Thursday, February 11, 2016

Forward Without Fear

Nine years.

I've been unsuccessfully trying to have a baby for Nine. Whole. Years.

I've been trying to wrap my head around that statement for a few weeks now. I've thought about all the friends that I've met in the trenches over the years ... and how they have all gone on to successfully have at least one child in one way, shape or form.

Except me.

It feels like I'm the last one standing.

But not for lack trying.

I tried to count how many IVFs, FETs and procedures that I've endured over the last nine years in the name of infertility. I honestly couldn't recall. The number is amazingly HIGH.

I tried to think about all the money we've spent trying to have a family of our own. I lost track at $50,000. (Funny how we thought the medical route would be cheaper than adoption...)

Nine years of insanity over a dream. And what remains? Two years of cancer.


Whenever I try to bring my little sister into my pity party she looks at me squarely in the eyes and says "Get up!". It's her way of reminding me that I can do really hard things, because our people do really hard things.

Our people, once upon a time, walked across the plains. With nothing but the clothes on their back and a few poor provisions in their hand-cart, they walked. And walked. And walked. From east coast to west coast. They couldn't even afford a horse. Yet after all that walking... they eventually made it and built beautiful lives in the western wilds with nothing but hard work and faith.

I have a great aunt, my grandmother's sister, who buried 9 babies. Nine. And she never did go on to have a child of her own. I have no idea how Aunt Lottie did it because I weep buckets over one tiny grave. But she did.

Another ancestor had to birth her baby on the kitchen table. By herself. Her husband was gone and she fell off the horse in the rain one night as she tried to go for the doctor when something was going terribly wrong with her labor. She was wet, and muddy, and after the hardest night of her life alone on that kitchen table... she then had to get up to bury her baby before her other small children woke up.

So for nine years, my sister has emphatically told me to "Get up!" because I can do this. My line of women are strong and I'm no exception.

It's the reminder I always need to move forward without fear.

I have no idea where this journey is going. Today, I'm just trying to get through my chemo meds One. Day. At. A. Time. It's really hard, but I still have a thread of hope. It's a really thin thread mind you... but there is a thread none the less.

As I was getting my hair cut the other day my friend looked down at me while she was washing my hair and asked if we would eventually do the frozen embryo transfer (FET) which was halted with cancer two years ago. I replied, "I don't honestly know."

"Why?" She asked.

"Because I'm 41."

"So what!", she said.

When I looked a little stunned by her abruptness, she went on to add, "Have you seen the news?! Women - and I mean a lot of women - very successfully have children later in life. If you want it - keep going for it."

And that, was that.

My beautician just told me to "Get up!".

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Big Picture

Sunday morning, I woke up early. I put the teapot on for my morning cup of tea, lit the fireplace and got comfortable in my oversized chair to watch dawn break.  As snow fell and daylight eventually emerged, I just sat there in peace.

It was the blissful time of day when I was so happy to be like my dad.  Early to bed, early to rise.

Eventually, I picked up my journal. That old leather bound friend that has been unintentionally put away, until I found it last week in a mover's box.  Opening its dusty pages, I flipped to the last entry and realized just how long it's been.  

June 19, 2014.

Had it really been that long? 

Apparently, so. 

This was surprising because I've faithfully kept a journal since I was 12 years old.  I've documented every boyfriend, breakup, fight with my mother, growing pain, professional success, personal loss and everything in-between on those pages. Volumes and volumes of my life's story.

Except, perhaps, the most important part.  The last 1 1/2 years.  The years that I've been challenged beyond what I ever thought possible, and unquestionably learned the most. 


So I opened my blog hoping that there was something three I could convert over.  Nope.  Only 8 posts in 2015 as opposed to 196 in 2010.

So I grabbed a pen, put on some light music and tried to catch up.  It was an impossible task, but after 2 1/2 hours I had made a start. 

I laughed, I cried, and I even muffled a few sobs writing about the loss of my beloved grandmother last July.  Watching her die changed my life. Forever.

And in the end....

I felt relief. I felt peace. I felt like I was back home.  Right where I belong because journaling to me is a form of meditation, reflection and release.  It's how I somehow make the puzzle pieces of my life fit together into something that resembles a larger picture.

So I'm back.

Thanks for hanging in there with me because I can't tell you how much your kind words of encouragement and support has meant throughout this entire process.  It's a benefit that I honestly never expected when I started The Daily Dose all those years ago.

But it's one I've grown to love.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Mother's Heart

Tonight's Downton Abbey episode made me cry like a baby.

You know the part...

When Anna was talking to Mary and she said with a deep devastation, "Some people can't have babies, and I am one of them."

I understand her pain.

The next scene finds Anna crying in the servant's quarters. Alone. In the closet.

And unfortunately, I understand that too. 

Later in the episode Mary takes Anna to a specialist. The specialist explains to Anna that she has lost her previous baby due to "cervical incompetence".

And that just seems so cruel. Because I could be Anna.

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.