Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Annoying Reminders

Courtesy of Google Images
One of the things that annoys me the most about IVF is having to set an alarm as a reminder to take all of my various pills/injectables/insertables.  But, alas, I need the alarms in order to take the drugs at the required time... otherwise I get distracted with life, work.

It's not the actual setting of the alarm that annoys me, it's when the alarm goes off.  Like I need multiple reminders a day that I'm infertile and am now working on my THIRD IVF... but that's really what the sound of that alarm represents...  hey you, yeah, the Infertile one... it's time to stop life and set up your sterile area for your injections, pull the vials out of the refrigerator and let them warm up to room temperature so you can stick yourself (and bruise your belly) because, while there is no guarantee you'll have a baby by doing this day-in and day-out, there IS A GUARANTEE that you WILL NOT HAVE A BABY if you don't!

But the message the alarm sends is not the point of this post... it's just the alarm itself that's caused some annoying and uncomfortable moments.  I've had two recent incidents of bad timing with the alarm.

The first incident was a few weeks ago... it was the reminder to take my BCP/Letrozol at 6pm daily.  I was at acupuncture...  you see where I'm going with this...  I had just replaced my iPhone a couple of days before (I'm so happy to be back on Verizon!) and I flipped the switch to Silent on my way to acupuncture.  Yet at 6pm.... RING... (old fashioned telephone sound)... RING... RING... RING... RING... RING... RING... RING... RING... RING... RING... RING... RING...  (warning:  with the iPhone 4, the alarm rings audibly even when the phone is set to Silent)   RING... RING... RING... RING... RING... RING... RING... RING... RING...

You get the idea, right?  Phone alarms don't take a break unless you hit snooze... so it just continues... RING... RING... RING... RING... RING... RING... RING...

Well, while I'm getting used to needles (and I used to be a needle-phobe) I am NOT getting off the table with needles sticking out of my head, abdomen, hands, legs and feet.  Moving around the room to get to my phone and shut the alarm... it's just not an option.  I yell out to my acupuncturist...  'A'...  I keep yelling out her name every few rings... I'm getting louder and louder... but she doesn't hear me.  I'm not kidding when I say 10 minutes passed before she finally came in and fished my phone out of my purse for me.  I didn't realize the walls were soundproof!

Yes, the benefits of that acupuncture session was a #fail.

Oh yes, I'm going there...  Yesterday, I was in for morning monitoring at 7am.  I had my bloodwork done, waited to be called back to an exam room, finally went back, got undressed from the waist down... you know the drill...  I sat back with my feet in the stirrups and my paper sheet covering my lower half and read my Kind.le waiting on the doctor to check my follies and lining.

In comes the doctor (not my doctor).  Over the last 14 months I've seen each doctor in the practice numerous times but they still tend to walk in and introduce themselves, like it's the first time we've met.  I know they see a ton of patients... but really...  you've seen me a dozen times or more over the last year+.  And this doctor starts asking me what I think about stimming so far... like it's my first time at bat.  Again, I don't expect him to know my case history off the top of his head... but at the same time... this is my third time in for IVF (not to mention all of the IUI's)... given the amount of business I've given them... anyway, not the point of this post!

So the Doc is in position and Wandy is doing its thing, the nurse is writing down the sizes of all of my follies and.... TRILL... TRILL... TRILL... TRILL... TRILL... TRILL.... TRILL... TRILL... TRILL... TRILL... TRILL... (I changed my alarm tone after the BCP/acupuncture incident because I couldn't stand to hear the RING... RING... RING... any longer).  Kind of ironic to be in the stirrups for monitoring when my alarm reminder for my morning injections goes off.

Of course, my purse (where my phone is) is across the room next to my pants.  I asked the nurse to grab it and I finally turned it off... all the while, the doctor barely pauses and continues to call out follicle sizes.

The good news is I have so many follies (the news I find disappointing is that they were all only 3 and 4mm in size).  The doctor was encouraging because I didn't have any outliers... they are all consistent in size.

Today I'm thankful for having 11 follies... more than I've ever had during this stage of IVF.  And, while I don't like the alarm itself, I am thankful to be in the age of technology that makes it so easy to set multiple alarms (labeled) and carry it with you... as much as I can't stand that damn alarm.

And now I need to pick another new alarm sound... any recommendations?  I find them all annoying.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

In My Dreams

Courtesy of Google Images

It's been a very long time since I've had dreams about my child. And even through this long TTC path, I've not had many dreams about my baby (not while sleeping, that is).  

But this week I've dreamed of my baby twice that I can recall.  First was a dream I barely remembered having the next day, but it was my baby as a newborn.  Last night I had a blonde little boy, probably around 2 years old.

I see these dreams as the hope that does remain in my subconscious...  so today, I'm thankful for dreams of my future child!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Moving on to IVF3.0

I'm amazed that I have to write those words...  I never imagined that I would be the kind of person who would do IVF after IVF (but then again, I wasn't planning to be infertile).  Now, I'm going into IVF3.0 with a plan for IVF4.0...

I had bloodwork last week that confirmed that my CA125 dropped to 27.7 (from 34.3) after nearly 2 full cycles of BCP & Letrozol (my last day for the second full cycle of BCP is tomorrow).  As I've mentioned before, while it's controversial as to the use of the CA125 test to 'diagnose' Endometriosis, since I made the decision to go with Dr. T for IVF3.0, I'm going with it.  Dr. T wanted the level to drop under 30, which it has... this means I do not have to do the dreaded 3rd cycle of BCP/Letrozol and can begin stimming for IVF3.0 next week.

So assuming this is the first time in my 14 months TTC that I have a possible diagnosis, the treatment used is deemed effective (the level dropped), hence possibly giving me my first really good chance at conceiving.

However I do not expect that I'm going to be excited and optimistic, I just don't feel like I have it in me.  I don't have the heart to listen to my meditations.  It's all I can do just to give up the wine, caffeine and artificial sweeteners (diet coke) without some kind of guarantee.  But I know all too well, there are no guarantees.

I do appreciate knowing that you all will carry hope for me, when I am not able to do so for myself.

Courtesy of Google Images

For now, the meds are ordered.  The schedule is set, but always tentative, of course (and it's quite tight in order to finish just BEFORE my friends visit in mid-July).    My July 4th plans are cancelled to be home for monitoring.

So for IVF3.0... I'm going to try to list (at least) one thing that I'm thankful for during each blog post.  Today, I am thankful that my last BCP will be tomorrow (and that I do not have to do a 3rd cycle of BCP).  Good riddance birth control pills!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Decision... for now

My apologies for not writing about my appointment with Dr. T any sooner.  The appointment went well, work has just been busy and I have not felt like blogging since then.

Test Results
CA125... while it is not diagnostic of endo (actually it is diagnostic of ovarian cancer), levels above 20 can indicate an increased risk of endo.  My level was 34.3, not very high but elevated.

I didn't get into the validity of the test because seriously, different doctors have different opinions... I'm not going to try to change her mind about her belief in the test.

Also, I asked if I should be concerned about Ovarian Cancer and she said the levels for that are much, much, much higher, plus we've been looking at my ovaries frequently throughout TTC, Ovarian Cancer is not an issue.

Endo Function Test (from my Endo Biopsy)... this test showed low grade inflammation that could be indicative of endometriosis.

You put the CA125 and EFT results together, along with my mom's history of endometriosis and there is a probability that I have mild endometriosis.  

BCP + Letrizol - this is the current method of treatment that she and the other doctors at the clinic believe is most effective in calming the uterus prior to an IVF cycle.  They do not use lupron due to the overly suppressing effects which take longer to wear off (given my age suppression is not the right method for me).

I will continue with this protocol with Dr. T for this cycle.  If this cycle is not successful, I will go to CCRM or another reputable clinic (this gives me time to line up additional consults).

Dr. T also agreed that she will test my CA125 at the end of my second cycle of BCP's (approx. June 20) and if the number goes down, I will not have to do a full third cycle of BCP's and we'll move into my IVF cycle.

And thank you for all of your feedback on your thoughts and experiences with CCRM, other clinics.  I appreciate all of the information you shared in your comments on my last post!

Since I have no idea within about an 8 week period when my IVF3.0 Stims/ER/Transfer will take place, rather than booking a trip with my oldest friends to celebrate our 40th birthdays this summer... they booked flights to come here in July!  All I have to do is make sure my ER/Transfer is not going to be over that weekend (which I can be sure to manipulate since I'm on BCP's anyway).  We're going to do a spa day, maybe a day at the USNWC rafting, etc along with some boutique shopping.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Positive Post

I told the nurse to go ahead and book the appointment with Dr. T, fully expecting it would be late June.  She comes back and asks if I can make it at 3:15pm today?

Are you kidding?  Yes, I'll be there!  I'm even thankful it's AFTER the meeting I HAVE to facilitate at 2pm...  although I would have figured something out (like getting someone else to run the meeting).

I was going to wait until after the appointment to write a post, but then I thought, it might be a negative tone... depending on how the appointment goes.

So here's my positive post!