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Sunday, 26 April 2009

Positive :-)

I started this morning feeling how scared I am of this IVF. Not so of the procedure itself (although I must admit that the full bladder thing does kind of scare me), more of the how do you get started. Right now I know I've got a list of tests to be done, not so sure how I proceed from there (how do I get an approval). And I was kind of feeling like I'll never pass this first obstacle (first obstacles are always huge in my eyes, almost impassable..).
And then I had another test done this morning, a vaginal ultrasound. She was reading out the numbers, and they were nice and high, in fact I don't think I had follicles this big [left - 18*30; right - 21*28 with a yellow body (Corpus Luteum)]. I know I already ovulated, so maybe non-leading follicles continue growing!? Don't really know, just know that after first thought of - yeah, nice numbers but it's never going to happen, I was thinking - YES I CAN! I was kind of thinking (beforehand) of giving up on that eighth IUI, focusing my energy on the IVF. But hey, with such lovely follicles without anything to stim their growth, I know I can do this last IUI (and of course get knocked up..). I will proceed with trying to get an IVF going (you know, as backup), but will also do this final IUI.

And then to enforce this positive attitude, I come home to a beautiful black hummingbird flying around in my house, and then the scales insisted on me being 50.7 kg [I would l-o-v-e to carry around that weight, it's even lower by about two kilos from my target weight LOL (yes, batteries probably need changing..).

So here is my plan for the next few weeks:
->Have biopsy (today! yes, top and bottom in one day..).
->In two weeks time get a negative result and an O.K to continue TTC.
->While waiting for results, start loosing weight. I think I'll put a goal of 5 kg in these two weeks (overall I want to shed 15 kg.).
->Try and schedule the PAP (last test!) for next week (actually, tomorrow would be more than great, but I doubt if I'll be able to get an appointment so soon).
-> When I get my period, start injections for IUI #8.
->I should be getting the PAP results around the end of the TWW, so just in case it's another negative, I'll be able to proceed straight away to IVF (hopefully beurocrasy won't take too long).

oh, and this new pill I've got, I think I'll call her Joy. Trying to read the psychiatrist's note to the doctor [so I can get a prescription and therefore pay a reduced sum, the psych is private] I stumbled on the last word. It said: start with [in Hebrew], and then something that looked like Joy (in English). Well, though I later managed to read it [50 mg...], I still I think I should stick with calling her Joy :-).

It's my Blogaversary today!! Yep, a year ago I started blogging about my efforts to become a mother. I was sure that in no time I'll be pregnant. Oh well, this IUI is going to work, and I will celebrate my 40th birthday (in one year and one month's time..) with a new born (or if backup plan takes place, then at least being pregnant..).

Monday, 20 April 2009

Show and Tell #3

The year is 1938. A little five year old boy from Czechoslovakia is crying with pain, he has a really bad stomach ache. The doctors say it's colic, and leave it at that, but the pain increases and along with it a high temperature. Eventually he is rushed to the hospital.

Not so far away from there, in Munich, some world leaders meet and try to appease the appetite of a monstrous dictator. This German leader whom I shall not name, has just annexed Austria in an act known as the Anschluss. In order to prevent war, the other leaders (Chamberlain of Britain, Daladier of France and Mussolini of Italy) just give him the Sudetenland - an area in Czechoslovakia bordering Germany and Poland, in which most of the people speak German (and therefore "should" belong to Germany). Note that Czechoslovakian leaders have no say.

In a third corner sits a Jewish officer of the Czechoslovakian army. Since he spoke native German, he was placed in a unit in the Sudats, as the Czechs didn't trust the Germans. But now, with the Munich Agreement, all at once his unit has become part of the German army (which actually made him an officer in the German army - A Jewish guy an officer in the Nazi force..).

This Jewish officer was the little boy's father, who later on in life became my father. The little boy's pain turned out to be an eruption of the appendix and he is immediately rushed into hospital for surgery. But this Jewish officer knows his time is running out before racial purity laws also hit his unit, and that he must flee this instant. He runs away in the hope that his wife and child will join him once the child has recovered from surgery. But alas, in just a matter of days, the borders have been sealed, keeping little boy and mother within and father out.

His father went to England, where he served in the British army as a translator in an interrogation unit (questioning German prisoners of war). He didn't meet up with his little boy until 7 years later. A story I really love is how he kept the little chocolates he used to get every weekend from his unit [remember - this is a time of war, and chocolate was probably a real treat], saying this is for my boy, and how when they finally met father presented boy with this huge pile of chocolates (or sweets or whatever it was), most of them rotten by then.

Little boy and mother remained in Czechoslovakia. They were put into a camp, but managed to get out of there and go into hiding. Aryan papers were arranged and the two of them fled to Hungry there they they lived (if you can call finding a new place to stay every other day, the having to always remember your new identity*, the fear of being caught, the constant search for food and the big No-No of anyone seeing boy peeing, etc - living) for the rest of the war.
First three years my father, that little boy, was - a little boy. Very difficult and demanding, not really understanding the circumstances, as I should think any little boy would be. But suddenly, at the age of 8, he grew, in an instant he became an adult. He would get food from the black market and take care of his mother. A story I really like is when one evening he was walking "home" with his mother. As they were approaching the building where they stayed, he saw a man reading a newspaper under a lamp post. This didn't seem right to him, so he whispered to his mother to carry on walking. Later on they learned that that night the Gestapo invaded that building, searching for hiding Jews. An instinct and an observant mind of a little boy saved them.

A few years ago, I had this realization, that if not for those terrible years, if not for the holocaust, my parents would not have met and I wouldn't have been born. Kind of a creepy and chilly thought.

Now please continue the show and tell, and see what the others are showing or telling or both!

Edited to add: Time Mish-Mash
As the story always went about how he (=my father) was five when he had that operation, it was always 1938 for me (he was born in 1933), but I now see that it was already 1939 (yes, he was still five). So a correct version of the story would be telling of the Munich Agreement in 1938, and then less then a year later of my father and his dad.

* luck had it that my father's first name and "his" name on the Aryan papers were the same, but he still had to know names of other "family members" and to know where, what, why, if asked he had to say "my father is....." without a blink of an eye.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

And the waiting continues..

So, I have another week until the biopsy, and then another two weeks for the results which will go directly to the doctor.
Just this week there was a discussion on a forum about tests' results that go directly to the doctors (instead of posting the results on the web site, like in the case of testing for aids, for example). Though I understand why it is done this way (you never know who might get a heart attack or whatever from hearing such and such news), if it was up to me, I would really prefer learning about a positive when it's just me and the computer, and not in the presence of a stranger. And I'm thinking, after passing the hurdle of the biopsy - do I want someone to come with me to hear the results? Maybe I'd prefer to go alone? And if I want someone, who should it be?

And I'm trying to be more of a sharing type. I took the Sedder last week as an opportunity to tell everyone about this lump I found. And in an attempt to not shut myself and to let my mother be somewhat more involved (and knowing how she likes these things..) I showed her the image of the mammogram and u/s. But it now seems she is telling everyone about this huge lump I have. hmmmmm.... ignoring the fact that huge it is not, we do know I have something there, otherwise I wouldn't have been asked to have a biopsy done. I didn't ask her not to tell people since I can guarantee that whatever I say to her will find its way around (I've been burned enough to know that I can never share with her anything in confidence, she'll do the deciding on whether it is worth telling or not [never or not]. I do believe that has to do with me not liking to share), but it still makes me feel pissed off and very much disappointed in her. Yet again she failed me. [and on the opposite side there's sister #1 who remembered that today I had an appointment with the doctor (only to give me the referral for the biopsy) and cared enough to phone and find out. And no, mother didn't/doesn't know when and what (see above as to why..) , but still...].

On the tests itself - I am still very much on the positive side, thinking - me? na, can't be me! I'm healthy as an ox (or a horse?). But slowly these thoughts are creeping in (which will probably increase as I wait for the test itself and then the results) - what if? What if I do have cancer? And if yes, isn't it ridiculus all these tests and procedures I'm getting done as a requirement for IVF? I mean if it's a positive, then for the time being, I won't exactly be continuing on my TTC journey and will most likely have to do them all again. I think for the time being I'll delay making an appointment for the last thing on the list (a pap smear), it's simply just too much right now (did I mention that I also have an appointment with the psychiatrist next week?).

Monday, 13 April 2009

Show and Tell #2

Usually at around Pesach, this pecan tree is full and green and beautiful, and the ground beneath it is full of pecans. This year.. not so much, just looked dead. There was another tree in the garden (the pecan is actually our neighbour's), a willow tree that was indeed declared dead, and the other day was dug up.
And suddenly, this pecan tree decided to start blooming (should have taken the picture about two days ago when it was really small buds, or yesterday when a really beautiful bird was sitting on one of the branches. And really don't know why the picture is so dark. oh well..
Now go and see what the rest of the class are showing at show and tell!

Finding that camera to take the shot.... Wanting to get into bird watching and photography and having a good camera for when baby arrives, I bought myself a decent camera. I won't talk about hardly trying it out and not knowing how or what (shame on me!), but I will mention that since I had a break-in a while ago (and not too hard to do at my place), I keep my prize possessions , my camera, at my mother's (my place is a residential unit, my mother lives in the rest, and sister #3 is a next door neighbour [not the one with the pecan]) since it is much safer there. But ahmm.. she decided she would be a good mother and hide it (i.e in case burglars take a fancy on her place). Great, except neither of us could remember where!

Monday, 6 April 2009

An Update

I was going to start this update saying how happy I was to get my period on Sunday. How I realized on Sat that if I want a day 3 [even 3-5 as they do it here] blood draw, I just have to get my period by Sun [Wed-Sat the lad lab [b not even close to d on the keyboard! What the hell was I thinking???] will be closed. Dear Pessach falling right before the weekend /-:].
I was then going to carry on with the results of the mammogram and u/s I had. Of course it was going to be an all clear update, saying how everything is O.K and how I can continue as usual.
Well the results came back as probably benign. Not definitely, but probably. I am 3 on the BIRDS scale. And they now want me to have a biopsy. A thick needle biopsy the explanation leaflet is titled in Hebrew. Thank you very much for that. I have no problems generally with needles, but one that they call thick?? [and I'm imagining a needle thick enough to penetrate an elephant]. At least in English they call it a core needle biopsy [and there my imagination can take me to some small and unimpressive needle pushing gently into the core of an apple, because my association for the word core is definitely an apple. Except they kind of ruined that possible image with the Hebrew].
Not to mention that they explain how they will make a cut, and how they usually take 2-6 cylindrical samples from the lump. Not one, but about 6 samples! Oh boy! That is one scary test.

And then there's this month's insemination which I was really looking forward to but which now I think is not such a good idea. I should first tend to my breast [ha, there were these tww when I was looking for signs and I could feel my left breast but not my right. Just thought I was uneven. And today, coming home from the clinic, that stupid left breast was somewhat painful again]. I don't think injecting hormones is a good idea right now.
And I'm scared. Less of them finding cancer in me ["probably benign" they say. Actually, looking at the chart (in above link), also level 4, which is "Suspicious Abnormality", is still not considered to be cancerous. But couldn't I be a 'definitely benign'??? Do they have to say probably and mention it 4 times on the results page??], but what with the IVF? Apparently one of the testings they require for the procedure is a doctor's examination of the breasts (and for women above 40, a mammogram too). With this finding, will they now not approve it?
On my way home, a big ad (for a car) caught my eye - Just because you are breathing, doesn't mean you are alive. Yes, that is "exactly" what I needed, a reminder of how not alive I am.
But at least I'll get to have my day 3 blood draw tomorrow morning.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Doctors.. doctors.. doctors..

For quite some time now, I've been feeling this lump in my left breast. When I first noticed it, it was at the time when I was so made to feel unworthy of motherhood, that I really couldn't do anything about it. I know it's stupid, but I was so scared that if I'd say anything, if it turns out I have cancer (and of course, by not saying a word, poof - any cancer cells I might have, are gone), that I could kiss my dream to become a mother goodbye. So I said nothing. Then it took another week or so to build up the courage to deal with whatever it is, and another two weeks to get an appointment.
I dreaded that appointment less for fear of results, more for this huge embarrassment I have over my breasts. I am so ashamed of those dangling body parts which for however long I can remember are directed south. I assume it's due to biggish breasts, thinnish figure (at least in adolescence when my breasts were growing) and lousy bras (my first [and second and third..] were hand-downs from my older sisters. Don't remember going with mother to buy a new one). So I was scared, but turns out it wasn't that bad :-) Maybe I became used to "strangers" seeing my private parts, that showing another part of my flesh isn't so bad (you just wait to when you give birth!).
Anyway, he poked and poked, and said that it's a soft lump (soft? O.K, if you say so), nothing to worry about. Said it might be a cyst (I think I heard of a connection between taking hormones and benign tumors), and sent me to do a mammogram and an u/s for the breasts [done today, results some time next week]. Right now I am twice relieved - first and foremost, I'll take his word that it is probably nothing to worry about. But I'm also relieved to know that I was not imaging imagining, that indeed there was something there!

And then there's the psychiatrist.
He gave me two pills to try out, both not ttc friendly, but said that a third permanent one will be. So I tried two weeks of pill A, and another two of pill B. Besides the point that I completely doubt their effectiveness (I do believe in the placebo effect of pill A), I do not want to halt my ttc efforts any longer. Currently I haven't been able to get hold of him, when/if I do, if I do decide to take whatever pill, it will only be something that is ttc friendly.

And finally [and probably the most important update :-) ] there's the doctor at the fertility clinic. So I've seen him today [yes, long day.. same building as the mammogram] and I will be advancing to IVF, but in the mean time, while I gather all those tests they require, I will do another IUI. I am supposed to get my period some time this weekend [which will be a year since my period on the 1.4.08 which led to my first insem!], the later the better since Pesach might be a problem, and I really don't want to inject myself all those lovely hormones only to have to cancel the cycle. Pesach was actually also an induce to not wait any longer. The doctors won't be working a whole week, and I really can't wait to be back on the wagon!
With all these doctors I've been seeing, and medical examinations, and all these tests I have to do, I feel like a pawn on this giant board game - go to...... go directly to...... do not pass go..
At least I have done most of the tests quite recently! I'm thinking maybe do the rest while in the tww (get my mind occupied with something else), oh, except maybe I shouldn't while potentially pregnant?
Besides all these tests, there's the question of where and by who. I think I know where I want (my clinic, not being a hospital, doesn't do this procedure), which leaves the question of the doctor. I thought of Dr. Z. who is considered one of the tops here and who is warm and thoughtful (and his insems don't hurt!). If I go with him, I can get quite a nice reimbursement (If I'm not mistaken, 87%), and he is nice enough to call each cycle one meeting (I can get this reimbursement for seeing three specialists a year, i.e 3 IVF cycles with him). But nurse today at the clinic pointed out that Dr B, the one who I saw today (and the one at my bank! yes, these doctors work all over the place..) also works at the centre where I'm thinking of doing the IVF, and that if I'll tell him I was directed to him from this clinic, that he won't charge me! I'll check him out on the web, but I'm thinking - yes, I would like that!