Hodgkins Lymphoma

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Hi everyone, just wanted to seek advice as it’s been really tough lately! 
I’m 19 y/o (F), just finished first year of University, and I’ve just been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. My treatment is supposed to be 2 cycles of ABVD followed by 4 cycles of AVD (if the PET scan after the first 2 cycles indicates this is possible), otherwise 2 cycles of ABVD followed by 4 cycles of increased chemotherapy (the regime is yet to be discussed). I’ve been asked whether I want to go for egg freezing to preserve fertility and it’s been an incredibly hard decision to make! 

a bit of context - I do want children in the future I think but it’s all too far-fetched and hazy right now; this makes me think I ought to go for the fertility preservation process. The egg - preservation process would take two weeks and then another week of rest before I can begin chemo, which on the other hand, makes me worried if it’s delaying the process and I should get on with it. Given that my second year exams and just overall education could be hampered if the chemotherapy took longer, I’m really heartbroken because my studies and passion were my main reason to move here from a very humble family despite bulk academic costs! At the same time, because I’ve always been fond of children and I do know that I have a maternal instinct which makes me want a family in the future, I don’t want to regret anything about seven or eight years from now! Seems like a mountain load to consider for a Uni student, I’d never imagined this!  

This is really pressing on me and I keep second-guessing. If anyone’s willing to share their experience/opinion or just say anything at all, please feel free to, I’m more than grateful for any advice or thoughts! 

  • Hi,

    First off, sorry you are going through this, I know it's tough. Our stories are pretty close, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma when I was 20 and was set to have 8 cycles of ABVD and then a month of radiation, but this was 20 years ago and in America. I, too, was asked if I wanted to do egg freezing, I hadn't really ever thought about having kids, but also didn't like the idea of having the option taken away. It had taken a while for me to get my diagnosis and my PET scan was showing signs that the cancer was spreading into my lower abdomen, so I thought I didn't want to risk waiting, and the doctors felt the same, especially because you aren't guaranteed to become infertile from the treatment. So I didn't freeze eggs. Fast forward and at 26 I was told that we could start trying to get pregnant (advice then was to wait a minimum of five years from the end of treatment before conceiving), and for a year I nothing happened, so I had some tests done, and turns out I had PCOS and I was giving a medication and got pregnant my first cycle after taking the medication. My son is now 14. Obviously I might feel different if I hadn't been able to conceive, but I think the health of yourself should take precedent over a future what if. You already have enough on your plate. Going through cancer and being a survivor you really do learn to live for the now. Be in the now, do what you have to do for you. 

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask. 

    **Brittania

  • Hi  and a warm welcome to this corner of the Community although I am always sorry to see folks joining us.

    I am Mike and I help out around our various Lymphoma groups. I don’t have Hodgkin's Lymphoma (I have lived with and been treated for a rare Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma for over 24 years) and obviously I have not been in the same position as yourself but I have talked with many who have.

    First, we do have a dedicated Hodgkin lymphoma support group where we have had folks just like yourself post over the years about the same subject..... and as you see  has also highlighted her story. There have been many who were not able to go through the egg freezing process have went on to have family and a few actually went through Stem Cell Transplant as well.

    Your clinical team will know well 'if' it's safe to wait from the egg freezing to go ahead without affecting your treatment effectiveness.

    If you are in the UK you may want to check out the Lymphoma Action website. Lymphoma Action is the only UK Lymphoma Specific Charity who have lots of good reliable information, videos..... basically all things Lymphoma....... pre, during and post treatment.

    They run regular Support Platforms for patients with a group specifically for your age range....... I highly recommend these groups as there is nothing better than talking with other who have walked the journey.

    They also have a great Lymphoma Action Buddy Service where people can be linked up with someone who has walked the same treatment journey.

    They also have a Lymphoma helpline on 0808 808 5555 where you can talk with someone and get support - open every week day from 10 till 3.

    Always around to help more or just to chat

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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  • Hi  thanks a bunch for sharing your experience! I’m glad it all worked out for you - this definitely makes me feel reassured! I do feel that at present, I want to spend more time on my university life and studies, whilst also knowing that at some point I would love to have a family when settled. I guess I will just have to cross those bridges when I come to them and hope for the best! 

  • Hello  thanks so much for this! I’m genuinely glad to have found this community and thankful for the support. I will be sure to look up the additional links and resources!