Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Beauty Within

I got up at 7:15 this morning to head out the door and take that long drive into Boston as I have all to often done. It was a fairly uneventful ride, not much traffic because it was a Saturday morning.

I have come to know most of the landmarks running down the mass pike heading towards the city. There of course is the billboard for the museum of science, fenway park, New Balance building, shaws supermarket, PBS, etc. I swear my car could actually make this drive without my help.

I got off on exit 18 as usual, as I turned right on to Storrow Drive the Charles River came into view. I immediately thought how much I love this city.

Despite that I have never lived more than an hour from Boston and done the typical things like Faneuil Hall, the Aquarium, the Garden, Boston Common, etc I never really spent a lot of time there. Which is why I find it so intriguing how much I really love the city and just constantly find the beauty in it.

My "relationship" with Boston really started 3 1/2 years ago. It was late summer and I was headed down the mass pike just like I did this morning. Only it was filled with fear. I was going to Mass General Cancer Center to fight the cancer growing in my body. That started an endless journey of the constant drive back and forth, doctors visits, test galore, and then of course the hospital stays. Needless to say the base which our relationship was built was anything but a good one.

I distinctly remember all the times I was in the hospital spent sitting on the couch in my room gazing out the window 21 floors up watching the city. All different times of day, watching the rowers and sailboats on the river, runners, walkers, bikers getting to different points all over, it seemed they were all moving at the speed of light while I sat and watched. I think I have seen more sunrises and sunsets over that city than anywhere else.

Then came to the point where I was "done" with my fight against cancer, it was gone! But yet here I am again driving back and forth dealing with one of the long term side effects of the chemo that saved my life. Going to the Vincent Fertility center at the wee hours of the morning hoping I will be able to have children.

So as I made that turn and saw the river the feeling of how much I love the city surprised me. In all honesty to most people there are more negative correlations between me and this city than positive.

However there is beauty within everything.  Looking out my window high above gave me more than I can say. The friendships I have made are abundant. Basically the city took me, gave a hug and a safe place, it saved my life in more ways than one. So even after everything I love Boston and actually look forward to that sometimes long drive the mass pike, it's just so beautiful!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Land Of Fruitfullness VII

It has certainly been a little while since I updated about the fertility journey we are on. My last post left on a sour note and although this one is one of hope it too ends on the sadder side.

After finally getting all the insurance in line and knowing everything was all set and ready to I patiently waited for Aunt Flow to arrive. Ironically enough she came right on time January 1st to be exact. What I was to start 2014 huh? I don't think I have ever been so excited to have gotten it as I was on that day. Then the ball started rolling...

I called the fertility center and let them know. I was nervous though and having never done this before had no idea what I was doing. When I didn't get a call back I called them and ended up bothering the doctor on call for no reason other than I thought something wasn't right. As it turns out nothing really happens until day three, whoops! So I would be going in January 3rd for my first blood work and ultrasound to tell me what my dosage would be for my shots. I had order the shots which was strange to me but I got it all taken care of. Then I began the some what short waiting game.

However the weather had other ideas for me. You see Thursday night into Friday was when we had that lovely snow storm. Luckily the fertility center was accommodating and all I had to do was take an at home pregnancy test on Friday and then give myself my first Gonal-F injection of 150UI.  I ended up having to drive to the UPS pick up site in Shrewsbury because they couldn't deliver it in the snow. When I finally got home it was time to face the needle.

It was packed inside a huge Styrofoam case with ice packs. It also came with a sharps container and alcohol swabs.

After I watched this video I was all set to go. I was facing my fears on having to give myself a shot on day one, Woohoo!

It was a small needle and didn't hurt. I was able to successfully give myself my first shot and was ready for my blood work and ultrasound Saturday morning. I went in got everything all done and  they called me later in the after saying to continue my 150UI for the next three days and I was to return at 7am for more blood work and ultrasound on Tuesday.

Everything went well for the next three days. I went in bright and early Tuesday for blood work and ultrasound, they called that afternoon to double my dose for the next two days. So now I was giving myself 300UI. Lewis was extremely helpful in giving my shots. It made it easier to not have to do them myself.

I headed back out to Boston on Thursday at 7am for an other session of blood work and ultrasound. They called again in the afternoon and this time they increased my dosage to 450UI for the next two days. I was concerned at this point because it was day 9 and I was still bleeding. They seemed unconcerned about it though and told me to continue as directed. So I continued!

On Saturday 1/11 I headed back out to Boston for Bloodwork and Ultrasound, I was awaiting their call because depending on what they said I was going to have refill my injection pen and I knew there was no way I would get for the next day. Sure enough they called at 2:45pm and told me I would be doing 450UI for the next two days and that Monday night I would be giving myself the "Trigger shot" of Ovedril and come in Wednesday for our first insemination. I was thrilled but that also meant I was driving out to Waltham to pick up more meds. I got everything I needed and was ready for this part of the journey. I again asked if I should be concerned that I was still bleeding and they said nothing about it.

I will admit the higher dosage did a number on my I felt really bloated and it just made me feel BLAH for a good hour or so after injecting it. I could definitely feel the difference being on these follicle stimulating drugs. It was like nothing I had ever felt before. But having never done this before I had no idea what to expect.

On Monday night at 10:45pm I gave myself the trigger shot and that was it. Lewis and I went back to Boston on Wednesday January 15th for the insemination. He went in first and made his deposit. They took his swimmers, cleaned them, counted them, etc. Then it was my turn. They told us that they typically want 10 million swimmers and his deposit had 62 million so that was a good thing. They explained what they were going to do. Basically they take a small catheter and put through your cervix and then inject the sperm. One of the nurses was doing it, after three attempts and not being able to get it they put Lewis's swimmers back in the incubator and called in a doctor.

When the doctor returned she got to work and had some slight difficulties herself. After the third time she got it. I could feel it as soon as she got it. She injected the sperm and then I had to lay there for 20 minutes. I didn't mind except I wasn't very well covered. After 20 minutes I got up and got dressed. We made our way out, we got our discharge papers. I have never gotten anything that said they encourage you to have intercourse during the next two days. We made our follow up appointment for January 31st to get the blood test to see if it worked, provided aunt flow didn't return before that.

There really wasn't anything special after that. I had minor spotting for a day or two and then everything was normal. But that's just it it was normal there was nothing that made me feel any different. I never really believed people that said they know their body etc. but I didn't feel any different.

So as I said this ends on a slightly sad note only because Aunt Flow returned today and so I must begin another level of this journey. I am sad but it was almost as though I already knew. I am very hopeful that the doctors have learned more how my body reacts to Gonal-F and will adjust my dosages accordingly and we will have success with this time around.

Our time to announce a baby will come, it just isn't today.

Thanks for reading and continuing to send your positive thoughts our way. I really appreciate it!

Until next time...