo doesn’t go as planned, Amanda and I may still be able to have a baby!
Today I am on day 5 of my first treatment. This is supposed to be the worst of the first 2 weeks. It will likely get worse as we go, but if this is even in the realm of “as bad as it gets”, it’s totally manageable. I have some nausea, some pretty serious fatigue, and my mouth and joints feel kind of weird.
When I pee, the toxicity level is so high that I need to close off the toilette seat, and flush twice. This is just on the off chance that there is some untreated chemical in my urine. This is nasty stuff.
I’ve talked to a few people who have been through more intense chemo treatments, and they sound absolutely miserable. My treatment is considered “mild/moderate” as far as chemo goes, so I’m counting myself lucky!
So it goes.