Friday, January 31, 2014


The more things change... Haha

So on Wed I get a call from RE Nurse... (Nurse T).  She says that she has just realized that we will need to come BACK to the clinic on 2/4 to get my first Lupron, as the first one needs to be administered in the office and it HAS to be on the 4th.  Since I live 2 hours away this is not going to be convenient... driving all the way there on Mon for Hysterosono and TT and then again the following day for the shot, so instead she is going to move the hysterosono and TT to the Tuesday.  (Now the 4th date we've scheduled for these).

Then, while entering the info into the calendar she realizes that I am still needing an updated pap.  And that an updated (clear) pap is required before we can start the Lupron.  Results take 2 days, so she asks me to get in with my PCP or local OB to have that done on Thur... cos, you know, I live in a small town so a next day appointment with either of these docs is a piece of cake, right? Wrong.  So our only option was for me to take another morning off work, drive out to the RE office just for the pap.  I am still bleeding and I believe they don't like to do pap tests while you're on your period, but since this is very unlikely to be an actual period and the bleed is quite slow now, Dr. S just went ahead and did it anyway.  Now we just pray that their lab can get the results back in time and that they aren't skewed by the bleeding.

On Tues, I have to be there at 7am which will require leaving my house at 5am.  First we will sign consents, then we do the Hysterosono (I've been calling it an HSG as this is what I had before.  I am told that this is a Hysterosono which is slightly different and less invasive.  Who knew?) And after that we will do the Test Transfer.  If all looks good, and my pap result comes back clear then we will do the first Lupron.  Mr R will take his shot-giving lessons and I will be done with the long drives until the 10th when I hopefully start CD1 and can get my updates baseline testing done and start with the study drug.

On Wed my mother arrives from Canada and will be staying with us for 2 weeks.  Worst. Decision. Ever.  But I will suck it up and deal.  Mother is helping us pay for part of the $5,000 out of pocket expense of this cycle so I CANNOT complain.  Actually, I've not really discussed the costs involved with this trial here on the blog.

Here's what has come up so far:

$175 - Hysterono
$1,500 - IVF Test Cycle Fee
$1,750 - Clinic & Facility  charges for TESE (sperm aspiration as Mr. R has a vasectomy)
$1,000 - Urologists fee for TESE
$800 - Storage for sperm and any possible embies for one year

So if we weren't dealing with a Vasectomy we'd be getting a cycle for under $3,000 which is unreal considering we HAD been looking at $15,000!!

That's all I have for today. xx

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snowpocalypse 2014

 My HSG yesterday had to be rescheduled due to EVERYTHING in our area being closed for a possible snow day -- which turned out to be nothing in the end.

So already the schedule has changed as follows:

2/3 - HSG and Test Transfer  (Previously scheduled for 1/31, then 1/28)
2/4 - Start Lupron
2/7 - Last day of BCP
2/10 - If my body cooperates and gives me a CD1 then U/S E2, LH & FSH
        -  Start assigned study drug (either Gonal F, or Afolia)
2/15 - Labs & u/s
2/17 - Labs & u/s
2/18 - U/s and E2 (am) -- Possible Trigger Day (Ovidrel)
2/20 - Possible retrieval, start Doxycycline
2/23 - Possible transfer day
3/10 - Possible first Beta

But this is really a good thing... I think... I have started bleeding. [TMI AHEAD] On Sunday it was a light spotting, Monday it was more than what I would call spotting, but still not as bad as my regular period, Tuesday it was bad enough to require multiple tampon changes every couple of hours, and today - while dark brown in color - I am still bleeding pretty regularly.  There has also been some mild cramps, similar to the cramps I used to get with my period when I was younger - pre-endometriosis.  All this time I have been dutifully taking my BCP at the same time.  I haven't missed a single one.

The trial nurse seems annoyed by it, but not concerned at all.  "The Googles" show that this is not uncommon in women who have been off birth control for a while -- in my case I took my last Depo shot in 2003.  Hopefully this all stops by Monday so I can do my test transfer, HSG and pap without any problems and start my Lupron on Tuesday.

The Doxycycline is making both of us SO sick.  If I don't eat enough food before I take it I am sick to my stomach and Mr. R finds that if he has any food in his belly when he takes his HE feels sick to his stomach.  But we're sucking it up and taking it dutifully every day. 

Things are moving forward.  SO EXCITING!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Scheduling Nightmares

Trial is moving forward.  I've been on Desogen BCPs for 10 days now and it's time to schedule the trial-required hysterosonogram and test transfer.  But here's the problem... my clinic is a 2.5 hour drive away and in a very busy part of Houston.  I am a horrible driver.  I am a scaredy cat.  I hate driving in places I don't know.  And I detest traffic.  This is a perfect storm for me.

Add to this the fact that Mr. R is in the middle of a major project at work, requiring incredible amounts of over time, PLUS he attends college two nights a week and has to leave work early to make it to the classes -- already annoying his bosses.

So my options are... go alone, do the HSG and test transfer and drive home alone.  Nurse says it's not at all painful... but I don't know about that.  I have endometriosis and so even the dildo cam hurts a little.

 Does anyone have experience with this combination of tests? What is the pain level afterwards like?  Am I being a big baby?

Since this will be 3 days earlier than they initially listed it on my schedule (they scheduled it on 1/31 in error, forgetting that docs are all in surgery that day) I am hoping that this might bring EVERYTHING forward by 3 days as well.

Right now it looks like this:

1/28 - HSG and Test Transfer  (Previously scheduled for 1/31)
2/4 - Start Lupron
2/7 - Last day of BCP
2/10 - If my body cooperates and gives me a CD1 then U/S E2, LH & FSH
        -  Start assigned study drug (either Gonal F, or Afolia)
2/15 - Labs & u/s
2/17 - Labs & u/s
2/18 - U/s and E2 (am) -- Possible Trigger Day (Ovidrel)
2/20 - Possible retrieval, start Doxycycline
2/23 - Possible transfer day
3/10 - Possible first Beta

My hope is that bringing the HSG up by 3 days will mean they'll let me start the Lupron and drop the BCPs earlier as well.  My mother is in town from Canada and she arrives on 2/5 and leaves on 2/16 it's driving her crazy that she will (as it currently stands) miss the possible retrieval date by a few days.  I am trying to explain to her that this schedule is organic and will change a lot over the coming weeks... if I even GET to retrieval!! But no... we're thinking positively... Of course we'll get to retrieval.  My body loves me right now, remember? haha

Also, not that I am complaining because this is an almost free cycle, but see all those morning u/s and labs?  Well I have to be there at 0730am and to do that I need to leave my house by 5am, and I will STILL get to work 2 hours late on each of those days, and this is a new job so they're trying to be understanding, but that is going to piss them off.  And you know what else?  I don't care.  I don't care at ALL.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Do not be anxious about anything...

I am not a religious person.  I was raised completely without religion.  I always thought of religion as a crutch.  Mr R was raised in a very religious household.  As a teen he went about handing out fliers and talking to complete strangers about Jesus.  Where religion is concerned we could not be more different.

In finding out that the trial had started we both reached out to the people we know to be "prayer warriors" and asked them to add us to their list.  My own agnostic (but formerly Catholic) mother has been attending mass every morning since the day we found out that the trial is back on.  She has been saying the rosary every spare chance she gets.

I have started praying WITH Mr. R every morning and every night figuring it can't hurt.

I stumbled into this quote on Kandie's blog yesterday and it gives me such a strong sense of peace.  My brain is running constantly with long lists of all the ways this is going to end badly.  Every step forward we take on this journey I keep waiting for someone to slap me across the face and bring me back down to earth.  I know that I need to try and remain positive, but as you all well know that's really REALLY hard to do... and then I read this, and I feel calm, and at peace and I wonder to myself if maybe, just maybe I need the "crutch" that I've always made fun of?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

(Some) Results Are In

I just got the call.  SOME of the blood work is back.  Well, the ones I was most concerned about are back anyway....

First a trip down CD3 test memory lane:

DEC, 2012:
AMH: <0.16
FSH: 19.8
E2: 17

MAY, 2013:
AMH: 0.28
FSH: 10
E2: 23

AMH: 1-3
FSH: 3-10
E2: 25-75


JAN, 2014
AMH: <not tested>
FSH: 8.9
E2:  50.1

HO-LEE-CRAP! My FSH and my E2 are now what they would consider to be "normal"!?!  My December 2012 readings were such that my RE opened the conversation with a recommendation of donor eggs.  "No point wasting money trying with your own.  These numbers do not bode well for you."

AHHHHH!!!!  I want to run around this office nekkid yelling at the top of my lungs!

Still Prolactin and Thyroid results to come, but I've never had any concerns around these two, so not super concerned... Of course now I've said that THIS is where the problem will be.  Erg. Infertility man. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Year. New Us. New Home. Oh... and the trial has started...

Yep!!!  We called last week to check in and make sure that the trial was still going to happen as we hadn't heard anything in a LONG time.

Nurse: "Oh yeah, the trial has started."

Mr. R (with me listening in): "Ummm... so... ummmm..."  *Looks at me expecting a full-scale meltdown of tears and drama.*

Nurse:  When can y'all come in to sign consents?

Mr. R: "So we're still IN???" Then to me, "WE'RE STILL IN!!!!"

I started my period late Sunday night and called on Monday to schedule CD3 testing for the next day.

So here's what I know so far:

1)  The trial is comparing a new antagonist with Gonal-F.  I will either be part of the control group using Gonal-F, or part of the test group using the new product -- name escapes me, and I don't have paperwork with me at the office.   

Some of you may balk at my lack of knowledge around this drug that I am allowing them to pump me full of... but those of you in a similar can't-pay-for-even-one-IVF-cycle-on-our-own boat will understand... "You want to inject me directly with urine from some post menopausal nuns but I get a cycle of IVF for free?  Sure. Where do I sign?"

2)  The trial required that I have more than 10, but fewer than 20 on my AFC.  I passed this phase with flying colors.  (Huzzah!  My repro system did SOMETHING right for once!!) Mr. R was the only one conscious enough to pay attention to numbers... I was just so deliriously excited to be in there with the dildo-cam that I didn't hear a word out of the nurse's mouth.  (Yes, I said deliriously excited and dildo-cam in same sentence.) Per Mr. R's memory my AFC was 8 on Rt and 9 on left so 17 total.  Phew!

3)  I also had a blood draw and we're waiting on the results of that to see if I squeak in and can participate.  They need my FSH to be no higher than 10 [Edit: correction 15].  As you can see from my two previous tests my FSH numbers can vary greatly.  19.8 back in Dec of 2012 and 10 in May 2013.  So we have all kinds of prayers, fertility dances, candles, etc lit that my body plays along again and shows them a number they will accept.

4)  I also have to have an updated HSG and I am ashamed to admit that while my lady parts have been incessantly poked and prodded over the last year, I am overdue for a pap, so that needs to happen as well.

Now for the good news... I am actually as we speak taking the first of the drugs I will be required to take to start this cycle.  Okay, so it's only birth control... but it's seriously the furthest I have been so far in this journey and I was so excited to take that little pill this morning I could have cried.  I feel like I am actively doing SOMETHING!!!

Of course on Friday my results could come back with an FSH reading of 20 and I could be out of the trial in one swift second... but for today I am enjoying this TEENY TINY thing.  It's a step forward and I have GOT to celebrate this.