The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content within the patient forum is user-generated and has not been reviewed by medical professionals. Other sections of the Melanoma Research Foundation website include information that has been reviewed by medical professionals as appropriate. All medical decisions should be made in consultation with your doctor or other qualified medical professional.

I really want another child

Forums General Melanoma Community I really want another child

  • Post
    ladyinnh
    Participant

    Good afternoon all, I'm hoping I can get some advice from you.  I was diagnosed with Stage 3b melanoma in October 2009 and just completed a total of 10 months of Interferon.

    Good afternoon all, I'm hoping I can get some advice from you.  I was diagnosed with Stage 3b melanoma in October 2009 and just completed a total of 10 months of Interferon.

    My son is 17 months old now. Two separate oncologists have given me different advice regarding trying to get pregnant again. One said wait 3-5 years to try and one said 6 months to a year.  I'm 35 and my husband is 38.  I really want to try to have another child as soon as its safe but that beign said there is much talk that women can have reoccurences of melanoma when pregnant becuase your estrogen levels rise so much.

    I've been told its a huge risk and I've been told it may never reoccur.  Even my oncologists dont' seem to have any clear information about how at risk I am of getting this again.

    I could really use some advice, referrals to doctors I could call re: this and information.

    Thanks all in advance!

    Loading spinner
Viewing 23 reply threads
  • Replies
      ladyinnh
      Participant

      I have tried to research this top in the Archived area but I keep getting an error message.  I really hope some of you can give me some assistance or at least point me in a good direction

      Loading spinner
      ladyinnh
      Participant

      I have tried to research this top in the Archived area but I keep getting an error message.  I really hope some of you can give me some assistance or at least point me in a good direction

      Loading spinner
      Carmon in NM
      Participant

      I don't know how accurate this is mostly because I don't remember where I found the data; but I read that Stage 3 melanoma that recurs most commonly does so in the first three years.

      I think I did a google search for 'Stage 3 melanoma recurrance rates'. I wouldn't have held on to the info if it hadn't been from a source I trusted. In my case, I almost made it two years but I had done no treatment other than surgery and 'watch and wait'. Carmon

      Loading spinner
      Carmon in NM
      Participant

      I don't know how accurate this is mostly because I don't remember where I found the data; but I read that Stage 3 melanoma that recurs most commonly does so in the first three years.

      I think I did a google search for 'Stage 3 melanoma recurrance rates'. I wouldn't have held on to the info if it hadn't been from a source I trusted. In my case, I almost made it two years but I had done no treatment other than surgery and 'watch and wait'. Carmon

      Loading spinner
      washoegal
      Participant

      I'm stage 3a, from what I could tell of the recurrance rates, 2 years seems to boost your survival rate immensely.  If you want to play it safe waiting 2 years would probably be my advice.  However, it really depends on your husband.  Knowing the risk, how does he feel?  If he wants to go for it, after your second clear scan, I'd say go for it!  They only draw back is it's 9 months …no scans (maybe longer because they won't scan while you are trying to get pregnant).

      Mary

      Stage 3

      Loading spinner
      washoegal
      Participant

      I'm stage 3a, from what I could tell of the recurrance rates, 2 years seems to boost your survival rate immensely.  If you want to play it safe waiting 2 years would probably be my advice.  However, it really depends on your husband.  Knowing the risk, how does he feel?  If he wants to go for it, after your second clear scan, I'd say go for it!  They only draw back is it's 9 months …no scans (maybe longer because they won't scan while you are trying to get pregnant).

      Mary

      Stage 3

      Loading spinner
      CarolA
      Participant

      Hi.    There is this website, http://www.pregnantwithcancer.org, where I saw the word melanoma mentioned.   It was developed by a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant.   Perhaps there is something in this link that might provide some support for you.

      This was discussed in previous years, how long to wait after diagnosis, etc.     I am sorry that I am not skilled enough to navigate through the old archives to research this topic.   I also don't recall the names of the women who found themselves in this situation.

      I am an original Stage III dx survivor, orig dx was Feb 2005.   I did not choose to treat with interferon, instead did the watch and wait.    I did have recurrences (beginning Oct. 07), all within the area of the original site (left midriff, spreading to the left breast creating the decision for a mastectomy in May 2008.   The recurrences only necessitated clear margins, but I was getting rather "tattered" and the mastectomy was agreeable to me (I am now 62).

      I hope someone can assist you to navigate through the archives.    I really think there is a positivity to your desire to have another child.   Good luck.

      CarolA

      Amherst, NY

      Loading spinner
      CarolA
      Participant

      Hi.    There is this website, http://www.pregnantwithcancer.org, where I saw the word melanoma mentioned.   It was developed by a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant.   Perhaps there is something in this link that might provide some support for you.

      This was discussed in previous years, how long to wait after diagnosis, etc.     I am sorry that I am not skilled enough to navigate through the old archives to research this topic.   I also don't recall the names of the women who found themselves in this situation.

      I am an original Stage III dx survivor, orig dx was Feb 2005.   I did not choose to treat with interferon, instead did the watch and wait.    I did have recurrences (beginning Oct. 07), all within the area of the original site (left midriff, spreading to the left breast creating the decision for a mastectomy in May 2008.   The recurrences only necessitated clear margins, but I was getting rather "tattered" and the mastectomy was agreeable to me (I am now 62).

      I hope someone can assist you to navigate through the archives.    I really think there is a positivity to your desire to have another child.   Good luck.

      CarolA

      Amherst, NY

      Loading spinner
      simone
      Participant

      Your message immediately caught my eye…   I've been looking for another woman who wants to try again after diagnosis of Mel.  I too want to beat Mel (and I assume I WILL) & get on with my life and have another child!  I am also trying to learn as much as I can.  I am actively starting to research it now & get opinions from as many in the medical community as possible. I don't have much to offer yet (well, except hope and a shared goal!)  :)

      I was just diagnosed in September 2010 (1b).  We had just miscarried prior to my diagnosis & were actively trying for another child.  I struggle with dealing with the fact that I have Mel & that my doctors (also) say to wait a number of years before trying again.  I will be out of years to have another baby.  So, in addition to being sad/mad about my diag, I am also sad/mad that I am told I should wait a few years (which would mean that I could not have another).  I'm sure the same or similar feelings are going on in your house.  My heart goes to you and your husband.  And kudos to you for doing Interferon with a young toddler!  As if being a mommy to a toddler isn't tiring enough?!?!

      I'm going to meet with a  new Derm and Onc  at Yale and SloanKettering this week to get their opinions.  I am hoping that they'll tell me waiting a year would be good enough reassurance.  I will let you know what I hear & what I continue to learn.  Would love to share what you find & am so glad to know you are out there ready to try again!  (I was feeling pretty alone in that camp). 

      I hope you'll keep in touch and best of luck to you. 

      Loading spinner
      simone
      Participant

      Your message immediately caught my eye…   I've been looking for another woman who wants to try again after diagnosis of Mel.  I too want to beat Mel (and I assume I WILL) & get on with my life and have another child!  I am also trying to learn as much as I can.  I am actively starting to research it now & get opinions from as many in the medical community as possible. I don't have much to offer yet (well, except hope and a shared goal!)  :)

      I was just diagnosed in September 2010 (1b).  We had just miscarried prior to my diagnosis & were actively trying for another child.  I struggle with dealing with the fact that I have Mel & that my doctors (also) say to wait a number of years before trying again.  I will be out of years to have another baby.  So, in addition to being sad/mad about my diag, I am also sad/mad that I am told I should wait a few years (which would mean that I could not have another).  I'm sure the same or similar feelings are going on in your house.  My heart goes to you and your husband.  And kudos to you for doing Interferon with a young toddler!  As if being a mommy to a toddler isn't tiring enough?!?!

      I'm going to meet with a  new Derm and Onc  at Yale and SloanKettering this week to get their opinions.  I am hoping that they'll tell me waiting a year would be good enough reassurance.  I will let you know what I hear & what I continue to learn.  Would love to share what you find & am so glad to know you are out there ready to try again!  (I was feeling pretty alone in that camp). 

      I hope you'll keep in touch and best of luck to you. 

      Loading spinner
      ladyinnh
      Participant

      Thank you all so much I'm hoping to hear more information on this every day and I'd be very interested in hearing how your appointment at Sloan goes and what they say!

      Loading spinner
      ladyinnh
      Participant

      Thank you all so much I'm hoping to hear more information on this every day and I'd be very interested in hearing how your appointment at Sloan goes and what they say!

      Loading spinner
      AlisonC
      Participant

      Hi,

      I'm also stage IIIB  – now 9 years NED.  I was told to wait 5 years (also diagnosed at 35) and that was probably bad advice. I started trying to conceive my first at 40 and was never successful (mostly due to age) and at 45, it's too late for me now.   Good resources include the pregnant with cancer network someone mentioned earlier. They also link to a Dr named Elyce Cardonick (you can find her via google) who is an OB/GYN specialising in pregnancies in women who've had melanoma and breast cancer.  I was able to arrange a phone consult with her (I was in Australia at the time) and she was very helpful and encouraging. She can also work with your local OB/GYN as a consultant if you get pregnant whether or not you stay well,  and IF you have any complications from mel while you are, she can advise on what to do.  You could also look up "Fertile Hope" online – they are an organisation dedicated to preserving fertility in cancer patients (but are not specifically mel related).

      The reason no-one has a firm opinion is that no-one knows.  I read HEAPS about this while trying to decide if I should try and have a baby.  Realistically the most common time frame for recurrence is 2-3 years. If you're going to recur, it's statistically most likely to be in that time.  Of course as many people here will tell you, that doesn't mean you won't recur later.  I've also read what ever I could find on pregnancy causing recurrence, and again, no-one knows for sure.  Large population studies haven't shown any overall increased risk but every individual is different and there are some doctors (and some patients) who swear the pregnancy is what caused their recurrence.  

      What I do know – and what I settled on with counselling – is that people here who've had babies in the 5 years I've been on this board have done well (there was a woman from Aus who had her little girl 18 months after her stage IIIB diagnosis, using IVF -and all was well; I know Kim K has had her second child while a mel patient – as a single Mom also).  They've also never regretted their decisions.  My oncologist pointed out that people have babies and then fall ill all the time.  If you have a good support network and can leave your child well provided for, then it's not a rash choice.

      I don't mean to be bleak but at stage III there are those considerations for your long term survival. After the first 2-3 years the recurrence detection is sharply reduced though (far more people who are going to recur, do so in the first 2-3 years) so if I were in your shoes (and had my time over) I would wait 2 years from diagnosis and start trying.  That will put you at 37 and still not too late to conceive.  Waiting the 5 years was – in my experience – good advice from the cancer point of view but a disaster for fertility.   That's just my 2 cents worth ;)

      Good luck

      AlisonC

      Stage IIIB

      NED since 2001.

      Loading spinner
      AlisonC
      Participant

      Hi,

      I'm also stage IIIB  – now 9 years NED.  I was told to wait 5 years (also diagnosed at 35) and that was probably bad advice. I started trying to conceive my first at 40 and was never successful (mostly due to age) and at 45, it's too late for me now.   Good resources include the pregnant with cancer network someone mentioned earlier. They also link to a Dr named Elyce Cardonick (you can find her via google) who is an OB/GYN specialising in pregnancies in women who've had melanoma and breast cancer.  I was able to arrange a phone consult with her (I was in Australia at the time) and she was very helpful and encouraging. She can also work with your local OB/GYN as a consultant if you get pregnant whether or not you stay well,  and IF you have any complications from mel while you are, she can advise on what to do.  You could also look up "Fertile Hope" online – they are an organisation dedicated to preserving fertility in cancer patients (but are not specifically mel related).

      The reason no-one has a firm opinion is that no-one knows.  I read HEAPS about this while trying to decide if I should try and have a baby.  Realistically the most common time frame for recurrence is 2-3 years. If you're going to recur, it's statistically most likely to be in that time.  Of course as many people here will tell you, that doesn't mean you won't recur later.  I've also read what ever I could find on pregnancy causing recurrence, and again, no-one knows for sure.  Large population studies haven't shown any overall increased risk but every individual is different and there are some doctors (and some patients) who swear the pregnancy is what caused their recurrence.  

      What I do know – and what I settled on with counselling – is that people here who've had babies in the 5 years I've been on this board have done well (there was a woman from Aus who had her little girl 18 months after her stage IIIB diagnosis, using IVF -and all was well; I know Kim K has had her second child while a mel patient – as a single Mom also).  They've also never regretted their decisions.  My oncologist pointed out that people have babies and then fall ill all the time.  If you have a good support network and can leave your child well provided for, then it's not a rash choice.

      I don't mean to be bleak but at stage III there are those considerations for your long term survival. After the first 2-3 years the recurrence detection is sharply reduced though (far more people who are going to recur, do so in the first 2-3 years) so if I were in your shoes (and had my time over) I would wait 2 years from diagnosis and start trying.  That will put you at 37 and still not too late to conceive.  Waiting the 5 years was – in my experience – good advice from the cancer point of view but a disaster for fertility.   That's just my 2 cents worth ;)

      Good luck

      AlisonC

      Stage IIIB

      NED since 2001.

      Loading spinner
        ladyinnh
        Participant

        Thank you so much Alison!

        Loading spinner
        ladyinnh
        Participant

        Thank you so much Alison!

        Loading spinner
        ladyinnh
        Participant

        Thank you so much Alison!

        Loading spinner
        ladyinnh
        Participant

        Thank you so much Alison!

        Loading spinner
      Tracy Chicago
      Participant

      I have been struggling with this as well. I am stage 3B as of 12/08 and had a 4 month baby at the time when I was 31.. I did the year of interferon and made it through ok. I'm currently NED and would love to have another baby, but I also had a really hard time with the lack of sleep and the nursing. I think I was so stressed out and my hormones were so out of wack that it caused my melanoma to reoccur. (My tiny primary mole was found in 2005).  Sometimes I go to that dark place and think if my daughter had a sibling it would be easier for her to grieve if I ever did die from melanoma. After  talking about it with my husband and family we all think it is best to not have any more kids just to be on the safe side. There is no definite research that says pregnancy causes melanoma to reoccur but I have seen a few different women on this board who have reoccured shortly after giving birth.  We've played around with the idea of adoption but I'm not sure if I'd be eligible to adopt.

      I hope this helps! Good luck with your decision. It is not an easy one to make!

       

      Tracy , 3B, NED

      Loading spinner
      Tracy Chicago
      Participant

      I have been struggling with this as well. I am stage 3B as of 12/08 and had a 4 month baby at the time when I was 31.. I did the year of interferon and made it through ok. I'm currently NED and would love to have another baby, but I also had a really hard time with the lack of sleep and the nursing. I think I was so stressed out and my hormones were so out of wack that it caused my melanoma to reoccur. (My tiny primary mole was found in 2005).  Sometimes I go to that dark place and think if my daughter had a sibling it would be easier for her to grieve if I ever did die from melanoma. After  talking about it with my husband and family we all think it is best to not have any more kids just to be on the safe side. There is no definite research that says pregnancy causes melanoma to reoccur but I have seen a few different women on this board who have reoccured shortly after giving birth.  We've played around with the idea of adoption but I'm not sure if I'd be eligible to adopt.

      I hope this helps! Good luck with your decision. It is not an easy one to make!

       

      Tracy , 3B, NED

      Loading spinner
      mlbjab
      Participant

      1. If you wait a few years and then cannot conceive due to age, will you have regret?

      2. If you get pregnant now and the cancer recurs, what will your feelings be?  Will the baby carry the burden of 'the reason the cancer recurred'?  (maybe not directly, but will it be in the back of everyone's mind)

      3.  Is your husband/family prepared for worst case scenario?

      4. If you decide not to have another baby and the cancer never does recur, will you regret not having a baby – or see it as a blessing as you possibly saved your life?

      Loading spinner
      mlbjab
      Participant

      1. If you wait a few years and then cannot conceive due to age, will you have regret?

      2. If you get pregnant now and the cancer recurs, what will your feelings be?  Will the baby carry the burden of 'the reason the cancer recurred'?  (maybe not directly, but will it be in the back of everyone's mind)

      3.  Is your husband/family prepared for worst case scenario?

      4. If you decide not to have another baby and the cancer never does recur, will you regret not having a baby – or see it as a blessing as you possibly saved your life?

      Loading spinner
      I’m so sorry that I didn’t find the sooner. I was diagnosed at the age of 26 in 2005. I was also pregnant with my third child. I was told by my dermatologist that my baby could make the cancer kill me faster. he told me I should consider abortion. I started seeing a specialist in high risk pregnancies. He said that pregnancy doesn’t affect a melanoma the way it affects other cancers. I decided to have my baby. it has been 7 years I have a healthy little girl. I also have a healthy four year old boy.

      Loading spinner
      I’m so sorry that I didn’t find the sooner. I was diagnosed at the age of 26 in 2005. I was also pregnant with my third child. I was told by my dermatologist that my baby could make the cancer kill me faster. he told me I should consider abortion. I started seeing a specialist in high risk pregnancies. He said that pregnancy doesn’t affect a melanoma the way it affects other cancers. I decided to have my baby. it has been 7 years I have a healthy little girl. I also have a healthy four year old boy.

      Loading spinner
      I’m so sorry that I didn’t find the sooner. I was diagnosed at the age of 26 in 2005. I was also pregnant with my third child. I was told by my dermatologist that my baby could make the cancer kill me faster. he told me I should consider abortion. I started seeing a specialist in high risk pregnancies. He said that pregnancy doesn’t affect a melanoma the way it affects other cancers. I decided to have my baby. it has been 7 years I have a healthy little girl. I also have a healthy four year old boy.

      Loading spinner
      I’m so sorry that I didn’t find the sooner. I was diagnosed at the age of 26 in 2005. I was also pregnant with my third child. I was told by my dermatologist that my baby could make the cancer kill me faster. he told me I should consider abortion. I started seeing a specialist in high risk pregnancies. He said that pregnancy doesn’t affect a melanoma the way it affects other cancers. I decided to have my baby. it has been 7 years I have a healthy little girl. I also have a healthy four year old boy. God bless

      Loading spinner
      I’m so sorry that I didn’t find the sooner. I was diagnosed at the age of 26 in 2005. I was also pregnant with my third child. I was told by my dermatologist that my baby could make the cancer kill me faster. he told me I should consider abortion. I started seeing a specialist in high risk pregnancies. He said that pregnancy doesn’t affect a melanoma the way it affects other cancers. I decided to have my baby. it has been 7 years I have a healthy little girl. I also have a healthy four year old boy. God bless

      Loading spinner
      I’m so sorry that I didn’t find the sooner. I was diagnosed at the age of 26 in 2005. I was also pregnant with my third child. I was told by my dermatologist that my baby could make the cancer kill me faster. he told me I should consider abortion. I started seeing a specialist in high risk pregnancies. He said that pregnancy doesn’t affect a melanoma the way it affects other cancers. I decided to have my baby. it has been 7 years I have a healthy little girl. I also have a healthy four year old boy. God bless

      Loading spinner
Viewing 23 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
About the MRF Patient Forum

The MRF Patient Forum is the oldest and largest online community of people affected by melanoma. It is designed to provide peer support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. There is no better place to discuss different parts of your journey with this cancer and find the friends and support resources to make that journey more bearable.

The information on the forum is open and accessible to everyone. To add a new topic or to post a reply, you must be a registered user. Please note that you will be able to post both topics and replies anonymously even though you are logged in. All posts must abide by MRF posting policies.