What a tiring day today, as we had to get up before the crack of dawn for a trip into the big bad city. Why? Because today was a day for an act of hope -- to prepare for a disease-free future. We're officially starting our in vitro cycle today!!! So we went to the famous IVF center and did our first monitoring on cycle day 2. If all goes well, we'll have a bunch of little embryos (or "frosties" as they're affectionately called in the infertility community) on ice, just waiting for me to make it through the next three years with NED (no evidence of disease).
So keep your fingers crossed for me that I will react well to the hormonal stimulation they'll be pumping into me. This will involve lots of needles, too, but at least almost all of them are subcutaneous injections. I'm pretty good with needles, as I've been administering shots (though not to myself) for a year and a half now. Even my needlephobia doesn't really apply to this, as it's not about shoving needles into veins or anything, but merely jabbing them into skin. So I think I'll be ok with that. I guess I'll just have to be careful when taking baths so I don't drown! But I like showers better anyway... :)
Because I have breast cancer, the doctors also decided to give me an additional drug (yeah -- exactly what I needed, right: more drugs!!!). It is something called an aromatase inhibitor (letrozole) that is supposed to protect my breast tissue from the estrogen my body will be pumping out in response to stimulation. Technically, my triple neg cancer isn't susceptible to the estrogen, but they don't want to take any chances. When I first picked up the meds at the pharmacy and saw the price, I just about fainted. Forty tablets cost about $575! Wow -- not that any of this infertility stuff is cheap, but this quite an addition. Fortunately, one of my many insurance cards covered the medication after all, so I got away with a much more reasonable $25 copay. I guess medical businesses and doctors love me right now in that I bring them plenty of business, but my various insurance companies must hate me.
So if you see me these next two weeks and I am grumpy (oh those "dildo scans" they use for monitoring my reproductive parts -- I'd forgotten how invasive those are!), having mood swings, or hot flashes (a side effect of the letrozole), please rest assured that I'm not my normal self right now. Well, the chemo will probably put me into "chemopause" first, but probably also permanent menopause -- so some of those side effects may soon become permanent. But anyway, my mood swings hopefully will be a temporary thing. Just know it's the hormones speaking, and not me, ok?!
So I apologize in advance for any and all potential future hormone-induced "incidents" and thank you for the angelic patience you have shown and continue to show me. But apparently those "side effects" are the price we all pay so I can have a shot at having that family with kids I've been dreaming of for so long...
So that's the story of my act of hope for today. It feels good to work towards the future, even if the road ahead is fraught with uncertainties and dangers.