Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat

Ah... Halloween is here again. "Goblins, ghouls funny faces walkin' 'round familiar places! This is a day called HALLOWEEN!" So went the words of my favorite elementary school song.

Halloween is one of those days for me, a day like The First Day of School . It has always been one of my favorite holidays. It is a day full of happy childhood memories of costumes and carved pumpkins and parties and candy. Today it is a day of hope and sadness; fear and optimism.

Hope & optimism burn within me like a candle in a Jack-o-Lantern on the eve of IVF #3. I envision Halloweens of the future with 3 little ones all dressed up, a house decorated to hilt, pumpkins carved on the front porch, hayrides and caramel apples, classroom parties, treat bags and ghost stories.

Fear & sadness rear their ugly heads as I envision a host of other Halloweens just like today -empty house, empty arms, broken dreams. Smiles through tears. A reminder of all the Halloweens I thought, "Next year I will surely be pregnant, have baby..." Seasons change, time passes, and yet here we are clinging to same hopes and dreams as the last year and the year before and the year before...

When Sean & I first got married, we used to go to the pumpkin farm and dress up and go to parties all the while dreaming of our future, but then it just got too painful. I still decorate inside (if you build it, they will come mentality, I guess) and go to the local farmers market for a pumpkin, but we don't carve it. We don't dress up and we don't go live it up at any parties any more. We hand out candy and ooh and aah over all the little ones. We smile as our hearts ache. We turn off the porch light and retreat to the safety of each other.

The chill of the ghosts of Halloween future linger in the air tonight as the fates decide our future. Trick or treat?!?!

Friday, October 24, 2008


I am spotting, gearing up for AF. Normally, this would be a very exciting thing for someone on pins and needles to start an IVF cycle, but, my calendar is all based on Sean starting a new sperm cycle on November 20th. Once AF comes, I am supposed to go for suppression check and start stims, so I am about 2 weeks too early with the bleeding...

Did I mention it's only cycle day 20? I have not had a normal period in months & I think my body is protesting.

I have no idea what this is going to mean for this cycle...

In other news, while phone banking for the Obama campaign, I ran into my the woman who lives across the street. We were chatting for a bit about life and laughing how we never see each other and then run into each other while working for Obama. She has 24 month old twins and sure enough, IVF! We traded war stories for a little bit and bonded. Who knew?

Speaking of Obama, I can't wait for Election Day. We have been obsessed with this election. I think I may have post-election let down when it is all over! Obama/Biden '08!

Just heard from the nurse and she thinks it is "normal, breakthrough" bleeding. I go on Wednesday for another mock transfer, just to "check things out." Should be on track to start stims on Nov. 6th. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I BIG PUFFY heart you!

The amazingly strong and inspirational, Lisa, author of the amazing blog, Helping Make Sense has honored me with the I Heart Your Blog Award. Thanks Lisa!

Now, the way this works, is I answer the following questions with single word responses, and pass the award on to 7 other bloggers:

1. Where is your cell phone? Charging
2. Where is your significant other? Work
3. Your hair color? Highlighted
4. Your mother? Amazing
5. Your father? Passed
6. Your favorite thing? Vacation
7. Your dream last night? Forgot
8. Your dream/goal? Parenthood
9. The room you're in? Family
10. Your hobby? Reading
11. Your fear? Failure
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Buffalo
13. Where were you last night? Work
14. What you're not? Mommy
15. One of your wish list items? BFP
16. Where you grew up? Buffalo
17. The last thing you did? Read
18. What are you wearing? PJ's
19. Your T.V.? CNN
20. Your pet? Libby
21. Your computer? Lifeline
22. Your mood? Apprehensive
23. Missing someone? Yep
24. Your car? Passat
25. Something you're not wearing? Contacts
26. Favorite store? Wegmans
27. Your Summer? OK
28. Love someone? Many
29. Your favorite color? Pink
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Week?

Now, I'd like to pass this award to 7 bloggers who excite me when they publish a new entry (8, if you count the fact that I'm unofficially giving this award back to Lisa!!):

Desperately Seeking Spawn

In Pursuit Of Parenthood

Will They Have His Eyes

Maybe Baby

Forcing Seeds

And even though they have already received it, I would be remiss not to tell you that I Heart these blogs too:

French Family Journey

Between The Lines

Thank you all for being my companions on this crazy journey. You rock my socks!

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...