Thursday, 24 July 2014

Slowly getting closer...

Well it's nearly the end of the month. On August 1st we have our first counselling session and with any luck we will be able to start cycling 3-4 weeks later. I have already started taking the pill and luckily our last counselling session and FS appointment falls around the middle of our donors monthly cycle so we should both be able to start synarel or lucrin sholy after. I imagine I'll come off the pill just before she is due to start her period so that we can be in sync. The I just imagine it's rather like a FET cycle where I take something to boost my lining and then my regular NK cell treatment of intralipids, steroids and clexane followed by the progesterone support after transfer.

I hope we make it to transfer. I hope everything goes to plan. I'm trying to push the alternatives out of my head because I just don't have the energy. At the moment my husband and I are just trying to be reasonably healthy and save as much money as we can. Donor cycles aren't cheap and we are hoping to get a decent tax return to help provide a bit of a buffer to our already bruised and battered savings.

I feel like I'm just going through the motions; work, exercise, eat, clean, TV, sleep, repeat. I want to be doing exciting things in my head but my bank account, common sense and- if I'm honest- my desire to do anything where I have to talk to people means that I'm just existing as I count down the days to this next cycle.

It has hit home recently that friends are having their second babies. I am not as happy for them as I would like to think I should be.  I'm just not. I'm over it. One of my close friends fell pregnant straight away recently and doesn't even seem excited. Even though her and her husband had started trying she said she cried when she saw the positive pregnancy test and cried during the doctors appointnment. Of course she told this all to me like I wanted to hear it (WTF!) and I had to act interested and sympathetic when all I wanted to do was put the phone down and not talk to her again for at least 9 months.

Ok, ok enough of the whinge. I do want people to know I feel very, very grateful for our wonderful donor and I promise I'm not being all 'woe is me'. Sometimes once I start writing on this blog all my thoughts and feelings start coming out and I have to stop myself from turning my posts into an online pity party.

So how should I end is hard but I'm luckier than so many others. I know I'll reach my goal- even if I'm a different person in the end. Hopefully a better one :)

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Moving ahead with egg donation

Well it's been a crazy month or so. We have been getting to know our egg donor and her family a lot more through messages and Skype sessions, and plan to fly interstate to visit them all in a few weeks.  We also start mandatory counselling sessions next month and will hopefully be on track for a cycle in September or October!

When we started this process I thought that the ideal situation would be to have a known donor who was happy to have regular updates (e.g. emails, messages) but our donor is such a lovely person and seems keen to have a close connection that I am happy to follow her lead and get to know each other better. I know that our egg donor will not want to be over-involved in our lives and I feel lucky to have made a close connection with such a generous and selfless person.

My main concern at this stage is obviously that this won't work and we'll have to go back to the drawing board. My second concern is that we'll be successful once and then won't be able to use the same donor again. If we're lucky enough to get one embryo to transfer and then some frozen we have no idea if these frozen embryos will work when we want to transfer them down the track. There are so many possible scenarios running through my head but I suppose that is what the counselling is for. The good thing it that my husband and I seem to be on the same page about most things and are not second-guessing our decision.

I have to say it has been quite a relief to be able to do things that I would have avoided when cycling. I've had a few weekend wines, not felt as guilty about having chocolate, enjoyed long hot baths and in general feel less like infertility is dominating every decision of my life. I feel relaxed and content- although knowing my journey so far I know those feeling are likely to be temporary.

So we wait (ahh the waiting) and hope (yep I know that one too) and just see where this takes us :)

Monday, 7 July 2014

Cancer awareness and prevention

Recently a reader of my blog made a request for me to write a post raising awareness of mesothelioma (a rare and deadly cancer typically caused by exposure to asbestos). I wanted to help but it made me think of all the other cancers that had touched my life and how I could use my platform as a blogger to also draw awareness to these serious health issues as well. My father and grandfather have had skin cancer, my husband's father died of renal/liver cancer, my sister's sister-in-law is currently battling cervical cancer, and my husband's uncle is receiving treatment for bowel cancer.

So what can I do as a blogger? I believe my role can be to remind and encourage people to not put their health at the bottom of the 'to do' list. To do what they can to reduce their risk of developing these cancers in the first place, and to ensure they regularly monitor their bodies for changes and check with a medical professional when there is anything that concerns them.

My husband had a spot on his ear that I didn't like the look of but he didn't feel it was necessary to go to the doctors to have it checked out. After many, many months of nagging he had to go to the doctor for something else and I urged him to get the doctor to have a look at this spot. The doctor ended up referring him to a skin specialist who removed the spot because it was 'pre-cancerous'. I myself had to go to the doctor's last week and thought while I was there I would have a pap-smear as well. It was the knowledge of my sister's sister-in-law's cervical cancer that made me do it as I may have put it off otherwise. Obviously I would recommend that people get anything that concerns them checked out but I think it is also a good idea to use doctor's appointments for general check-ups of the whole body. Get spots on your skin checked, ask for a pap-smear, find out how to do a breast examination, enquire about a persistent cough,  and don't feel embarrassed to find out if your bowel movements are normal. Cancer is not something that happens to other people. It can happen to you and you should ask questions if you are concerned about anything.

To help reduce your risk of certain cancers avoid exposure to asbestos and other carcinogenic products, protect your skin from the sun, eat a healthy diet, exercise, stop smoking, limit alcohol intake, and have regular health checks.

Obviously I'm not a doctor but if I've made one person think about their health and the health of those around them then this post will be worthwhile.

In tribute to the lady who prompted this post. Please go to the website for more information on a lesser known but preventable cancer.