Leslie Mouton Harvests Eggs Before Chemo

Fertility Treatments Could Feed Cancer

I have been overwhelmed by your responses. I have received dozens of letters, e-mails and phone calls since my breast cancer story aired earlier this month.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you. Thank you for caring and for sharing your own personal battles with me.

I have not started chemotherapy yet because I'm undergoing fertility treatments.

I've been put on the fast track to have my eggs harvested and embryos frozen. But my doctors have told me that there is a chance that chemo can permanently damage my ovaries.

With frozen embryos, I will still have a chance to have children. However, while I'm increasing my chances of having more children, I'm also increasing my risk of cancer.

"You're putting into you the purified follicle-stimulating hormone," fertility specialist Dr. Gregory Neal said. "The follicle-stimulating hormone will stimulate the follicles on the ovary, which will allow the eggs to mature, but while maturing, they make estradial, which is your main female estrogen."

Because my cancer has estrogen and progesterone receptor cells, I could be feeding my cancer by increasing those hormones.

But it's for a short time, and the risk is thought to be minimal. I decided that the risk is worth it -- for me.

My eggs should be retrieved next Monday, and my first chemo treatment is scheduled for the following Thursday.

I will do some in-depth stories on everything from the fertility to chemo to choosing a wig in the coming months.

In the meantime, I will also have a diary on our Web site so you can check on my progress.