My grandpa (Poppy, in New Jersey) died this morning. He was 92. He's been in chronic pain for...pretty much ever. He was hit by a car when he was young and had a lot of pain because of that, but the last 20 years or so it's just been all day every day. But he was always so funny, and with it. NOTHING ever got past him, and he loved to spend time with his grandkids/great grandkids.
On the 10th, mom let me know that he was in the hospital because he lost the ability to swallow. He was on IV fluids and had a feeding tube while he decided what he wanted to do~depending on whether or not he'd regain function of his throat. He decided to have the tube removed. The doctors gave him morphine, and he passed peacefully in his sleep this morning.
Grandpa was awesome. He always had a ton of candy in the china hutch, and would (very sneakily) get requests and bring home what we wanted from the store without consulting any parents :-) One summer he asked me if I liked crab. I said yes, of course. He brought home 2 pounds of it, set it down in front of me at the table, and patted my head.
He was also an amazing chef. I can't even just call him a cook, he was so talented. I learned a lot from him. He wouldn't tell you how to make anything though; you had to be in the kitchen with him and help and observe.
We're leaving once Zach gets home from work Saturday afternoon. He only gets 3 days off for bereavement, and the funeral isn't until Monday. So we're driving through the night and sleeping most of the day Sunday before the visitation. Then heading back home Tuesday, then off to New Orleans for Christmas on Friday.
I'm just SO done with this year. Illness, surgery, life-changing medical issues, family deaths...it's been a really rough year.
So we met our reproductive endocrinologist! She and her team are really nice and I feel really comfortable with them. She referred Zach to a reproductive urologist to see, on the off-chance, if there's anything he can do to fix his end of things. If he can get his count higher and find a way to fix the morphology, we would be able to do IUI. It's an incredibly long shot (his count was 8 million instead of 20 to 40 and 100 percent of his sample were deformed) but it would mean a simpler and cheaper procedure. If the urologist doesn't think there's any chance of it improving enough, we'll proceed with securing funding for ICSI/IVF and get the ball rolling on that.
My heart is so heavy right now and I am just crushingly disappointed.
I finished my first cycle of Clomid the other day. We're just waiting for ovulation, but as of this afternoon, we know it really doesn't matter. We got the results of Zach's semen analysis back. My doctor is (sadly) confident in the accuracy of the results.
Zach's sperm are unable to penetrate my eggs. There is nothing we can do to fix it. The only way Zach and I will be able to have a child that is biologically ours is to undergo IVF and ICSE.
No medicine, no lifestyle change will fix his sperm. There is literally nothing we can do but start saving our money and looking into grants, because the procedure and drugs for harvesting my eggs will run somewhere around 12 thousand dollars.
This hurts so much more than I ever could have guessed.
So I realize I mainly use this for bitching about my ladybits (and I know that must get old). It occurred to me earlier that I've kind of withdrawn from a lot of my friends lately-especially the ones I would talk to about this. I realize it's probably because talking about all this in person with Alex or Naomi would end in gross sobbing. I kind of feel bad about it though, because I haven't kept in touch with them very well over the last few months because of all this.
I'm starting Clomid Thursday. I had really high hopes this cycle-I knew for a fact that I ovulated while we were in new york for Taryn's wedding so we did the whole "yay we're in a hotel and I'm ovulating" marathon, and all I got was a UTI. Sheesh. I had so dearly hoped to be able to announce a pregnancy to my family at Christmas. I'd feel way more comfortable hearing a heartbeat before telling anyone in our immediate family (and 12 weeks before a facenook announcement to everyone else) and even if this cycle with clomid works, I wouldn't hear a heartbeat before Christmas. Maybe valentines day, I guess.
I had my post-op follow up today with Dr. O. She was almost an hour late because she was delivering a baby~that's totally cool though, obviously birthing babies takes precedent.
So she came in with a bunch of papers. They ran some lab work and a biopsy on the polyp they removed from me, and it came back abnormal. She described it as a time-line~one end is normal, one end is cancer, and my level of abnormality was about a third of the way down the line.
For a second I thought I was going to throw up. The possibility that it could have been cancerous was one that I had practically IMMEDIATELY discounted, because I thought if anything way going to be bad, it would have been the cysts. All the abnormal cells were confined to the polyp though, and weren't found in any of the other endometrial tissue they removed.
I can't think of the right adjective to describe my mood right now. I'm thankful and grateful and relieved, but that was a seriously frightening moment, and it's still frightening. All I can think right now is that if I HADN'T been as pushy about seeing a doctor for the fertility issues when I did~if I had waited until we tried another 6 months or a year~I could be looking at a complete hysterectomy and cancer treatments instead of planning our next step to getting pregnant.
My dad brought paperwork from 2 of his sisters to give to my doctor, in case she thought they had any benefit to the medical history she has on me. Aunt Cyn had a radical hysterectomy after an abnormal pap, because she wasn't going to be having kids and didn't want the possibility of gynecological cancer. Aunt Shirlee died from uterine cancer that spread to other reproductive organs. And my grandma on that side had uterine cancer as well.
Dr. O. was VERY glad I brought her all that in light of the abnormal polyp. Because of the history, she ordered a genetic test for something called Lynch Syndrome~it greatly increases the risk for certain cancers (and at an earlier age than the general population), including colon and gynecological. It's something (especially with a family history of gynecological cancers) they take very seriously at their practice, because Dr. Russell's first husband had it, and died of colon cancer at 30. It was easy, it uses mouthwash you spit into a tube to collect cells from your mouth, then the testing company uses the cells to see if you're a carrier of that specific gene. So I should be getting results back from that in 10 days or so.
She gave me a referral for Zach to go get his semen checked out~if his come back normal, we'll be starting Clomid in November most likely. This cycle is all screwed up because of the surgery, so I have no way of predicting if my period will arrive on schedule or a week or so late.
I have no idea what to do with my day now. I can't even adequately describe how I'm feeling.
Surgery went well. Mom and dad took us out to dinner last night and met us at the hospital this morning. I was already in a pre op room in a gown and everything so daddy stayed in the waiting room because he really hates hospitals, but mom came back and chatted with me and zach. She and daddy stayed with zach until I was in a recovery room, then mom popped in to say goodbye. They assumed I'd sleep the rest of the day so they went and looked at some architecture downtown, they are gonna come over tomorrow a little after lunchtime. I wish they'd spend more time here at home with us, but they're gonna spend a couple hours at the art museum in the morning. It's an amazing museum, so I don't blame them, lol. Just wish I was feeling good enough to go too!
Mom was shocked I was awake and coherent this evening. They really expected I'd come home and sleep until tomorrow morning.
I'm not in any real pain. It's controllable with aleve, mainly just like bad period cramps. TMI, but the worst part is not being able to use a tampon. I detest pads, but that's all I can use for the next 3 to 7 days or until the bleeding stops. I also can't shower until tomorrow, and I smell like hospital.
I'm hoping so much that this is all it takes for us to be able to conceive. This cycle is a wash, since I cant have sex for 2 weeks, but there's always the chance that October could be our lucky month and I'll have a wonderful announcement at Christmas.
Ok. Going to sleep the rest of the anesthesia off. Thank you all for your positive thoughts.
Good news! I called to pester my doctor about getting things scheduled since I'm doing the bloodwork tomorrow,and she said that after further review and a consult with the other doctor in the practice, the cysts on my ovary are small enough that they don't appear to be having any impact on things and will in all likelihood resolve on their own. So she'd feel best just leaving them alone and maybe checking on them in 6 months or so. This is SO GOOD!!!! it means a simpler surgery with no secondary incisions for a laproscopic procedure. It means a much shorter and much easier recovery. And it completely Allah's any fear I had about losing an ovary or having to have a more complicated surgery.
Between this news and having all this scheduled (hsg the 30th, surgery the 7th) it's like a giant weight off my shoulders.
I thank y'all for your comments and support~as a heads up, the next few posts over the next few weeks will almost certainly be whining, stressing, or general venting of my anxiety and such, so please feel free to competely ignore them :-D
I haven't heard from Dr. O's scheduler to get my surgery scheduled. I have to go in for bloodwork probably Monday or Tuesday (Tuesday would be SO much better, but it has to be day 2 or 3 of my Special Lady Hell, so hopefully that lines up, lol) so while I'm on the hospital campus, I'll pop over to the medical office building and see if I can't speak to someone in person to get the HSG and surgery set up. Not knowing when it'll be is bugging me, mainly because it's the one ting in this situation that I CAN plan. I also need to know so I can let my mom know, she and dad BOTH wanna come up even though the surgery is same-day release.
I've been keeping very busy and distracted during my waking hours~between work and reading LOTS of fanfic, I haven't had a lot of timefor my mind to wander too much, but sleeping is a completely different story. I've had bad dreams every night~mainly the same type, ie the doctor has to remove my entire ovary-there's uncontrollable bleeding and they have to do a hysterectomy-the cysts turn out to be tumors (that one is some crossover from my aunt, I'm sure, even though she didn't have ovarian cancer). Stuff like that that ends up badly and I wake up shaky and scared. So I haven't been sleeping well. Logically, I know these things aren't going to happen, that they are those lightening-strike type odds, but my unconscious brain seems quite intent on dwelling.
But let me say how much of a fan I am of my boss! I tld her about this to give her a heads up (especially since it seems like it'll be short notice once I have a surgery date) and she was ike, "will Zach be able to get off work? My mom can stay with the kids if you need a ride!" So sweet. Also, I'm not worrying so much about making sure it's on a Friday, she's assured me that her mom will watch the kids, so it really shouldn't be an issue to do it on a Wednesday or Thursday if that's what's available.
And once I know when it is and know when my folks are coming, I can set myself deadlines to clean the apartment. My parents are just so very tidy, and like, orderly and dust-free. I always feel like they're gonna white-glove the place. So I'll be vacuuming the air conditioner and scrubbing baseboards and stuff~and even though I HATE cleaning, it'll give me something else to do and actually physically tire me out, so maybe that'll keep me from dreaming.
I'm actually kind of nervous about seeing my dad~I've spoken to my mom quite a bit about how difficult I was finding it to deal with the disappointment every month and stuff, but I never really (and never have really) talked to my dad about personal stuff like this. So I know he KNOWS what's going on, but I haven't told him anything directly, you know? And I get the feeling that I'll probably end up crying quite a bit, and that's incredibly uncomfortable for me~crying is something I do in private. Crying on the phone the other day with my mom was me just utterly failing at keeping my cool until I could get off the phone, so the combination of crying and my parents coming here to actually like, comfort and parent me if a little overwhelming to consider.
I was going a bit crazy, because my ultrasounds STILL haven't been looked at so I don't have results about that. So I was going a bit nutty over things I COULD control; rearranging the living room, finding a dress for Taryn's wedding, etc. Found a dress, actually, but they were out of stock in the size I need locally, so Mom ordered it from her local Dillard's in NC. It arrived today, but was the wrong size~the size that I tried on locally and was way too big. So I called her up to let her know I was going to take it in and exchange it, and she let me know my Aunt Margaret died sometimes last night or this morning
My Aunt Margaret died from lymphoma this morning in her sleep . In accordance with her wishes, there will be no funeral. Possibly there will be a memorial type service in the spring.
My doctor called while I was in the middle of typing the above strike-though. I have cysts on my left ovary and a polyp in my uterus. The polyp will be removed sometime in the next few weeks, and they'll get a better look at my ovary and assess whether that needs to come out, if they can just remove the cysts, or if it's ok to just leave it be. Since my insurance it stupid and doesn't cover any infertility-specific testings, instead of looking at my fallopian tubes at the same time as the surgery using contrast and a camera scope, they'll do the HSG a few days beforehand and say it's to get a better look at the polyp and lay of the land before the procedure.
When it rains, it pours. I wish it were raining good things instead.