Help Melina & Marco become parents!

Hello to All !!!

Thank you so much for deciding to visit my page and read my story. First I would like to say that any time that is taken from ANYONE to read my story and share my page is MUCH appreciated and that, alone, can help my cause in more ways than you can imagine!!

So here it goes...

My name is Melina Tsagaropoulos, I am 29 years old and married to my best friend & soulmate, Marco. We got married in 2015 and bought our little home outside the city of Montreal and began a beautiful journey of marital bliss together. However, they say that newlyweds often face the most difficult challenges in their first two years of marriage and let me tell you, that has been nothing but the truth for us...unfortunately. Despite all our challenges though, we have been each other’s pillar and rock through it all, which is why I know we are going to overcome this with only more strength & love and eventually, live a beautiful and healthy life together for years to come! Love really does conquer all...

Marco and I’s biggest dream was to fall in love with the right person and start a family together and that was exactly what we found in each other. Having children was so important to us, not only because we love them, but because for us, we couldn’t imagine anything more beautiful than to create a life with the person you love and respect most in the world. We always dreamt of creating a little version of both our best selves and wanted to see what that would look like in a little human.  We wanted to raise him/her together in a home filled with love and laughter; that was our biggest dream.

So we immediately began the process of trying to conceive. Something I always feared growing up was being infertile or having trouble conceiving. This has always been my biggest fear because it was the one thing I wanted to experience most in life; pregnancy and childbirth. Since I was little, when my mom would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say: “I want to be a mom!”.

This is why, after only 6 months of trying to conceive, I plead to my doctor to send me for fertility tests to make sure everything was ok (I lied and said we had been trying for over a year, because they won’t send you for those tests unless it’s been a year or more). I didn’t think anything was wrong, but I did not want to waste time because of how badly we wanted to have children and start a family right away. I kept this from many as I didn’t want any pressure or stress to affect our chances. 

The first series of ultrasounds quickly determined that I had cysts in and around my ovaries. However, a year ago, those cysts seemed to be normal endometriosis-type cysts, which is very common in women my age. Our fertility specialist assured us that we were still young and could keep trying for another year to conceive naturally, or we could go further with testing if we were in a rush. I told her straightaway, I want to do everything I can to get pregnant and would rather know if there are any problems now, rather than later. Thank God I pushed...because that’s what ultimately lead us to finding out about my cancer...or else I would have never known and it may have spread to stage 4 quickly. But to continue my story of what lead up to those days...keep reading... 

So our specialist told us the next test we had to undergo was a Fallopian tube test. I ended up doing that test only 6 months later, because I was in between jobs and could not find the right time to go. In the meantime, we kept trying to get pregnant. So now, a year and a half had passed of trying to conceive and I finally went for my Fallopian tube test in the Fall of 2017. This test was supposed to see whether or not my tubes were blocked by cysts or any other causes of infertility. However, there were complications with the test and it was never completed which is what prompted me to return to my gynaecologist/fertility specialist to see why it didn’t work. And this is when the bad news began to surface...

She performed an ultrasound on the spot to see if my previous results had changed...and what she found shocked her to her core. She saw that my cysts had not only spread wildly but also grew in significant size. This alarmed her, so she sent me to perform more tests at the hospital including blood work. The results came back shortly after, with slightly elevated tumour markers and proof that the growths had spread to my abdomen as well. This meant that we had to schedule a surgery right away in order to be able to diagnose me properly. Both endometriosis and ovarian cancer cannot be diagnosed without a biopsy because the two conditions look and act exactly alike. Seeing how my tests showed remarkable progress and advancement, the surgery needed to be booked immediately as it was crucial to my health. So once my results were sent to the oncologist, she met with us and explained everything in detail...and that, my friends, was the day our whole world fell apart. 

Until we met with her, we weren’t sure what to expect or what to believe. Our fertility specialist (bless her heart) was very optimistic that because of my age, it was probably just an extreme case of endometriosis which can spread outside the ovarian walls. The tumour markers shown are ALSO shown in extensive endometriosis cases, which is why she was optimistic that it was just that. However, my oncologist, was sure it was ovarian cancer. She could not guarantee that it was because until a biopsy is performed, it is impossible to diagnose. However, the look on her face, being as specialized in this field as she is, told me everything I needed to know.

I knew at that point, we were about to face the biggest battle yet. In addition, I also had a very strange growth in my belly button which began bleeding and this was another cause of concern as it was growing and was purple in color.

So that day, our oncologist told us what she predicted it was and then explained that if it was cancer, she would have to perform a total bilateral hysterectomy in order to save my life...and this meant...no babies. The minute those two words were muttered, my husband and I broke down in tears. The world at that moment, felt so irrelevant, so meaningless, so hopeless. At that moment, all I could think was, “I don’t want to die, despite all this, I love my life!!!” Everything was blurry and we could not think straight for the next few hours...

3 weeks later, my surgery was booked. So on December 6th, 2017, I underwent an 8 hour open surgery which removed all the growths that were found. Not only was it cancer, but it was worse than they thought, in that the growths had spread to areas that could not be seen in the MRI and CT scan. My surgery was considered a “maximum debulking” operation which meant that they were able to remove all visible growths, removed all reproductive organs, removed my belly button completely (as it was in fact a umbilical tumor growing), removed lymph nodes, fatty tissue behind the stomach, appendix, growths near the liver, etc. This was what saved my life immediately.

I was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer and was told that I would still have to undergo 6 cycles of chemotherapy because there was a tiny spot left in my diaphragm which could not be removed during surgery because of the complicated location of the particles. These particles are tiny and should be treated and hopefully completely disappear with those rounds of chemo. However, this type of wild and aggressive cancer that I have often comes back and so my journey with cancer is not yet over and even if I beat it once, I have to be prepared to fight again, should it return. I am also going through menopause (what happens when ovaries are removed) at the age of 29, which has been an interesting experience in itself...*hellooo hot flashes* (hahaha). 

So friends, this brings me to my next plea. Life is so short, no one knows when they are going to see their last day and this has put so many things into perspective for me. I have spent so much time stressing about getting pregnant and now all that time spent stressing seems so irrelevant because the bottom line is, life is still so beautiful even in all its darkness. Living a long life with Marco by my side is my only dream and we can STILL create new dreams of starting a family together in other ways.

There are 2 options that we have and we will contemplate them both once we see which one will be more viable and feasible to us when the time comes.

Option # 1:

Surrogacy/IVF

We buy eggs from the States (a cost of 30-50,000$ alone) or get eggs donated to us (they were not able to retrieve any eggs of my own due to the cancer) and create an embryo with my husband’s sperm and get a surrogate to carry the child through the IVF process. The approximate cost of this option is 40-60,000$ because we would need to pay the surrogate as well as the medications for IVF and for IVF itself (As many times as it takes to work).

Option #2:

Adoption

There are so many children, SO SO many underprivileged children and/or orphans who are waiting for a home just like ours to be raised in. We cannot think of anything more bblissful than to offer our home and love to these children. However, adoption is extremely costly and timely. With this diagnosis, we have realized that time is of the essence. I do not want to wait 8-10 years to adopt a child, (which is the waiting list to adopt from our own country) because I am ready and wanting to do this as soon as I have recovered from chemo and beat this cancer. After all, the only time we have to live is NOW.

We would love to start the process as soon as I am done my treatments as it could take a couple of years and the only way we can adopt a child in the near future would be through international adoption. The issue is, international adoption is an average cost of 40,000-60,000$ CA and without this in the bank, we would not even be eligible to apply. The cost normally covers the agencie’s fees plus the numerous trips we would have to take to visit the orphanages and stay for a period of time to complete paperwork and so forth.

I am so sorry if this post was so long, but I felt the need to share with you my reasons for asking for these funds in detail, so you can understand exactly where your donations would be going to. 

Please know that even just sharing our cause through social media is so very appreciated as we understand that not everyone has the means to donate and we honestly are just so overwhelmed with gratitude that you have taken the time to read this and share our story!! Every share, every prayer, every good thought from you is more than we can ever ask for. So thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

Also, thank you to all our families and friends who have already helped us in every way they can!! We are extremely touched and blessed to have you all in our lives as you have been our support system and an incredible strength for Marco and I. 

And to my amazing husband, you have been my pillar, my rock, my strength from day 1. I will never take that for granted, I believe in all my heart that this ordeal has been thrown at us now so that we can prove our faith and strength to show God we can overcome any obstacle with our love and we can handle any challenge thrown our way. I know that we have many years of happiness waiting for us with our new life and any child who may enter it. Thank you for being my constant support. I love you more than words can explain.

I could not do this without you. 

Sincerely,

- Melina

Donations ()

  • Tanya Lynn Caza 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 4 mos
  • Nectarios Petropoulos 
    • $100 
    • 6 mos
  • Giulia Rosciano 
    • $10 
    • 21 mos
  • Olga Theonas-Zoulias 
    • $50 
    • 22 mos
See all

Organizer

Melina Tsagaropoulos 
Organizer
L'Île-Perrot, QC
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