Last weekend I hit a wall of tiredness which has continued to the present day. This followed two days of chemotherapy. The cause was not only the drugs themselves but the way they hit the blood platelets. Several times now chemo has been postponed because of this, but now it has shown to be working, chemo will go ahead but I shall have to shun the crowds and avoid getting infections as I will not be able to shake them off. Although I have my harvested bone marrow (frozen two years ago) which could rescue me if I get a serious infection, this is my insurance policy in case things go wrong after transplant so I must just be careful.
My visit to the bone marrow clinic on Tuesday leads me to believe I shall be going into the Bubble probably in January. So far this year I have discovered that an anonymous donor gave me life and another anonymous donor could save it. Perhaps it’s hardly any wonder that I have given up my anonymity to go public.
The first couple of months after learning about my conception were very bewildering and perhaps it is no coincidence that not only did my treatment stop working, but the lymphoma started to grow back. I started to read up about donor conception for the first time in my life. Other people, as I have since learned, have done infinitely more research than I have, and I am now learning from them. I realised that since there are no records available from the early years and birth certificates do not contain any relevant information, it is possible that some people have hundreds of half siblings and the potential for incestuous marriages is frightening.
On finding out about my conception I wrote to a leading fertility expert who often appears on television asking for help to trace my father. However, he declined and perhaps because of the murky practices of some doctors in the past there seems to be a real fear that somehow the medical profession would suffer if these records came to light. Now I am beginning to wonder whether this is because of the way individual sperm donations were used to father multiple conceptions or because of the involvement of some medical personnel in eugenics. It is obviously far more important to protect these individuals than the bewilderment and suffering of the donor offspring. Certainly the reasons for maintaining donor anonymity usually given to the general public are different from those I have mentioned. That refusal of help was a defining moment. I knew the only people who would help would be other donor conceived adults and I would have to find them.