Alex’s decision to freeze her eggs was an easy decision before starting cancer treatment.
When Alex was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in the Spring of 2023, she was just 30 years old. “Having this kind of illness so young puts so much of your life into perspective,” says Alex. “Through everything, I have learned to be a stronger person and to make the important decisions about my life and future.” One of those decisions was to freeze her eggs before beginning the chemotherapy that will save her life.
“Being a mom is one of the main goals in my life, so freezing my eggs before treatment was a no-brainer,” says Alex. With the possibility that the chemotherapy could damage her eggs and ovaries, Alex was determined to save her fertility. “Having the option to still begin a family later after all of these obstacles is a huge blessing to me.”
Egg freezing before cancer treatment gives patients options for a future family
Getting a cancer diagnosis, especially when you are young, can be devastating. All at once, everything can seem overwhelming and scary. Cancer patients are suddenly faced with monumental decisions to make that impact not just their short-term treatment needs but also long-term life goals. For young women like Alex, having a family some day is something that takes precedent. This is where egg freezing before cancer treatment can help alleviate some of the anxiety that comes with a cancer diagnosis.
Breast cancer caught Alex by surprise. “No one in my family has had breast cancer, so it really came out of the blue,” she says. Freezing her eggs before starting cancer treatment will give Alex better odds of getting pregnant in the future. While it’s possible she may still have viable eggs after cancer treatment, it’s certainly not assured. That’s because chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments have the potential to destroy eggs and cause her to enter premature menopause.
When she had her first consult with her oncologist, Alex admits she knew nothing about egg freezing. Due to her age, her oncologist recommended that she talk with Fertility Answers about freezing her eggs. “After learning what it was, what it involved and how it can preserve my ability to have children in the future, I didn’t have a doubt in my mind about doing it. I didn’t need to sleep on this decision. I knew right away it was something I needed to do,” remembers Alex.
Since egg freezing needs to happen before chemotherapy starts, everything moved pretty quickly so that her cancer treatment wasn’t delayed. Fertility Answers always gives cancer patients priority access to start egg freezing, since the entire process can take up to 6 weeks. Alex was fast-tracked into her ovarian stimulation and retrieval in June and now has 20 eggs frozen for future use should she need them.
Freezing her eggs gives Alex hope for a future family
Alex always knew she wanted to be a mother someday and she’s happy she made the decision to freeze her eggs. She looks forward to the day she will have a child of her own, but for now she’s already a “substitute mom” to the 400 or so kids who attend Springfield Middle School, where she’s the school secretary and cheer coach. “I love my job. These kids are like my own that I get to love on every day,” she says. Alex is also very close to her brothers, Michael, 29, and Brady, who is just eleven years old. “They are my life and who I think about most as I go through treatment.”
She credits her parents, family, her big extended family and her huge support group at Springfield Middle School for helping her get through the process of freezing her eggs and now chemotherapy. “My biggest blessing is my family, friends and community. I would not be half as strong as I am through this journey if it wasn’t for the support from everyone. The prayers from so many people have guided me and gotten me through each and every day. I am beyond thankful for each and every person who has supported me!”
Alex tries to fit in her chemo sessions as best she can with her everyday life, and she’s been able to work and coach her middle school cheerleaders throughout all of it. The chemotherapy part of her treatment ends in mid-December, just in time for the holidays. A double mastectomy and reconstruction will happen sometime after that. She’s taking it day by day and feels relief about her decision to freeze her eggs, providing hope of a family of her own one day.