Saturday, November 20, 2010

My mom

My mother passed away peacefully at home on Friday morning, after a four-month battle with cancer that we knew she couldn't win. We were able to say our goodbyes, and to be at her side until the end. She was only 64 years old. Way too young to die. I still can't believe she's gone. I will miss her so much.

Last June, at home with us, before she got sick.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cycle canceled

We drove to Holland yesterday. My dad called Sunday afternoon to tell me my mom had been asking for us. While we were driving up north, I called pharmacies in cities along the way to check if there might be one that would have some more Puregon for us (I only had enough for two or three more days of injections). Did find one in the end, which made us feel good, for just a short while. Arrived at my parents' place in the evening - even though my dad had told me she was doing much worse, I was still a bit shocked at how much sicker she was than when I last saw her, three weeks ago. I called my RE and we talked with my mom's physician this morning. She's entering the final stage - of course it might still take two or three weeks before she dies, but this is no time to leave her side. So... no injection tonight. We'll see when we can do another cycle.

Friday, November 12, 2010

CD21 - stimming has started!

Started stimming yesterday - 150 IU of Puregon - same protocol as two years ago. First u/s will be next Wednesday. No jitters at all this time while taking the injections. Apparently I've become a pro.

I do however have a weird feeling for another reason this cycle - I don't know if we'll be able to finish it properly (i.e. with ER and ET) because my mom's situation is deteriorating fast, so the chance that we have to go to Holland to be at her side is growing by the day. She has already said that she wants it to be over, no more pain, no more suffering. I can understand that and I respect it, even though I don't want to lose my mom, but oh, please, I don't want to have to break off this cycle.

I thought about not starting the Puregon and postponing everything - called the RE's office, my GP, and talked to a good friend, plus of course hubby. The logical thing to do seemed to discontinue, start again in a few months time, but on the other hand, we shouldn't put our life on hold for something that we can't control. So we decided to continue after all. It felt good giving myself the shot yesterday and today. We're keeping our fingers crossed.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Not feeling so great this weekend: headache, hot flashes, some nausea and a stuffy nose. First three symptoms seem to be the lovely side effects of the decapeptyl, the other one is a cold, with thanks to my son (who is in a far worse state than I am at the moment).

Saturday, October 23, 2010


AF showed up this morning which means we're on for IVF#2! Exciting and scary at the same time (I'm already worrying on what to do for babysitting the day of the ER when I have to be at the clinic at 7 am...).

We went to the RE again on Wednesday. This time he was busier than a month ago and we had to wait for an hour to see him for only five minutes. Oh well... Got all the forms signed and took prescriptions home for all the meds for the entire cycle. The sperm test showed hubby apparently has an infection somewhere, so he has been started on antibiotics and has to redo the test in about three weeks, but luckily that doesn't mean we had to hold off cycling for another month.

I thought my recent pap meant I didn't have to go to the lab to get a vaginal test like last time, but unfortunately I was wrong. So I scheduled that in yesterday because I didn't want to run the risk of having my period and then maybe getting the test results in too late for my REs liking. It was OK, sort of. I hate it that they always assume there's something wrong (yeast infection etc), and then you have to explain 'no no, it's just a preventive measure before the start of our IVF cycle'. I still don't understand why the RE can't do it himself.

I went to see a nurse this morning to give me the IM shot of Decapeptyl 3 mg (replacing the Enantone that I had to use two years ago). Stimming starts on CD20. So nothing much going on other than stupid cramps (thank you AF) and hubby a bit afraid of me being very grumpy for the coming three weeks.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Past experience comes in handy

Before we meet again with our RE on October 20th, we have to get some tests done. I had my blood drawn last week, hubby still has to do his, which can be done at basically every medical lab in the city (of which there is one on almost every street corner here in France). But he also has to have his sperm tested again. Which of course he doesn't want do at a random lab, but at the one belonging to the fertility clinic. So he called... and they told him they didn't have space before October 28th, which of course isn't possible for us, as the RE needs to have the results on the 20th.

Luckily, we've done this before. And we know our RE. I remember several occasions where I would be in the waiting room, or in one of the transfer rooms, and he would come in, complaining to the biologists that nothing worked, etc. etc. So, I sent the RE an email, explaining the situation, asking if he could recommend another lab, or maybe find a spot at their own lab for us after all...?

Within an hour I got a call from the RE's secretary, who told me he had gone over to talk to the biologists (haha, I know exactly how that conversation went) and that we should call the lab again, ask for the biologist, tell him we spoke with the RE, say that it's urgent, and get our appointment fixed. If we still would have problems, we shouldn't hesitate to call or email the RE again. So I called. Appointment's set for next week Tuesday.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

First appointment for IVF #2

So yesterday we had our first appointment for IVF #2. The clinic had moved since we'd last been there in 2008, so it was all a bit new to us. We had expected a waiting time of at least 30 minutes, but it seemed like our RE is going through some meager times (or it was just a slow day yesterday), because we were seen almost immediately and his cell phone didn't ring either during the consult (which was always the case last time around, very annoying).

There are some tests to be redone (blood work for both of us, sperm for hubby, and pap for me, but luckily I have one scheduled two weeks from now with my OBGYN, so I don't have to do that at the lab like last time) and then we have another appointment in about a month (mandatory reflection time + time to get all the tests done and fill in the paperwork) and then we should be good to go at the end of October.

Of course we hope this time around will be as successful as last time, but to me it seems there is some extra pressure. My mom's cancer turned out much worse than initially thought: it has spread to her brain, so the prognosis is quite bleak (survival rate somewhere between two months and two years - for the moment she's doing ok and in fighting spirit). I hope she'll be able to hold another grandchild - our second child. Maybe I'm asking for too much, but it would be such a wonderful gift, to all of us.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Here we go again

Well, of course there were friends, family, and my GP all saying that probably, for #2 it would all go the natural way. My body would now know what to do. Yeah, maybe, but so far it's not working and I don't want to wait (read: waste) another year or two. So I called the fertility clinic. Appointment's set for September 22nd.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pieces of the puzzle...

Two recent "Thoughtful Thursday" questions made me think and gave me reason for not just commenting on the posts but writing a bit more here on my own blog.

The first one is related to the TT from May 21, 2010 - which made me wonder if my infertility is a stand-alone thing or if there is a genetic link somewhere. There are two instances of known infertility in my family - my aunt didn't have any children because her husband had a fertility problem (and their marriage wasn't strong enough to endure the treatments) - but there is no blood connection between him and me, so that doesn't count. Then my maternal uncle and his wife were never able to conceive, but they never went to the doctor to find out why, so I don't know where the problem was for them. My dad and his siblings are all five years apart, which could be an indication of fertility problems, but I've never asked my paternal grandmother and don't think I will (as it's pretty impossible to talk about anything except the weather with her).

I know that I have some similarities in the woman's department with my maternal grandmother: we both experience(d) very painful menstruation cramps and carry our babies (well, I've only had one, so no idea if it would be the same for a second one) well past term, almost to 10 months. However, she had four children in a row (between 14 and 28 months apart), so she didn't seem to have any fertility problems. My parents' first child was stillborn and my mom had a miscarriage after that (probably because she got pregnant too soon after the first one - the only thing the stupid OBGYN had said to her was "I hope you'll get pregnant again very soon". So she did, and when she miscarried he scolded her for getting pregnant so soon...). My sister was TTCing for about two years before getting pregnant, which ended in a missed miscarriage. She then got pregnant about six months later and now has two beautiful children.

So... no definite clues for infertility problems, but there is a history of problems later in life with the reproductive organs on my mom's side of the family. Both her sisters had their uterus removed around the time of menopause (I don't know the exact reasons, but I think it was a bit of a 'better safe than sorry approach'). I think my grandma had something similar. My mom had polyps removed about 10 years ago and oh, I wish they had removed her uterus as well back then, because she has recently been diagnosed with endometrial cancer, which has spread to the cervix and the surrounding lymph nodes. She is currently recovering from surgery where they removed everything and will have radiation therapy in a couple of weeks. We don't know what the future will bring.

When I consulted Dr Google just after her diagnosis, I found a list of 'possible causes' for this cancer. One of them is infertility... Which leads me to the other TT from April 29, 2010 that deals with possible future problems related to infertility (treatment). This made me wonder if every women on my mom's side of our family has to deal with some problems related to our reproductive organs at one point in life, and mine happens to be infertility, or if I should expect to be a future endometrial cancer candidate because of my infertility history. Of course I don't have the answer to this question, but it seems like some pieces of the puzzle are coming together, no idea what the final shape will be though. Time will probably tell.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Update on resolutions

Well, about time for a bit more optimistic post since my last one which was pretty depressing. I'm doing a lot better now and as for the resolutions - I've got most of them covered.

Have been seeing a psychoanalyst for the past month and a half, it's interesting, to say the least. Baby has been taking the bottle for about the same time. Coincidence? Not really - a friend was babysitting when I went to see the therapist and she asked me if she should try to give my son the bottle - I said 'sure, good luck' and didn't believe she would manage - but she did - the next day he didn't want it from me, but two days later he accepted it from hubs and has been taking it ever since. What a relief! Still nursed evenings and mornings for a few weeks, until he refused to take the breast in the evening, than just early mornings, followed with a bottle including cereal around (our) breakfast time. But I haven't nursed the past three days because he woke up pretty late, so I guess the breastfeeding period will soon be completely over. Even though I wanted it, it's still kind of a weird feeling.

I've been taking yoga classes again as well - but only when hubby is not away on a business trip, don't find it important enough yet to get a babysitter for. Music is also on the program again - I can put my son in the playpen and play while facing him. The first time he looked quite startled, but now he just continues playing, and sometimes starts 'singing' along! I've also sent a message to my fellow musicians that I'm ready to take up the trio again, but haven't had a response back yet, hmm... maybe eight months was too long of a wait for them?

None of the daycare centers around the neighborhood had a free spot for my son (as the French system is all about equality, you can't just 'buy' a spot at a good center if you would have the money for it) but as of May I have a spot for 2.5 days a week with a nanny (at her home, with a maximum of four kids at a time) who also takes care of our neighbor's 2-year old girl. So that will be great, because I had a small work project for the past two weeks and it was nearly impossible to do - only time I could work was during naps, a little playtime and in the evenings. Took me a week longer than I had hoped.