Saturday, December 12, 2015

Still here

I've been hibernating.

Last biopsy had an increase of cancer cells from 5% to 25%, so I'm back on chemo meds. 

It's tough.

But I'm hanging in. At least until I pick up one of my daily pill bottles and see this crual reminder...


Like I need to know that. So I ripped the sticker off this morning and laughed that it took me so long to take my power back.

Whew - I feel better already! At least a smidgion.

I'll lie everywhere but here on The Daily Dose... so as guilty as this is going to make me feel... I'm just going to say it:

This is HARD! 

Really, really, really... hard!

Hardest thing I've ever done, actually (and I've done a lot of hard the last 8 years).

There are reminders everywhere and I'm not just talking about pill bottles. I'm talking about infertility and so many failed attempts at IVF and FET. I'm talking about infant loss. I'm talking about cancer. I'm talking about living childless...and Christmas...and loss of hope...all of it combined in one giant pot of nothingness. 

It's hard. 

My pillow is usually a little wet at night and I must have silent tears come down my face at least 4-5 times a day. Nobody sees it or even has the faintest clue because I try to be a really upbeat, positive person by nature...

But oh-boy do I feel it. 

Every second, of every day, I feel it. 

And despite the 99.9% positivity that I try to portray and focus on,  there is the .1% in the back of my head that wonders how on earth I am ever going to endure it.

Especially through another holiday season. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

In Honor Of My Stupid 90's Tattoo - Laugh Now, Cry Later

I am convinced that God has a serious sense of humor. There is really no other explanation. 

Today, I turned 41.

Today, I started the period from hell. 

Today, my oncologist did not call as promised. She's been meaning to call me for 2 months. Today was the day she promised to follow through with the latest lab results so we can chart our path forward.  Needless to say, no call. 

Today, was the beginning of my 2-week vacation. A birthday weekend...followed by a trip to New England to see the last of the fall colors with my brother and sister. It's our annual #SiblingRival3 get-away.  

Or rather, it was our annual sibling trip.  Instead, I got a call this morning to pack immediately and get to the airport. I'm Mexico bound (via Texas) for hurricane/flooding disaster response. Oh, the life of an Emergency Services Director.

I'm convinced that Texas may be tied to my menstrual cycle. I've had 2 periods this year. One. Two. 

...The first hellacious one happened when I went to the Texas flooding this spring which lasted 7 weeks (both the period and the response). It was pure hell. 

So when Mr. Thompson cracked a joke this morning during our Godfather episode, about being sent back to Texas for my "lady days", I laughed. But by George, a call came 30 minutes later with exactly that. 

Either Mr. Thompson is a witch or God has a sense of humor. 

I'm going with God on this one because it's all too funny.   He's probably getting even with me for that stupid comedy/tragedy mask tattoo I got in college. 

(41 year old me to 21 year old me: if your going to get a tattoo for heaven's sake -  put some deep thought into it, would you?!) 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Note To Self

This week I learned that you should always shave your legs. Always.

And if you are going to wear boots - you still need to make sure that your socks match.

Because your doctor might finally decide to call you after 2 months of putting you off about your last biopsy results... and during that call, she may ask you to come in for another last-minute, unplanned, same-day redo... to see if anything has changed with the cancer cells in your uterus, while she's been putting you off for two months.

It's been complicated, friends. Very, very complicated.

But I learned that you should always mate your socks. Unless you're 14 because then it's cool.  

Almost 41?... Not so much. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Hello, Again.

4 months, 2 days, 3 hours and 2 minutes since my last post.

So in the words of Neil Diamond, "hello again, hello."

Where to even start...

In late February my biopsy came back clean. Uterine cancer was gone. It was fantastic news after a long year+ of truly horrible chemo meds and all that came along with it. The day I switched off those meds was the best day of my life!

With a smile, my oncologist sent me back to my reproductive endocrinologist to take advantage of our "window of opportunity."

It was a really, really good day.

Dr. H, my reproductive endocrinologist (RE), wanted me to have two good cycles before we could finally proceed with frozen embryo transfer (FET).  We have 8 great embryos frozen and while cancer threw a curve-ball during preparations for the last FET, we were both anxious for my body to normalize so we could press forward. 

While we waited, I... 

I accepted a promotion at work... sold our house (in 24-hours, I might add)... moved into my sister's basement for a month... found/bought an AMAZING new house... deployed to Texas to help manage the flooding disaster operation... came home and unpacked my house 7 weeks later (oy vey!)... dealt with my beloved grandmother's death... took a vacation with family... relaxed... laughed... cried...

And did every thing I honestly could to get my body to do what Dr. H wanted it to do. 

Unfortunately, two "normal" cycles just never came. (Who am I kidding. I couldn't even get one.) 

While there was largely the absence of a menstral cycle March - June... July came with a vengeance. Much like my initial diognosis. 

Due to abnormalities, Dr. H (RE) sent me back to Dr. Z (oncologist). Dr. Z sent me to the emergency room after a particularly bad bout.  Four days later she did another biopsy and patted my knee. 

That was last Friday. 

Biopsy results will come back tomorrow. 

If I am being honest, I'll tell you that my pit tells me cancer cells are back. And that super-duper stinks. Our 5-month window" wasn't much of a window, but I'm not going to cry, rage or be angry. (Well, maybe a little). This isn't the first time my body has failed me. 

Somewhere in heaven there is a little boy who should be starting 2nd grade. He's with my grandma now and all is well. But with every assurance that all is well, I still feel these empty arms and mourn what my body couldn't keep. 

For eight years I've also earned veterans status with IVF, FET, IUIs, Clomid, and every other pill, shot, or fertility voodoo practice on God's green earth. I've been around this block many times over and one thing I know for sure is that it's all a crap-shoot.  Some get lucky - some don't. The most advanced medical technology in the world has never come with a guarantee and I'm well aware of that. My body has just been on the other side of the stat. (For now.)

We'll see how this all plays out but either way I'm still okay. I'm hopeful. Infertility is, what it is ... and cancer is an unexpected bump that I'll get over. 

I'm alive. I'm happy. I have an amazing husband who adores me. We've been blessed with a house we'll grow old in. I have a job that I absolutely love. I have 4 nephews and a niece who live 1.9 minutes from my house which means plenty of sleep-overs and dirty walls.  I am loved, cared for, and blessed.  

And so it goes. 

Now for the most important question: What have you been doing the last 4 months, 2 days, 3 hours and 2 minutes? I've missed you! 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

In The Quiet of Time


3 months.  Where do I start?

I guess that I've just been quietly living life. Not too much to say.  Not too much to do. No drama. A lot of work. Less talk. More action.

Here are the highlights: 

Biopsy results came back clear in February which was super exciting! Dr. Z (oncologist) cleared me to return to Dr. H (reproductive endocrinologist) to purse more ART (assisted reproductive therapy), if we choose. You would think that after eight years of infertility and last year's unexpected cancer drama, I would be running back to my reproductive clinic.  But yeah... I haven't.

That was the plan. Really, it was.

After all, cancer came during frozen embryo transfer and I had a meltdown at the thought and redirection towards an unexpected hysterectomy.  We wanted a "window" and we chose a treatment plan to get us there as soon as possible.  I was still in my 30's and I. Fought. Like. Hell.

So here I am. A year later. With a green light. In the quiet. Sitting still.

Am I nuts?!

Probably. But when I was a little girl I would sneak away from the chaos of my seven siblings and find the quietest corner of our house. There, in the formal living room, I would lay on the carpet in front of our big picture window...and just bask for hours in the quiet sun. 

I think that's what I'm doing right now.

I don't know if... I don't know how... I don't know when... 

If ever. 

I'm 40. I've spent a bazillion dollars trying to have a family for the last 8+ years. I've put my body through every possible wringer imaginable. I've been disappointed too many times to count and I feel like I almost lost my life in the process.

So no. I haven't run to Dr. H yet.

Biopsys will continue and a hysterectomy will eventually come as a preventative measure, but for now - it's quiet.  And the sun is shining. All is quiet, all is bright.

I'm getting healthy again, I got a promotion at work and last night we met with a realtor to put our house up for sale.

And so, it goes.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Big Bang Theory

Not too much to report lately. 

Unfortunately.  

Dr. H (reproductive endocrinologist) told me to call him if I didn't experience a "natural D&C" by mid-January. Because I can't do anything the easy way... I broke down and called him last week.

On February 9th I have another biopsy with Dr Z (oncologist) so we discussed options and decided that she will schedule me for the D&C at that appointment. Apparently, the oncologist trumps the reproductive endocrinologist in situations like this.

Which means more pathology. 

And more fingers crossed.

And more waiting.

If pathology come back clean like my November biopsy, then we'll do the D&C... wait the appropriate length of time for my uterus to heal...and then proceed  to frozen embryo transfer (FET) probably March/April'ish. That's how a "window of opportunity" works.

If not - we'll do the D&C and go back to chemo. And that's how a "window of opportunity" disappears. 

No whammies. No whammies. No whammies. 

Oy vey! Why do I feel like I'm constantly playing a game of Russian Roulette?!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Does Anyone Else Want To See Donny Osmond In Concert?


Today has been a great day.

I just got out of the shower where I stood with the afternoon sun beating through the window on my face, while hot water poured over my head and back. It was one of those glorious moments where you think about how happy you are to be healthy and alive. 

(Apparently the shower windows are dirty. Don't judge...)
And I am. 

I am so extremely happy to be healthy and alive. 

The day started pretty atypical (unless your an infertile). It started with a pregnancy test. You know, because why the heck not. 

Actually I did it because stranger things have happened. (or maybe not). I'm waiting, waiting, waiting for a period... went off all meds in November... feel nauseous all the time... have almost passed out repeatedly at really in opportune times over the last few weeks... Blah. Blah. Blah. 

So I took the test and apparently, stranger things have not happened. 

So I said "Enough!"

I striped off my cloths, put on workout gear, downloaded the C25K app, turned up the radio really loud, and ran it out. (okay- more like a light jog)

It felt WONDERFUL! 

45 minutes later I woke up the Mister and his dog, put them in their work out gear and hopped on my new "Townie" bike to take them to the park. I rode while they walked and played.

It felt WONDERFUL!

Enough of this infertility and cancer crap. I've gained 20 pounds the last year on chemo meds and nearly 50 during this 8 year infertility struggle. 

Enough.

I'm going to seriously work on losing this extra weight now for me.  For no other reason, but me.

And after I make all that effort, I'm going to stand in the sunshine and take a really hot, refreshing shower and just think about how nice it feels to be alive.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

To Try (Again)

I love new beginnings. Thus, I love New Year's. Instead of a long list of goals (I'll most likely break!), I find a word to focus on for the year and let it guide me.

2014 was RUN.

With it, I set out to run 40 race miles by my 40th birthday (#40for40) and made a personal commitment to always face hard things and never run from them. What's more, I promised myself I would run with purpose to the future. All in all, 2014 was a good year of running.

In 2015 my word is TRY.

As in try new things, try harder, and in the words of Samuel Beckett..."Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again."

What's your word for 2015?


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