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  • Writer's pictureDeven Sisler

On A Personal Note [The Gestational Trophoblastic Disease Prequel ]

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

First off, I need to tell you that I am ok and I am going to be ok.

I am sharing this news for a number of reasons: there are not a lot of personal accounts online of these experiences; my compassion for anyone with a uterus has grown exponentially; I wish I could provide more support for all the women out there who struggle with fertility; I hope we can normalize the conversation of reproductive issues; this is happening real time and I am getting a little lazy about explaining all of it all of it a gazillion times.

I spent Monday, February 15, getting my blood tested, pelvic ultrasounds and a lung x-ray (lungs looking really good by the way). My ob/gyn has diagnosed me with gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), this as a pre-cancerous condition.

To better understand what is going on, we have to rewind to December when I was diagnosed with a molar pregnancy. The part of conception that would become the placenta went rogue and started doing its own thing, 1% of pregnancies result in this abnormality. There was no fetus and this condition won't go away without medical intervention. I am eternally grateful for the doctors, the concern of the medical establishment, and the support of my family during this devastating time. After the mass was surgically removed, some cells didn't go away and are continuing to grow. My doctor has been monitoring my hormone levels (hcg) for the past two months, so we are talking a super cellular chemical level, which again, I am grateful for.

I started with my weekly horse shot of methotrexate in the gluteus maximus Monday evening, which will knock out the GTD. I won't loose my hair and am felt mild malaise yesterday so taking it easy. I slept in, took a short walk, napped, had lunch, filled a bunch of family & friends in on the bad news, took a bath, took another nap and waited for "chemo" like symptoms to hit hard. They didn't, and supposedly any affect at all will taper slowly during the week.

Other questions you may have:

Did I do wrong something to make this happen?

No, and am lucky to be surrounded by family and friends who feel the same way. I have been eating a primarily organic diet since I was sixteen, drink a lot of water, walk every day, do yoga often and have had a regularly irregular meditation practice for over ten years. I believe this is an unfortunate abnormality.

Will this affect my ability to have kids (because Dan & I will be awesome parents)?

It should be no problem to get pregnant in a year (after that much time of monitoring my hcg levels).

What does treatment look like?

One weekly shot of methotrexate on Mondays until the hcg levels are 0, then three weeks after. Blood tests on Thursdays during this time. I have appointments with a great psychiatrist on Tuesday to monitor my mental-emotional state, then a gynocological oncology specialist next Thursday to dive a little deeper.

How do you feel? Are you in pain?

No pain at all. I am on a super duper low dose of methotrexate and feeling ok. I am going to take Tuesdays slow and do everything I can to sleep well, eat well and minimize stress. My immune system will become compromised so please stay away from me if you have a cold and get vaccinated.

What can I do for you?

If you care for me, then I'll ask you not to worry because my doctors and I aren't worried. We have a treatment plan, and on day 3, I have to say I am feeling pretty good. If you want to "do" something here are some things I suggest that would make me feel better: if you have a child in your life, love that one something fierce today, turn off the tv/put down your device and stand in awe at the miracle of life that was created; enjoy a meal with those you love; write a letter to someone who might be lonely; call your grandparents/parents just to say hi; give a really, really good hug; go for a walk outside.

Thanks for reading, taking care of yourself and sending good vibes out in the world.

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