- About Us
- Cancer Survivors
My name is Rebeca, I’m 29 years old and my husband, Gusztav, is 36 years old. We’ve been married for 6 years now. We met in Huntsville, Ontario where we both worked at a local resort. Our lives were normal like other young couples, trying to get ahead to start our family, planning for the future, but we never thought we would experience a rough road from the beginning.
I started with a normal check up. The first pap test showed clear cell, so the doctor said we have to wait and repeat the test again in 6 months. Test after test and 3 years later I was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer. I felt shocked, followed by a feeling of weakness, fear, and helplessness. We were traumatized and that was just the beginning of a different kind of journey. Our parents and families on both sides were only be able to show support over the phone as they all live abroad, so it was just me and my husband.
I was transferred to Princess Margaret Cancer Care in Toronto. After numerous test (MRIs, CT etc.) we were still hoping for better news, some hope, but the result was clear. It is cancer and I will require surgery because of the size of the tumor. Radical Hysterectomy was the only option. The only hope we had is that my ovaries would be saved, and that I could have fertility preservation performed to save some of my eggs after surgery. The fertility preservation (IVF) had to be done before radiation and chemotherapy treatments started. It was a lot of hard decisions to be made in such a short time for the two of us, emotionally as well as financially, as we did not plan or think any of this would happen to us as young couples.
Mount Sinai fertility clinic doctors sat down and told us how IVF works and the cost of everything. They also explained how it would have to be paid in full in such a short amount of time, which we were unable to do. In tears we had no choice, we decided that we could not afford IVF and our only hope to have our own genetic children in the future wouldn’t be possible. Fortunately, the Mount Sinai fertility clinic gave us a payment plan option and they told us about Fertile Future. Our hope is started to brighten.
After a successful surgery and a short recovery, I started the IVF treatment. I only had three weeks until the start date of my first radiation and chemotherapy treatments, so the time was short. My husband and I live two and a half hours each way from the hospital. It was cold and grey winter driving conditions, plus we were dealing with the emotions, pain, and fear all mixed together. But that was all that was available to us, so we kept it strong and did it. My husband had to continue working to pay the bills while also driving me to all of my appointments, which was sometimes three times a week. It was really tough times.
After all this we have four embryos and I’ve been cancer free for almost two years our lives have started to get back to normal in a way. My husband and I are hopeful that one day we can find a surrogate to carry our children.
I have physically recovered from surgery and treatment, but the mental part of me is still affecting my everyday life.
My husband and I are thankful for the doctors and good healthcare system in this country, and an organization like yours and the Jennifer Berrigan Memorial Fund that helps ease the pain for people in need.