Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cancer, Calendars and Company

Wow! I can't believe how long it has been since I posted! My apologies. I have been so busy recently and feel out of touch with my blog, the boards, email and life in general. The family I tutor for has been keeping me busier than usual and time is flying by.


IVF #3 is underway and I can't even believe it. More to come on that below...


In other sad news, cancer has managed to creep back into our lives. My mom is a cancer survivor, my gramma is a cancer survivor, my dad passed from cancer in '01 and my mom's best friend (another "mom" to me) was claimed by lung cancer many moons ago. On Friday, she eyed another target, my father-in-law :( Can I just say that it is no coincidence that my husband is a good man? His father is one of the best men I have ever known in my life. I love him like my own Dad and I am so sad. For more on my father-in-law's story, see Family Tree.

Chuck has an aggressive form of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is very common in men, in fact, experts believe most men will have it at the time of their death, but may not even know it. Typically, it is very slow moving and has a high rate of cure. Chuck's is a rarer form. They "grade" prostate cancer with the Gleason scale which goes from 1-10, 10 being the most aggressive form. Chuck's score is a 7. 60% of men are a 6 or less. The good news - they believe it is Stage 1 which means it is contained and has not spread and they caught it very early. As soon as we heard the news we jumped in the car and headed straight to B.uffalo.

Chuck met with an oncologist yesterday and they would like him to start 8 weeks of radiation ASAP. Today, he is going for a 2nd opinion at R.oswell Park Cancer Center in Buf.falo. They are a cancer center for excellence and are rated top 10 in the nation. They are beyond lucky to have such a wonderful place in their backyard. Roswell saved my mom's & my gramma's lives. I wish I could say it was easy to convince them to go for a 2nd opinion though. Boy, were they stubborn about it. They "like" their current urologist and they "trust" him and give him a lot of credit for catching what another urologist missed. While we are thankful for that, we have learned our lesson the hard way about trusting doctors and know the value of 2nd opinions. I am especilly leary of any dr. who tries to dissuade you from a 2nd opinion and tells you to "tell your family to back off and stay off the internet." Yes, their current urologist really told them that. Way to bully 70 year old people. I wouldn't be heart broken if they leave him in the dust. I am anxious to hear the latest update today. These are the times when it is difficult to live so far away...

Speaking of 2nd opinions, IVF #3 is underway! I started BCP on 10/6. Here is my "Lupron Free" calendar, dated from that point:

1. Take last BCP on 11/2

2. 11/3- b/w and u/s

3. 11/6 - start stims - follistim and menopur

4. Once follies reach 14mm - begin Ganirelix

5. 11/18- estimated ER - begin Estrace and PIO

6. 11/23 - estimated ET

With the absence of Lupron in my life, I do not feel like we are really underway. I guess I really won't until I start stims. As you can see, I am rounding out my year of holiday cycles - Easter, my b-day (yes it is a holiday and also Memorial Day weekend) and now Thanksgiving. At least I won't know anything by Thanksgiving and can be hopeful instead of devastated. Christmas, that's another story...

If I could only use one word to describe my feelings about #3 it would be, 'apprehensive'. I have had so much else on my mind and I don't feel like I am even processing that this cycle is starting. I got my big 'ol box of meds weeks ago and it is still sitting in the same place. I probably wouldn't have even opened the box if I did not have to refrigerate the follistim. I am not even consulting Dr. Google about the Ganirelix protocol, although the good "doctor" has come in handy breaking down prostate cancer and gleason scores for me.

My mom arrives in town today and I have piles of laundry to get through, dusting and vacuuming to do, floors to wash, shopping and lasagna to cook. I think I need a shot of caffeine or two to light a fire under my butt.

Speaking of lighting fires, please remember that today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Please light a candle at 7pm tonight to create a Wave of Light in honor of this day.

I will be at work and unable to light a candle until later, but I will be thinking of all the families whose lives have been forever changed. May your tiny angels bring you comfort tonight as the world remembers them...


11 comments:

Lisa said...

Sending many prayers for your father-in-law and family.

Glad you're underway! I started again last night. I understand what you mean by "apprehensive".....

Jill said...

Your father-in-law and your family are in my prayers.

GOOD LUCK with your IVF cycle!! I hope you get the best Christmas present ever. :)

Mary said...

Emily, I'll light a second candle for you, okay?

M. said...

Oh, why is there cancer? I'm sorry about your father-in-law. He sounds lovely.

Yay on starting a new cycle!

I'm so glad you're back to posting-- I kept checking to see how you're doing, and I worried something was wrong!

Just Another Infertile said...

I am so sorry about your father in law.

I've been following your story for a while now. I'm hoping this cycle is "the one" for you. Good luck!

Glad your back to blogging. . .

poppy.f.seed said...

wow, that is a whole lot going on. I hope it really is stage I and treatment helps.

Exciting about the schedule! Hopefully that polyp was the barrier before...

ashley said...

i am so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. my prayers go out to you and your family. and i wish you all the success with IVF #3.

Amber said...

I'm glad to see you're back on your blog, but I wish it was with better news. I hope your FIL's 2nd opinion is helpful and that he's on the road to recovery soon.

As for your IVF, I didn't do Lupron this time either, so it was completely anticlimactic until stims started. But you'll get in the swing of things soon. Keeping my fingers crossed that you wind up with a little turkey out of this...

Jill said...

I hope that your FIL continues to feel good about the decision to change clinics. I think he is making the right decision. Lots of hugs and prayers beign sent your way.

I really hope this will be your BFP cycle. You know I'm cheering for you each and every step of the way!!

Leslie Laine said...

Glad you're back!

So sorry to hear about your father-in-law. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Keep us posted on your IVF progress!

Kristen said...

So good to hear from you again.

I am SO sorry to hear about your father-in-law. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Lastly, congrats on starting another IVF round. I wish you nothing but the best of luck with it!!!!!!!