Pregnancy Prevention Programme

Thalidomide comes with strict controls, especially for the ladies of childbearing years. I am one of those, especially now the fake menopause is ending. If you do not know why thalidomide requires a signatory, Google it. I do not need to Google it because yesterday I was given a very helpful pamphlet entitled ‘Pregnancy Prevention Programme’. If you do not know what that is about, then I will think you a simpleton.

Relax. I’m going to tell you anyway.

So, my new treatment, like the old one comes with regular pregnancy testing. Now, I understand why this is a requirement, but I am still traumatised by the sex chat I had with a senior Medical Trained Person on 22 August 2012 by my hospital bed. I remember the rules and I vaguely remember where my stash of nearing the sell by date condoms live. Did you know that a condom is barrier protection? Well, it is. Tell your kids.

I am used to the humiliation of being exposed to regular pregnancy tests, even though my treatment and My Myeloma means that I may never have children of my own. I assume though, that one must be subjected to such controls because there are stupid people in this world. One such control, which I had to sign yesterday was with regards to the birth control I was going to use whilst undergoing my treatment. It was great, because I was sitting a room with the nice, new, Medically Trained Person and Mamma Jones and when the question came, ‘what birth control method are you going to use?’ I had a quick conversation with myself, wondering how I was going to answer this question. The first point started, ‘well, there is this boy…’, but I shut that one down pretty quickly to ‘have you heard of unrequited love?. Again, I stopped it because nobody needs to be subjected to that. I then moved on to ‘well, I have cancer, my hair is non existent on my head and you just prescribed me a healthy dose of facial hair inducing steroids and I am in bed by 22:00hrs every night, so nobody is going to want to tap this anytime soon’. Again, I did not vocalise that one. Then, I thought ‘shit, my Mum is with me’., but I think she likes to be apart of these discussions, so I am sure it was fun for her. Fun for me on the other hand… We are very close now, my six year old niece made it so. To put an end to my puzzled look, at the Medically Trained Person’s suggestion, I opted for abstinence. At least then, I can say that is why I am not getting routine Special Cuddles. I wish I had this excuse before. I am not expecting a barrage of eligible bachelors taking pity on me anytime soon either. What is really good about all of this, is that if my circumstances change, I get to talk about it with the Medically Trained People. Thankfully, I am a fan of everybody knowing my business, so it’s just an extra person to text, should anybody realise that I am the Bees Knees in spite of My Myeloma. I mean, I am more mobile now.

I then got to pee into a jug, just to confirm that I had not gotten myself pregnant in the last seven days. I was not. Shock, horror. Relief.

And that was it. Well, until next month when I will have to pee into a cup, correction, jug (targeting issues) again, and then hold my breath for the negative because some people are not aware of personal responsibility. Sure, people make mistakes, but I have cancer, so I have to remember Rabin’s Rules. Well, if the time ever arose and I wasn’t a randy drunk, I’d remember Rabin’s Rules.

At least I thought that was it until Mamma Jones asked me the result of my pregnancy test again over lunch. The conversation went something along the lines of this…

MJ: What was the result of your pregnancy test?
EJB: Negative.
MJ: Phew, I thought it would just be Sods Law if you were pregnant. You know… It’s a possibility.
EJB: No it wasn’t. I am a grown up…. Anyway, they did a test last week…. Bloody Lara.
EJB: [uncomfortable embarrassment]

So all you 28 year olds… Try speaking to a parent about that.

It doesn’t matter anymore though does it. I am not a catch and I have taken a vow of abstinence. I hear that it is really fun.

EJB x

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2 thoughts on “Pregnancy Prevention Programme

  1. Lorna A. says:

    I had a very similar conversation before my little op. I tried explaining to medically trained person that a) my husband had been in hospital for 2 months and was still in the hospital, b) he had had a vasectomy, c) we had been told about also using a barrier method due to sharing chemo drugs and d) it was all too painful due to reason for op but they still insisted on doing a test which had me sobbing hysterically as it felt like they were accusing me of being unfaithful and suffering from complete memory loss as to when I last had a special cuddle!

    Blooming doctors. 😉

  2. Roobeedoo says:

    Ah yes. THAT question. My husband was not offered the “abstinence” option. I do wonder what they write on the form every month: “Promises to behave himself”? Ha!
    What I found interesting was that in a thorough scouring of the web, I could only find one instance of a pregnancy being reported during lenalidomide treatment. So either people are being very “well-behaved” or they are just too sick / old / infertile before they even take the drug. I think they would save everyone a lot of stress and embarrassment if they checked for a patient’s fertility levels rather than pizzing about with pregnancy tests. But maybe that would be even more upsetting. Ignore me – I am rambling.

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