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Too early to think about more kids?

Too early to think about more kids?

Posted By
Hanaln
10/11/2019 10:37pm
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Replies: 6

My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma in April of this year. We had always planned to have our children close together and now our first is 13 months old and I’m itching to start trying for another to keep them close in age. However, I see the other side of how we have only made it through almost 6 months of treatment. Thankfully no more cancer showed up on the first 3 month scan and my husband has had no side effects from the immunotherapy. Would it be selfish to start trying for another baby now, knowing that he isn’t out of the woods yet? I don’t want to plan our lives according to what may or may not happen with his cancer but also don’t want to be irresponsible. I hope this doesn’t come off the wrong way, but becoming parents has brought us closer together and I feel that it is important to keep living the way we wanted to as long as we can. Does anyone have an experience they can share? Thanks!

I won't get into direct advice on such a personal decision, but I can give you a couple of data points to consider.

My wife and I have three children, but they were all of adult age by the time of her stage 4 diagnosis two years ago (primary on leg moved to two brain mets). She has had a fairly uneventful treatment course, compared to many others on here, and just finished her immunotherapy regimen two weeks ago.

Melanoma can take up a lot of time. Recovering from surgeries, travel for consultations, days or even weeks where the patient is just bone tired and can't get up to do much.

Our first child took a certain amount of work. Adding the second when the first was about 30 months old resulted in about ten times that amount of work. And they were both, easy kids. It's just the logistics of trying to deal with two humans who are almost completely dependent on you for everything. A huge jump from one to two. I will say adding the third wasn't much of a change from just having two.

Best wishes to your husband and good luck with whatever you decide.

Dave

Thanks for your response, Dave. I appreciate your kind words and advice. Best wishes to you and your wife!

Hello, I would suggest you ask his oncologist as to if the type of medication he is taking for the melanoma would be harmful in any way to the child. Sometimes it is suggested that you wait a certain period of time after the last dosage to start trying. Just a thought.

Judy (loving wife of Gene Stage IV and now NED for over 7 years)

Live 4 today. Thank God for all he has done for us. Looking forward to enjoying tomorrow.

Thanks, Judy. Definitely something to think about.

Hi there! I’m 2 months post 13 doses of immunotherapy and every doctor I see reminds me to use 2 types of birth control and avoid getting pregnant at all costs until at least 6 months post treatment (if ever- but it’s very different for women in regards to deciding to have more kids after melanoma), but 2 oncologists and an oncofertility specialist have all said that personally they would wait 1 year. There have been extremely limited numbers of women getting pregnant during or shortly after treatment (like single digits) and all have went on to have healthy pregnancies but I personally couldn’t risk it. I believe the recommendations are the same for men receiving treatment currently but I would definitely consult his doc! They are also very unclear on how treatment effects fertility as well and seem to be thinking it’s a low risk but can’t be sure yet.

Also just a reminder that side effects can show up anytime during treatment as well and can be brutal. I landed in the hospital 3 separate times during treatment for extended stays. I was diagnosed during pregnancy and have a 15 month old now and at times it was difficult for my husband to manage the care of both of us so I can’t imagine juggling 2 little ones and a cancer patient!

I am acutely aware of how frustrating this particular topic is and feel for you!

Bri Cagnoli

Bri, thanks for taking the time to respond to me. You certainly have your plate full and I’m grateful for your insight. I can’t imagine being in your shoes, especially with a 15 month old. However, sometimes I think that having my daughter around during this time is the best medicine. Stay strong!