Pay It Forward

Blessed. Lucky. Spoilt. Just three words to describe how I feel when I think about the support that I received when I voiced that I needed to have my surgery through the private system. I didn’t ask for help (because I had already been helped in so many ways) but friends – old and new – surprised me with secret fundraisers that, in the end, covered the cost of surgery.

Now I want to pay forward the kindness and generosity that I received. I want to share about another fundraiser that is currently taking place that is dear to my heart. I want to help in more ways than just giving a financial amount; I want to spread the word so more people can help.

The Fundraiser: The Baby Smith Dream.

Before I tell you about The Baby Smith Dream, I need to introduce you to the person who is doing the fundraising and tell you what she is doing. My amazing friend, Meg is walking from Brisbane to Ipswich! That’s FOURTY-TWO KILOMETRES! Meg has no experience in this, she isn’t a closet marathon walker, but she had a calling in her heart to do something ‘big’. And I personally think this is BIG.

I have known Meg since I was a child. She’s the unofficial third daughter in my family. She lived down the road from us and we spent our teenage years together – especially summer holidays (we have a pool). We spent hours creating fun for ourselves. My contact with Meg after I moved away was limited to Facebook, but when I return last year, it was as if I had never been gone. She has been there for me throughout my whole treatment with many trips to our favourite coffee spot.

So why is Meg walking? (I should add here that Meg has a walking partner, her cousin Maddy)

Friends of Meg – Kylie and Jo – are hoping to have one last chance of growing their family through IVF. They are already loving parents to a little girl and hope to provide Olivia with a brother or sister. After many failed attempts with IVF, and many thousands spent, time and finances are getting in the way of fulfilling their dream. There is no more time to be wasted; it’s time to take action now.

I know first-hand how hard the IVF journey is, and I only did part of the process, and without any additional emotional pressure. With every injection I thought of all the women out there that have much more on the line. It has stayed with me always and left a mark on my heart. My heart sinks each time I hear of someone going through this journey.

The Baby Smith Dream has created a blog where you can read about their story and updates on Meg and Maddy’s training. The big day is approaching, November 2.

If you want to help and read more about Kylie and Jo, and their journey, go to http://thebabysmithdream.wordpress.com

When I was supported with the cost of surgery, I was supported without having to ask.

It takes a whole lot of bravery to ask for help. I am proud of Kylie, Jo and Meg for all asking for help. Our giving nature, as a society, has been put to the test recently with the viral campaigns such as the Ice Bucket Challenge. Let’s continue to stretch ourselves to help those that are real in our lives.

Please share this on your social media and help me, help them.

 

 

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IVF – Tick

Today I was back in another recliner chair, having another general anaesthetic. Today was egg collection day.

All the hard work paid off and I can report that I have 12 ‘could-be’ babies frozen (the original count was 15 but 3 weren’t mature enough – must have been boys….)

Next…

What To Expect When You’re Expecting VS What To Expect When You’re NOT Expecting

The first is a movie starring Cameron Diaz, the second is my journey through IVF.

IVF continues to be a very hush hush topic – I understand and respect the reasons for this. As my IVF journey is only for preventative purposes, I feel more relaxed to share and shed some light on the topic.

Firstly, I want to take my invisible hat off to every woman who has gone through IVF, to start, or grow their family. It takes a multitude of patience, courage, emotional strength and much more. I’m fortunate that I am only going through this process as a preventative method – I can’t begin to imagine all the other emotions they are faced with when so much more is on the line.

When people think about treatment for breast cancer, I guarantee the process of freezing eggs wouldn’t cross their mind – myself included. One of the nastiest side effects of chemo is the fact that it can bring on early menopause, and stop females fertility. So, at thirty-two, childless and a mum-to-be at heart, IVF treatment is another key role in the treatment plan for BC.

So what’s involved in producing a good egg harvest/egg collection (yes, that is actual terminology!)? The process can vary slightly for each person, so I can only speak about my own experience.

Here is a mini science lesson for you:

1 – Sniff: Morning and night I inhale a sniffer. The purpose of the sniffer is to suppress natural ovulation.

2 – Jab: For ten days I will inject myself with FSH (follicle stimulating hormones), this ensures they have control over how many eggs I will produce. We want a good harvest, I only have one chance before chemo starts.

3 – Swollow: Due to the fact that I will be injecting myself with hormones, and my cancer is hormone receptive, I have to take a tablet to counterbalance this.

Is your head spinning yet? Mine does everyday when I look at my calendar reminding myself what I need to do. I haven’t started the injections, and to be honest, I am not looking forward to it. The side effects from the sniffer have been bad enough: constant headaches, nausea and tiredness (good prep for chemo I guess…).

So if you see me in the next few weeks and I’m a little crazy – blame the hormones.

After all of this, I hope that given my Finnish blood, my eggs will be happy in their new frozen environment.