Zoleka Mandela has poured her heart out about the risks that come with trying to fall pregnant as a cancer surviour and how the situation has left her saddened.
In a lengthy Instagram post‚ Zoleka said she was trying to digest the reality of not being able to have another baby because of the risks pregnancy would have on her health.
I'm just so incredibly sad today, trying to digest the reality of not being able to have another baby. I thought being diagnosed with Breast Cancer for the 2nd time last year and in the days awaiting an appointment at our fertility clinic to try for another baby was a sign … It could've been worse, falling pregnant with Cancer in my body, I should be more grateful. It gave me an opportunity to focus on my studies. Yesterday's appointment with my Medical Oncologist left me defeated. Not because I didn't know what the risks involved would be but because of the reminder of my reality … I need 5-10yrs of hormonal therapies to reduce my Estrogen levels – this means a prolonged state of Menopause (the end of a woman's menstrual cycle) which makes it even more difficult for me to fall pregnant. I am 37yrs old and have been pushed into Early/Medical Menopause twice in my life. Pregnancy and weight gain increases Estrogen in my body which only accelerates the growth of Cancer cells. Pregnancy could result in recurrence (it coming back), metastasis (it spreading) or an incurable Cancer (it becoming untreatable) … or maybe not. I'm scared, I want to remain hopeful and positive but I don't know what this means for me, my husband, my kids, my family or loved ones too … as much as the decision is mine to make, it has everything to do with them too. I'm hurting a little more today. #Infertility #Menopause #BreastCancer #Recurrence #BreastCancerSurvivor #TwoTimeBreastCancerSurvivor #LuminalBCancer #LuminalTypeBMammaryCarcinoma #EstrogenPositiveBreastCancer #HormonePositiveBreastCancer
“Yesterday’s appointment with my medical oncologist left me defeated. Not because I didn’t know what the risks involved would be but because of the reminder of my reality.”
Zoleka explained that in order to conceive she would need five to ten years of hormonal treatment to reduce her estrogen levels‚ which would result in a prolonged state of menopause.
“I am 37 years old and have been pushed into early/medical menopause twice in my life. Pregnancy and weight gain increases estrogen in my body which only accelerates the growth of cancer cells.”
She added that falling pregnant could cause the cancer to return‚ spread or even be incurable.
“I’m scared‚ I want to remain hopeful and positive but I don’t know what this means for me‚ my husband‚ my kids‚ my family or loved ones too … as much as the decision is mine to make‚ it has everything to do with them too. I’m hurting a little more today.”
Zoleka is currently in remission after beating breast cancer for the second time last year.