Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Baby Drama

Being young with Multiple Myeloma presents some really difficult challenges. One of the biggies is that for men, chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant will most likely make you sterile. That means no more biological kiddos once this is all said and done. Knowing this, we took a chance at our two month window and got pregnant right away, which was pretty miraculous. The pregnancy is going well and it looks like the Brabbs kiddo count will make it to 3 (Ocean, Iris, Girl Child-to-be-named later).

Here's where the baby drama comes in to play. Due to all the additional rounds of chemo (RVDD), the first transplant is looking to hit a few weeks before the due date. The first issue with moving forward with the transplant before the birth of girl #2 is that we could run into the problem where Cassie goes into delivery at 38 weeks which would leave me behind to watch online courtesy of Skype or iChat. To add to the difficultly, just last week the Doc said that he does not think I should be returning to the hospital for the birth immediately after transplant due to my lack of immune system. Therefore, their suggestion is that if I want to be there for the birth, then continue to soak in chemotherapy (RVD) until the baby has arrived and then go in for my bone marrow transplant. Today we meet with Dr. J and we really want to see whether or not I could go up just for the delivery in my space suit and then return home.

The latter option seems much more difficult on our family given that Cassie will be caring and nursing a newborn while her hubby is on his back a few miles away at UMHS. My preference would be to get the transplant out of the way and start the recover process before the baby has arrived. There is definitely no right answer here and unfortunately for us most people diagnosed with MM are in their 60's so there isn't much to lean on in terms of folks who have gone down this path before.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I got tossed down the one less traveled by, And that has made for a roller coaster of a journey.

What to do....????

P.S. Today's stars Cycle #7 of RVDD...time to return my 24 hour Pee-Pod

10 comments:

Lorna and Mike said...

Congratulations.The only advice I can give is that having had 5 kids in eight years, I found that women do tend to manage somehow to cope. I'm not saying that Cassie should have to, but given the circumstances I'm sure friends and family will rally round.
Hope it all goes well.
Lorna

Sid said...

Congratulations on your new baby!!!
In my case, I was single,and th e docs never discussed this issue with me, so, I rushed into chemo and hormone replacement therapy headlong. Sure I survived the cancer, but am totally sterile and asexual now. Dont know whether I ought to be sad or happy now.

KT said...

I would vote for "BEFORE" because while you are still on the uphill climb of recovery, you will have pockets of time to help with the baby. My cats and I became the best of buddies from all the laying around together! Good luck with Round 7. I am starting Round #3 of 2010 today, still V-R-D. With a smile, since the numbers are looking better! KT

Sandy said...

What a tough decision! Yes, women can manage to do it all, if they have to, and with friends and family supporting it is possible to get through what could be a personally tough time for Cassie, but your inability to be there to bond with Special Girl at first might affect the long term relationship with her... All I can suggest is that you get really quiet and listen to the God voice that will guide you to make the highest and best decision for all concerned - and I align and intend you come to peace with your choice... blessings!

Theresa McNutt said...

Congratulations Phill and Cassie. Yes having MM at diffeerent ages deffinately comes with different chalenges. I am fairly young and raising young teenagers. I had my transplant 1 year ago and two weeks after having it I was so weak and sick It took everything I had to get out of bed. I am not trying to sway you one way or another but I thought I would give you this tidbit.

Good Luck

keri m said...

Homebirth, anyone?

Candice said...

I was thinkin homebirth too! :)

{(C)} said...

Another girl? You and Ocean are totally outnumbered now! Watch out coz the ladies can be real sneaky...

David Wild said...

Holding up the treatment doesn't seem right somehow - I'd vote for pressing on and letting God orchestrate the events. It will work out fine. Make sure you organize lots of people round you to help out though

tim's wife said...

Do I remember correctly that Cassie said in a post that Brabbs
babies tend to hang out in the womb longer than expected? I vote with the transplant before. I also don't think that going into a labor and delivery room would put you at much risk. Those are not rooms that sick people stay in. Once you engraft, your white count will come up quick.
If the timing comes to that, chuck a mask on, bring the hand sanitizer and go deliver that baby.