Friday, May 8, 2015

A Mixed Bag...

If you're new to the whole TTC thing, and if you are, I can't help but wonder how in the hell you found your way here. I mean, I understand this is the internet and it's all public and whatnot. I also understand that I am one in about a gazillion people writing a blog on said internet, so I guess the thought that someone who doesn't know me would find mine... just... I dunno.

But I digress.

If you are new, then you probably don't know that there are quite often things TTC wise that common folk might consider TMI or Too Much Information. Well, News Flash. This blog will contain TMI. I can promise it. I can guarantee it. You know how I know I can guarantee it? Because not only am I an advanced level TTC'er, I've also got Crohn's.


I'm now gonna drop the mic and allow a few moments for the mind to ponder all of the TMI those two topics have the capability of covering.


I know, right? I wish I could see the looks on your faces!! Oh the places this could go! You have no idea! Understand, I don't enjoy all of these lovely experiences, but this is the life I know and I'll be damned if I'm gonna spend it feeling shit about my lot. I'm gonna find the funny wherever I can and if that offends your delicate sensibilities... well, frankly darlin', that's just tough fuckin' shit. ;^)

Now that we've dispensed with the appropriate disclaimers, I can get on to the week.

Monday morning, my stepfather in law passed away from terminal cancer. We knew it was coming, which is the main reason we moved back to Central PA, but it was still fairly sudden, in a way. I mean, Saturday he'd just been sleepy. Monday at 2:30 am he had gotten up and taken himself to the bathroom. Five hours later, he was staring ahead vacantly with labored breathing, completely non-responsive. By 11:45 am, he was gone. I watched my grandmother pass at home, so I knew what the last few minutes looked like and was able to say something so that D could gather everyone into the room.

So, naturally we had to reschedule D's SA. We were able to move that to Wednesday at 1 pm, but we'd have to drive to Jersey for it instead of the Melrose Park office. No biggie. With everything that was going on, we figured that was a fairly small sacrifice to have to make.

We spent all day Monday at D's mom's as well as a fair bit of Tuesday. As is usual when there's a death, she's had tons of callers and visitors, but we wanted to make sure that she was doing as well as can be expected at this point, run any errands she may have needed, etc. I also needed to take her the info I had gotten on food for the memorial service so that she could decide what she wanted to get.

While sitting at the kitchen island with my sister in law, I got into a bag of sunflower seeds. See... I have a thing for sunflower seeds. It very likely goes back to my childhood summers spent in South Philly. We would go either to "Fruitsie's" or the Fire Station at Front & Washington to buy .10 bags of sunflower seeds, then sit around and eat them. They're horribly salty and wind up burning my tongue long before I stop eating them, but there's just something about them.

I made sure not to go nuts with them, no pun intended, but the small amount I did have seemed plenty to wreak some havoc. So yeah... my Crohn's got properly pissed off. It was already being a bit of a bitch before that, but with Ladd declining so fast, my own father being diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer and getting ready to start radiation and chemo, I wasn't surprised. Stress is like gasoline on the old Crohn's flare.

Well, this time it decided to throw a full on tantrum complete with a couple of new curve balls. Vomiting and bloody BM's. Not normal symptoms for me, so... no bueno. I tried to be mindful about eating softer more easily digestible foods over the next few days to see if that would satisfy and silence the Kraken. That's what I call my Crohn's flare... the Kraken. Because it gets all gurgly and noisy and crampy and evil and it sucks. Krake, in Norwegian & Swedish, is a word designating an unhealthy animal or something twisted. Perfect.

After four days of my toilet bowl looking like Shark Week, I put a call in to my GI. His nurse called me back first to find out what was up and she asked if I wanted to see him or just talk to him. I told her we'd moved 2 hours away, so talking to him would be best. As usual, he called me very quickly and we talked about how I'd been feeling.

He called in another round of Prednisone, because that shit works with the quickness for me. This will be my 3rd round, but he's also starting me on Mercaptopurine at the same time. It can take 3-6 weeks to start feeling relief from that, so the thought is that by the time I'm ramping down this course of Prednisone, the Mercaptopurine will have had enough time in my system to pick up where the steroids leave off. That's the hope anyway.

During my last GI visit, we had discussed the fact that we were planning to do IVF towards the end of the summer. He said that he's treated a number of patients with Mercaptopurine while pregnant and everyone has done really well without any problems or issues, so I'm not worried on that front. My GI has been doing this for a long time and I trust him.

As is usual, Crohn's cut in line and made itself the center of attention. Diva bitch!

I started the new meds today and I won't lie, it's been a rough day. We had Ladd's memorial service this afternoon and while I was feeling like a proper pile of shit, I made it through the majority of it. After the service, I had a small bit to eat and that didn't sit too well. D said he'd run me home if I wanted, which I did. His Uncle Jimmy called me a strong girl saying he could see in my face that I wasn't feeling well earlier and that he was going to come offer to take me home. Every time he sees me since my diagnosis, he always asks about my Crohn's and how I'm doing... <3

So, now I'm home in my big soft bed with some comfies on finally able to bring this all up to speed.

Wednesday D's SA went... fine. He woke me up at like 1 am asking if "doing it" would ruin the test. "Um... yeah." I sleepily replied. I listened to him whine for a few minutes before he surrendered and went to sleep. Dork. He knows better. Needless to say, he was looking forward to getting into the "Fun Room" (a friend shared that one with me and I gotta say... I like it!!) that day.

C came over and flopped down on the love seat with me in the waiting room and asked if we wanted to take care of the last of our blood work while we were there. I said we might as well. D returned from the "Fun Room" and advised us that he hoped the sample would be alright because it sorta... hopped over the top of the cup on him. C and I both burst out laughing along with D.

Turns out his numbers came back fine. They haven't mentioned ICSI since, so maybe we won't need that...? Thursday was Visit #2. I gave another urine sample and then C and I headed into one of the offices to go over the Lupron.

Dun Dun Dun!!!

She asked if I'd done injectables before and I told her I had done Bravelle and Gonal-F for our last IUI, so she said it's basically the same deal, except the Lupron goes in my thigh instead of my belly like the Bravelle. She wrote down my shot schedule from 5/7-5/20.

5/7-5/10 is 20 IU shot of Lupron in the morning with 1 BCP in the evening through Sunday, 5/10. Might get spotting or a period after stopping the BCP.
5/11-5/19 will consist of 1 20 IU shot of Lupron in the morning.
5/20 I return to the office at 10 am to check my suppression with ultrasound and blood work. I'm not to take my Lupron shot that day until AFTER my appointment, since they might make changes depending on my results. That visit will be a "long visit" meaning, I have to hang around to wait for my results.

If all looks good, I will be randomized on 5/20. Meaning, they will determine whether I'll be taking Gonal-F or Afolia (the study drug). That's also the day that we've gotta pay. $3,793.75 to be exact. So far, the only thing I've paid has been the $390 for my initial visit with Dr. Check. We also will have to bring a check or money order for $450 on retrieval day for anesthesia, I believe.

I have to return on Memorial Day 5/25 at 8:15 am. I'm making D take me to that one. He wakes up at 5:30, naturally, every morning. Me... not so much. I'm usually up and out of bed by 7:30 or so... so he's the better candidate for driving that early in the morning.

After going over all of that, it was shot time. C made me do it in front of her to make sure I could do it. It was funny because once I got the needle in, I was telling my finger to push the plunger but I'll tell you what... that's one stubborn finger. It just sat there, mocking me... knowing that until the fluid was dispensed into my leg, that needle would have to remain in my flesh. C said "Push it... Push it." to which I replied that I was trying to. C then placed her index finger on top of mine and gave me a little push... and then another. We both laughed. Honestly, it wasn't as bad as I was anticipating.

We talked for a bit while she waited to check for any kind of reaction at the injection site. Once it was obvious that I was in the clear, she reminded me that I've got her cell, so if I need her for anything, even if it's a text to tell me "Do it, woman", to reach out any time. I gathered my box of meds and headed to my parents to visit with my dad.

When I got to my parents house, no one was there. I texted my sister and found out that his appointment had been moved up to 1 pm. I jumped in the car and drove over to the Kimmel Cancer Center. Once his first radiation treatment was done, we met with the doctor and his resident, he had some blood work done and then we went back to the house.

I sat and visited with him for a few hours. We talked football for a good while. :^) Then I had to get on the road since it's a fairly hefty drive home, rush hour would be kicking in soon and we had the memorial today. He starts chemo on Monday, so I'm going to visit him again on Wednesday. They told him chemo treatments will take like... half the day, so there's no point in my trying to see him on chemo days.

I got home around 7:30 or so and told D all about my appointment, at which point he asked if I wanted him to do my shots for me. I was totally surprised because I wanted him to do them last time, but he was too freaked by the thought of it. I said I'd love for him to do them if he felt that he could. So today, he gave me my 2nd Lupron shot... and did a better job than I did with the 1st one! You can still see the little red spot where I gave myself the shot. His? I couldn't tell you where it was. I did jump when I first felt the tip of the needle touch my leg and he said "You can't be jumpin' now!" while we both laughed.

So yeah... this is real. This is happening.

We are officially doing IVF.

Right now.



  1. Wow, lady! You have had so much going on!! And I am sorry to hear your GI issues went all crazy on you!! I hope your new meds help quickly!

    And hooray for getting this IVF business started! C sounds so amazing and supportive, which will make the process so much better! I was I had that at my old RE's office... Maybe our first 2 ivfs would have gone differently! Finding it in a new RE clinic was a Godsend! I am ridiculously excited to follow this journey with you!

    1. *wish I had that (not *was*)!

    2. Danggit! I replied to your comment and for some reason, it didn't take! Boo Blogger!!!