New life

  • This topic has 4 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated by lehmana.
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    I think that this video really gets at the core of many of the issues our cancer survivors experience. Not being able to conceive, for many, can be devastating. There are so many factors that patients are faced with when it comes to making these tough decisions. Like mentioned in the video- some of these factors include: their partner and what they want, financial constraints, as well as cultural/religious beliefs. It is important that as providers we make sure that we are aware of these factors and how they affect and influence our patients so that we can better guide them in accordance to their needs. I think that couples counseling as well as support groups are great resources for patients and I do refer my patients to these. Talking about these issues can be difficult and having someone to guide that conversation can be helpful. Support groups also give the patient and/or their spouse the chance to meet with other people who have gone through similar situations or are going through it which can be of great help/support.


    I, too, believe that support groups are a must in this situation. We as human beings tend to feel that we are the “only” ones going through something. When we reach out to others and find that we really do have a lot in common, it can help our emotional state immensely.

    We have great cancer services through the American cancer society. I wonder if they could incorporate peer groups for AYA’s in regards to fertility?

    And yes, religion can get in the way and these individuals probably don’t feel comfortable talking in their religious family re these sensitive topics.


    I agree not being able to conceive naturally can be devastating to patients.  There were a plethora of concerns and questions in this discussion.  I thought the partner was extremely open and insightful about her feelings about possibly not becoming pregnant or using reproductive technology to become pregnant.  She shared a lot of feelings.  The patient was not as responsive.

    I agree that couples counseling and support groups are effective in providing support but I think individual is also a necessity so that the patient and the spouse can have an opportunity to express and process their thoughts so that when they do come together to talk more about how they will be moving forward they have each gained some clarity about their own wants, needs, fears etc……

    Tough, tough,  tough conversations….. I thought the social worker did a good job.  She was nonjudgemental and empathic.


    Support groups definitely have their place in this tough decision making process. I hope we can generate a support group for adolescents and young adults to discuss fertility and what the future looks like for them.


    The facilitator did a great job of normalizing the experience for this couple and honoring each person’s unique perspective. The focus this time seemed to center more on the partner’s emotions and experience and less so for the patient. I would have liked to see more inclusion of the patient in discussion and also would like to have heard from each person what their understanding of their options are and what “assisted reproductive technologies” means to them. I think it helps when all parties have a clear understanding of the terms so we are not making assumptions for each other.

    I really appreciate the introduction of spirituality and how complex decisions can be in this context. I wonder how the patient’s spirituality influences his own decision-making around this topic. This scenario brought in many aspects from our reading and the lecture around support – both peer support from other cancer patients and spouses, but also non-cancer peer support. While support groups can be very helpful for some people and couples, they can also be difficult experiences for others and are not a good fit for everyone. However, it is exciting to hear that participants in this program are hoping to start support groups focused on this aspect of oncology care.

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