Something interesting happened when I met with Northwestern’s onco-fertility lovely woman in August. I mentioned my blog, and she got all excited.

“Oh! I tripped across your blog post about your experience with fertility on LiveStrong, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to respond! I’m SO SORRY that you had such a chaotic experience. I’ll make sure that you never see any of those people again if you have to go through this again. I was really worried that I would never hear from you again, and I couldn’t figure out if any of the people were me until I reread your file and figured out that they weren’t but no one should have to go through that experience.”

Gulp. “Oh, boy. I didn’t mean to step all over you — you personally have been absolutely amazing. It was just upsetting that not a lot of the fertility people understood the multiple layers of emotion going on with fertility and cancer and chemo and…”

She nodded. “I get it. But I wanted to let you know that we’ve made some changes as a result.”


So, folks, listen up. MY BLOG POST. MY rant. MY venting created the following changes at the world-renowned Northwestern University Hospital fertility clinic:

1. chemo patients now get their blood drawn for fertility labs through their port or PICC line on the 21st floor cancer center.

2. nurses no longer leave messages on voice mail about whether or not to stop taking drugs.

3. and I’m pretty sure everyone got yelled at.

I used to work in a huge organization (state government), and I now work in a big one (Big Law). I know how difficult it is for places this big to change. Therefore, I couldn’t be more proud, more touched, more amazed, or more weepy about the whole thing.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU NMH, on behalf of the current chemo patient who’s in her twenties or thirties and an absolute ball of panic about whether she’ll be able to have children after she may or may not die from cancer, for listening.

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