Like a death sentence over coffee

I had my 4-week post-op appointment today with the RE/surgeon this morning. As I sat there waiting on the exam table, kicking my dangling feet over the edge, I thought about what we might talk about and wondered if I could even come up with any more questions. I’m pretty tapped out after 5+ years of this. Once he entered the room, it was down to business as he had the full surgery report in hand and it was not good.

Stage IV endometriosis.

I’m not surprised and in fact it probably was Stage IV back in 1993, the first time I had surgery, but I don’t remember ever being told that. Five years ago, I was told Stage II after lap #2 (by a different doctor) and over the most painful, heartwrenching, financially-ruining, marriage-testing last five years, I’ve come full-circle and arrived right back at Stage IV.

And still no baby.

We discussed the options and the harsh reality is the disease will return as I know all too well; we just never know how quickly or how severely, but it will. When he asked about our decision to continue TTC, it obviously would overrule any suppressive treatments he would suggest. He didn’t sugar-coat anything but he wasn’t completely leaving me with no hope. He said that some studies have shown that fertility can improve after a surgery like this, but our window is now.

Right now. Like 6 months right now.

After that, he said if we were emotionally strong enough to consider IVF again, we could certainly try that as it might have a better outcome post-surgery. He said to think about it and continue to try on our own if that’s something we wanted to do. Some couples try for a while and move on while others go back to IVF, but the choice is ours to make. He wasn’t terribly worried about my age or even my .39 AMH level from a couple years ago, saying I have something to work with and asked how many eggs we’ve typically retrieved. I said between 7-10 which he immediately said that was good. I told him the problem has always been quality, both egg and embryo and the last go around the eggs were “brown” and “dark.”  I asked if the endo impacts the egg quality and AMH levels and he said it could. So we left it at that and I decided to meet my husband for a coffee after the appointment.

With men, it’s sometimes hard to know how they really feel about this stuff. We don’t talk about it nearly as much as we did two years ago and I think in the past two years since stopping treatments, we’ve both grown accustomed to our situation. I can’t say for sure that the wounds have fully healed, but for me they are a little better. But I never really know if they have for him. Sometimes I think he’s content with just us, especially at our age but sometimes he surprises me with knowing exactly where I am in my cycle.

So over coffee we chatted about what the doctor had to say and I saw him start to tear up. I didn’t know what to think. I asked him tell me what he was thinking and it seems that there’s a “finality” to it that bothers him, similarly to the way he felt about turning 40, which was just a few weeks ago. I had no idea he looked at it that way but I get it. I had looked at 40 as sort of “the end” last year as I approached the milestone myself. Now that I’ve gotten used to it and started having a new perspective on things, I didn’t realize he’s feeling the way I did.

One thing we agreed on is we just don’t think we can go through another IVF. He said it was too painful, draining, emotional and destructive to the marriage. There’s nothing fun about being robots on a mission and I have to agree. At some point, I told him I will have to go the suppressive route to try and keep the endo from returning and that the doctor said not to worry about it right now, but perhaps by next year we’d have to revisit that.

Six months.

I told him this isn’t a death sentence! We’re very much alive! Let’s live our lives together. Let’s not get all crazy about days and being robots. Let’s reconnect and rekindle. Let’s get away sometimes, go for walks, see beautiful things. Let’s take care of ourselves and get healthy. And then, who knows? Maybe it happens. What will be, will be. That’s how we have to look at it. We have to be strong. Together. There’s two paths in front of us right now and all we can do is see which one is meant for us.

We shall see…

Firmly on the fence

As I sat in traffic on my way home from work, I noticed a man next to me trying to get my attention. When I turned to acknowledge him, thinking he wanted to get over into my lane, he told me to “smile!” I was so caught off guard. Again, he said, “you should smile!” I gave a sheepish half-smile and he said, “I know. One of those days.” I agreed and moved along. By the next light I was in tears. A complete stranger reminding me to smile was exactly what I didn’t realize I needed.

I guess it was one of those days at work. I had an idea for a course I wanted to pursue in the hopes that it would provide me with some professional development and a way to assist the team and maybe even a way for me to step out of my current role. I was shot down, well, sort of. So now I’m trying to find a less expensive solution even though the course I found was perfect. So I guess I wore that disappointment on my face while at the traffic light.

I was probably also grappling with the fact that I have my followup appointment with the surgeon tomorrow, which also happens to be at the same time we have a work event. I was so conflicted that I considered cancelling the appointment to feel like a team player, but the thought of waiting another month for something this important just didn’t sit well. Which is more important these days?

I honestly don’t know what I want. I don’t know if I want to go down the path of TTC again and all the heartache that goes along with it. Sometimes I wake up terrified at the thought of being parents, like it’s something that isn’t for us. I don’t know if at age 40 it’s even worth it. I don’t know if either of us want to take on that emotional toll again, but then there are some days where I still wish we had a shot.  Sometimes I have days where I feel like I’m 85 years old, in pain, and count my blessings that we don’t have a little one to chase after. Other times, like when I have a disappointing day at work, all I think about is how much better going home to a family would be.

I think about my career all the time now. I think about starting something new either at my current job or completely on my own. I wonder if I’m too late for that, too. I think about how it will be 10 years at this job next year, by far the longest I’ve ever stayed someplace before leaving for what I thought would be greener pastures. I just don’t know what I want.

I will finally have four weeks vacation and have plugged along each year to reach a decent pay for what I do. There’s flexibility with the schedule, there’s the understanding when there’s doctor’s appointment and personal conflicts. If I decided to take a leap of faith into something that completely suited me, I’d lose all that. I’d be back to square one with minimal vacation and sick time just as my husband and I start to think about traveling more. And if I ran my own business, there’d be no vacation for quite a while.

It’s tough now because whenever I feel sad that we are childless, I think of all the other things we could be doing. Maybe we travel more, do more, experience more. If I take a career risk, this whole new phase of our lives will come to a screeching halt just as I was beginning to embrace it. I wish I knew the answers. I wish someone could take this tremendous burden that I carry on my shoulders each day, wondering if I should continue pushing to try and be a mom, or push myself out of my comfort zone into a career that eventually fits me.

I think about this house and the love/hate relationship I have with it. Love the house, hate that it’s empty. Hate that we don’t fit in, but still love the house. Maybe I should get over saving rooms for a nursery and utilize them in other ways that will bring us other joys. Workout space, hobby space, a reading space, anything other than empty space. Sometimes I wish we could just pick up the house and move it someplace else. Or maybe we just start again in a new house, an old new house, and one that’s in a completely different state. I really don’t know if that’s the right answer, either. Daydreams and nightmares both fill my head at all times.

I just don’t know.

So tomorrow I’ll hear what the good doctor has to say. Maybe he’ll say we still have a chance. Maybe the reality will finally be determined that we don’t. I’m just not sure which I’m ready to hear yet.

Be kind, Mother Nature

It started yesterday. I discovered some spotting. I wasn’t exactly sure when to expect my first period after having extensive surgery but it was already CD38 and I figured at this point maybe it would skip a month. I had some bleeding post-op that seemed more than I was expecting and wondered if maybe it was an early period or something, but that didn’t make sense as the surgery was smack dab in my ovulation timeframe, so I’m pretty sure that egg didn’t stand a chance! It’s funny, though, as I wait for my cycle to begin, there was the smallest thought of “what if,” which is absolutely crazy and impossible. But I pictured my tube being like some swing-bridge during my surgical repairs, with my fertilized egg safely tucked inside as it swung around to the uterus side of the street. Ha!

So, my cycle is starting to make an appearance and I’m nervous. I don’t remember how painful the first period is after surgery. My previous laparoscopy was a walk in the park since my OBgyn couldn’t do a whole lot for me. The lap before that was five and a half years ago and not nearly as extensive (or effective if you ask me). And the one before that…well, I was 19 and had no idea what I was in for. I really can’t remember that far back. The only memory stuck in my head from that whole experience was my doctor telling me it was one of the worst cases of endometriosis he’d ever seen in someone so young. I remember that and the pamphlets he sent me home with that showed women swimming and playing tennis and regaining their lives after being treated for endo. I was so naive. I had no idea what horrible journey was ahead of me…22 years ago.

Be kind to me, Mother Nature. I’ve been through enough. That, and I have dinner and movie plans tonight.

And now I miss running…

…and cheese, and bread, and fruit.  And my list could go on.

I’m four days post-op and it’s been a little bit miserable, I’m not going to lie. I thought it would be a genius idea to start my 30-day gluten-dairy-sugar free diet plan and I have already failed. The first couple days weren’t terrible as I didn’t feel like eating real big anyway. The worst has been breakfast. I’ve tried all sorts of gluten-free cereals and they all tasted like I’d imagine school paste would taste. Almond milk became the highlight of my mornings and by the second day, I cheated and made scrambled eggs, and maybe with one thin slice of baby swiss. I just can’t do this. I am getting horrendous headaches every day and while some might say that’s the “die-off” or that’s your body getting healthy, I call BS. This is my body reacting to not having a balanced diet. Yes, there’s room to improve, but this isn’t living.

And I suppose choosing to do this during a time of serious recovery that my body is experiencing from surgery wasn’t the best plan. So today I fell apart. I cheated. Or should I say cheeted? I had Cheetos. And then I made a smoothie (which are somewhat healthy). I still have a headache but I really think I just need to take better care of myself while healing. When I texted hubby my defeat, he instantly called me back to reassure me that I just need to focus on healing and not worry about this silly restrictive diet. He thinks the root of a lot of my problems will be taken care of with the surgery. He may be right.

Recovering from a surgery is draining on the mind, too. I’ve had some bouts of feeling depressed, especially sitting at home all alone all week. All I do is watch tv, go online, and nap. Today, I finally felt strong enough to go for a walk and since it was a beautiful morning, it was a real help. I saw a handful of joggers and oh how I miss it. I wasn’t feeling that way in the weeks and months leading up to surgery, probably because I always felt sick and tired, but now that I can’t run, it’s on my mind. It will be at least a month before I get the go-ahead to do anything physical, which makes me wish I could do my special diet even more, to make up for the inactivity.

So I don’t know where to go with this. I’d love to order up a pizza, but I’ll refrain.  I’ll try to do the best I can with this plan so that I have something somewhat respectable to report with I go back to my integrative med doctor in August. It won’t be perfect, but honestly, I’d rather enjoy my life, however long that is. For the most part, I’m healthy. Yeah we uncovered some things that need attention, but being 100% restrictive just isn’t for me. I will continue with the supplements, though. After two weeks, I started feeling a lot better. Unfortunately, I had to stop it all for surgery, but hopefully in another week or so, things will be better. I will start feeling better and planning things for the future, whatever my body will allow.

Surgery

So I had my laparoscopy yesterday and while I’m feeling pretty lousy today, I’m so glad I did it.

IMG_1812

I had such terrible anxiety leading up to it with heart burn and chest pains and difficulty sleeping. I wondered if I was making the right decision. I questioned if I should just go the suppressive route. But something kept telling me this was worth a shot. As we waited for me to be called back, I thought about the surgery and hoped the doctor wouldn’t find it to be even worse than we thought and suddenly I’m waking up without my uterus or something.

After I was prepped and wheeled down to the OR, I was placed in a hallway to wait a few more minutes while the finished getting the room ready. I stared at the ceiling and took some deep breaths. The door to the OR kept sliding open next to me as people went in and out. It was OR-40 which for some reason made me cry. Maybe it was ironic that it was my age? Maybe I started to question this whole thing again? Then it became humorous watching this 40 slide past over and over like some reminder that I’m old. I prayed and then the tears started. I kept wiping them away, hoping no one would come out for me and see.

Then they were finally ready for me and wheeled me in. The entire surgery team was so nice and comforting. One of them even had the same birthday as me. The doctor and anesthesiologist joked if I wanted to change my mind. Were they in my head in the hallway? And it wasn’t long after that, that I was out.

I’m guessing the surgery took about 2.5 hours and after two hours in recovery I was finally able to be reunited with my husband. He told me that the doctor talked to him about the surgery and I was so afraid to hear the outcome. But it was good. He did say that the adhesions and endo were quite extensive – all over the bladder, ureters, large and small intestines, rectum, etc., and that he was able to take care of 99% of it. The last 1% would have resulted in a bowel resection. But it all made sense. All the pain I’d have while eating, during my attempted ovulation, my period, when I’d have to pee or poop. It all made sense and it was all freed up! And, he said my ovaries and tubes looked good and they are back where they belong. I couldn’t be more relieved as I thought I’d lose them.

So now the recovery begins. I started my gluten-dairy-sugar free diet and my vitamin/supplement regimen. It will be tough, but I will do just about anything to feel better and start living my life again. With any luck, we have a few eggs left, but that will be a bonus miracle. For now, I’m looking forward to life.

Has it really been over a month?

Things have been a little crazy lately. Work has been super busy as it often is this time of year and we just came off of a huge event, but as luck would have it, I managed to snag a followup appointment with the integrative medicine doctor before my vacation and before she’d be off on medical leave. I was so grateful and here’s what we’ve learned. This is taken from an email I sent my mom and sister because I don’t have the energy to retype it.

Thyroid tests:
TSH is within normal range
Free T3 is ok (2.6) but she would prefer it to be a little higher (range is 1.8-4.6).
Free T4 was normal range
Reverse T3 was normal range
Vitamin D was quite low (starting a high dose of 50,000 once/wk for 12 wks)
B12 was normal range
The wheat and casein (dairy protein) were both a little high but not terribly high – she’s seen much worse (recommends I start a 30 day gluten and dairy free diet then slowly reintroduce foods back)
The celiac test – still confused on this one – there’s a slight possibility that this could be a problem at some point – gene susceptible (low but she thinks why take the chance and i should consider gluten free for life. yes, that’s for life. ugh)
Magnesium just squeaked in at the low normal range but she’s suggesting i take a supplement at night time (would help sleep, anxiety, stress)
Candida is the big one:
Candida albicans, IgG <101 MONA units 269 H
Candida albicans, IgA <101 MONA units 396 H
Candida albicans, IgM <101 MONA units 69
Candida Immune Complex <101 MONA units 125
H

I think the IgG test tells you that candida may have been an issue for a while, or a while ago and the IgA means a current issue with it and it was my highest level. It’s likely a gut issue and candida can cause a ton of issues (look it up, i’m too tired to provide links). Several causes for it as well (again, look it up) and it makes sense based on my life history.

She’s recommending a good probiotic supplement 20 billion CFU. 
 
Cortisol (saliva test) is low across the board.  Took my levels at four times throughout the day and three of the four were just hanging onto “normal” and the last one (the evening one before bed) was quite low. Suggests adrenal insufficiency, something i’ve researched here and there and always wondered about.  something my sports med dr and PT also brought up.  DHEA level was also quite low. I remember my RE telling me to take DHEA during one of my cycles and i hated it. but it was a high dose and this dr said i should just start  low 5mg to see how i feel. my DHEA cortisol ratio was also low. The last page of my printout of this test states:
 
A pattern showing one or more decreased cortisol levels in the presence of decreased DHEA is clinically significant. Reduced levels of both cortisol and DHEA suggest adrenal hypofunction of both the zona fasciculata (the primary source of cortisol) and the zona reticularis (the primary source of DHEA). In such a shift, there is increased probability of decreased aldosterone production, which may present as hypotension. This pattern represents adrenal hypofunction, which has been noted in fatigue disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, and chronic physiological or psychological stress.  (She asked about my childhood and growing up. I didn’t even know how to answer this.) This whole thing will require me doing a lot of research to understand. I’ll be trying some type of adrenal support supplement (one type is licorice root).
 
The last  one was the MTHFR gene. So there’s two genotypes that are the most commonly tested.  677C and 1298A.  My 677C was normal which she said was “the big one”. The 1298A came back as “reduced MTHFR Activity” and she said that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but something about “one copy”. I think my mind drew a blank at that point and I was in information overload. Plus, I was a last minute appt so she didn’t have time to review my stuff thoroughly before I got there. But basically I need to avoid folic acid (she said really everyone should) and that with this situation, my multi-vitamin needs to have folate instead or folinic acid. Something with enzymes and absorption, i dont know. All of which i need to research to understand. But when I was in the thick of infertility, MTHFR always came up on message boards. Usually it’s the other one 677C. Also things like depression, anxiety, and yes, dementia. I have a lot of research to do and i need to make a huge list of questions for her for next time. I, too, was not prepared for today when I took the appt opening an hour before. I had no list and my brain was swirling.

So basically, I will start  this 30 day thing for gluten/dairy and candida-control diet  simultaneously. try to kill this candida crap while figuring out exactly where my sensitivities are with food allergies. All of which cause inflammation.  I’ll try the supplements as directed and see how this goes. with any luck, i’ll reduce  inflammation, reduce anxiety/depression, gain energy, lose weight, sleep better, think more clearly and maybe feel like a normal human being.

A lot of info to digest. So I slept on it – in sunny FL while on vacation at the happiest place on Earth, run by mice. I’ll leave it at that so I don’t pop up in people’s vacation planning searches. We went on vacation with my sister’s family so we could witness our niece and nephew experience the mice world. We needed to get away and while I thought it would be a tough place to be for someone in our situation, I did better than I thought. Until, my 71st period arrived, right smack-dab in the middle of our trip. I really thought I was going to be sidelined. The cramps, the bowel and digestive pains, bladder pain that rivaled a UTI that left me with pain on every step after leaving the bathroom. It basically reinforced the fact that I need this adhesion removal surgery. Any time I have doubt, all I have to do is have a period.

So Monday is the big day. I hope this is the right decision…

blessed

I’ve come to really hate that word.

I decided to look it up and found the following description to be exactly what I feel when I see or hear it being used:

blessed
adjective
divinely or supremely favored; fortunate

And about 97% of my FB feed used this word yesterday. Not as much when referring to their own mothers, but about themselves. Photos of beautiful children everywhere, all labeled with this word.

Blessed.

So what sort of word fits someone like me, then? Cursed?

God or the Universe, or whatever I choose to believe in has decided not to select me? To “bless” me? As a Catholic, this has really troubled me, and I continue to struggle with it every single major holiday, all year long.

Other than this one complaint, Mother’s Day was actually a very nice day. We spent it alongside all the best moms in our life. Had a nice breakfast, cooked a nice dinner, the weather was perfect. We played outside with our niece and nephew and went for a walk. All and all, a beautiful day.

Blessed, even.

Moments

There’s a coworker who I’ve bonded with over infertility, who has been at this as long, if not longer than I have. She eventually went the donor embryo route, which also failed, despite being perfectly graded embryos. She took some time off to reconnect with herself and her hobbies and things she loves and when at peace with whatever would be next, decided to give it one last go. Like any of us going through this, it’s never easy, but for her, it’s been even more difficult. When frustrated with the medical treatments here in the U.S., she took several of her attempts overseas to her home country. This took huge courage and a lot more money and vacation time to accomplish, but she is finally expecting. Twins. And she will be 44.

It’s moments like these that I am so touched to know about, to be included, and I couldn’t be happier for her. When she told me everything and asked what was going on for us, I caught her up to speed on what’s next – the surgery, the integrative medicine/alternative medicine route, and some of the things my husband and I talk about in order to find peace with moving on. She told me about that secret movie/book and how someone told her to watch it and I said that’s funny because a good friend of mine gave me a copy of it for my 40th birthday last year and just couldn’t bring myself to read it, but maybe I should. She said she has no idea why things worked this time, but they did.

That very night, I started reading and while it’s still early, one thing I already know is that I need to be a more positive person. I need to be happy and try to eliminate the stress that bogs me down every day, but it’s so hard when you constantly feel like lemons vs. lemonade. But I will continue to read and continue my yoga in an effort to fix my mood.

Then yesterday I went to the integrative medicine group to meet with one of the doctors for a consult. I filled out a huge questionnaire about my health and history, then met with the doctor to discuss things even more. When asked what brought me in there, I didn’t even know where to begin. I started with hormones and how I feel they are seriously out of whack, yet most of my doctors don’t seem to think that’s possible. I told her about my long history with endometriosis and all the symptoms and issues I’ve experienced along the way, including how many of them seem to be ramping up lately. I told her about the state of my lady parts my upcoming surgery and how I’d love to come up with a plan that compliments my recovery and beyond.

She pulled together a battery of tests and blood work that she’d like me to have done. She was shocked that my Vitamin D was never checked. She also thought my thyroid felt slightly enlarged and arranged for full testing – not just TSH, but also T3, T4, and Reverse T3. She’s also checking antibodies, Vitamin B12 (something I’ve always been curious about), as well as allergies to dairy, gluten, and a celiac test. She also threw in Magnesium and candida. Yeah, so let me just say this equated to at least 8 vials, maybe more. I chose not to look!

I’m also to do a saliva test for Adrenals and a cheek swab for MTHFR, tests I’ve read about over and over from other women going through TTC/infertility, yet never once were they brought up during my previous care.

She wants to see me back in a month, when all tests should be back, to go over results and a plan. I must say, I’m kind of excited about this. For the first time, I might finally get some answers about so many things that have been plaguing me – not just infertility, but other things as well.

And then it happens. While feeling content about my consult, I’m getting my cheek swabbed and I mention to the assistant that the only time I’ve ever been there was for a few months of acupunture during IVF. She then tells me, “oh yes, with X. She’s on maternity leave right now!” Well, take the wind out of my sails. The acupuncturist is my age and at the time of my treatments, wasn’t married, just dating, and was telling me how her mom was giving her a hard time about settling down. And, like everyone else in this world, settles down, and boom, has a kid.

Can I just have my moment? Can I just enjoy my potential good feeling about my appointment and restored hope of finding answers? Is that too much to ask? I was able to feel some happiness for about 20 minutes before it was yanked away from me.

Once I got home, I looked forward to sharing the appointment recap with my husband. While telling him all about it in the yard, while we watered the plants, a mom parade goes by. It happens daily, I’m used to it. But as they round the corner, I hear them excitedly chatting with the girl who lives behind us, confirming my hunch that she’s the next to become pregnant in the neighborhood. I then get to hear the “baby accountant” whose been literally tracking and counting the babies being born this year, tell her that she has a list and will add her to it.

Just shoot me. Why? Why can’t I enjoy my potential good appointment and restored hope for a hot minute? Why does this always happen to me? It’s one step forward and two slaps in the face. Every. Single. Time.

I’m convinced that there’s not enough yoga or positive-thought book reading in this world that will help me. Ugh! But I will try…

Update

I went “private” for several days because I’ve reached a point where I just don’t feel like writing anymore and wanted to think about the future of this space. I feel like there’s not much more to say and I’ve become unrelatable to many of the other bloggers that I’ve followed and networked with for years. Sometimes it’s a lonely feeling to think that even among strangers you still feel like there isn’t a place for you. I feel that way plenty in real life as it is.

But then a part of me wants to finish this chapter and at least document what’s next, including the updates of appointments and procedures. Sometimes I feel like I need to do that for myself. So for now I will keep a record of my upcoming appointments while still giving thought to the future of this blog.

***

So I met with the specialist, Dr. Golden Scope and the appointment went as well as it could. It started with a very thorough interview with an assistant, documenting my entire reproductive history. I explained how things pretty much haven’t been right from the start of my periods at age 11 and it’s been a mess ever since. I also explained what really brought me in for the consult, which was the increasing number of issues, pain, and problems my cycles are now bringing me each month and how my OBgyn was afraid to touch a single thing during my laparoscopy last month.

Once we finished up with the survey questions, I met with the doctor, who I felt very comforatable with. We started with the solutions I could try, but almost all of them are considered suppressive. There’s medications like birth control or injections that would stop the pain I’m having, but would also stop ovulation. This would be great if I wasn’t so conflicted about preserving my last shred of fertility.

He also said there’s been great success with IUD products, but again, not ideal for me right now. Even if we tried something temporarily, I don’t think there’s much of a window to play around with shutting things down. What happens if that forces me into menopause because I’m not that far off from it naturally?

I told him that I’m tired of all the issues I’m having every month. I’m tired of feeling sick, having pain mid-month and horrible periods with a host of other issues that all seem to blend together the entire month. I’m tired of missing out on life, on exercise and being active. I’m tired of feeling tired. But, I said that if I’m still ovulating, I really don’t want to give up.

The problem is, my parts haven’t been in the right place for a while now, only I didn’t know this until recently. I could scream at my RE who over a year ago told me a third lap would show that everything was the same as it was back in 2010 when I had my previous lap. That statement couldn’t be more wrong. So for almost two years since stopping IVF and just “trying”, we were completely wasting our time. All those months that had good signs of ovulation, or the times where we really enjoyed ourselves on a vacation, not counting days or worrying, were all for nothing.

The reality is it is slim to none for us and I get that, but I’m not going to slam the window shut myself. I’d rather leave that to mother nature. All I can hope for is the doctor can put things back to where they need to be and free up my organs so I’m not in pain every month. I hope and pray that the surgery is a success and doesn’t cause more complications or that he finds it’s worse than we thought. He didn’t push for a hysterectomy, so I’m fortunate for that bit of news.

The bottom line is he said the surgery may help the pain and it may not. It may improve fertility and it may not. It’s just the way it is, but it’s a gamble I’m willing to take and every day that I feel sick because food isn’t digesting well through my kinked and stuck intestines, I feel like it’s the right decision. Too bad the first available appointment was in late July.

Late July. I’d have to endure three more horrible cycles, one of which during our upcoming vacation. I had no choice but to take what I could get. I guess the alternative of rushing this and having it be a tough recovery during a busy season at work, and potentially ruining vacation would be worse. I would tough it out, watch what I ate and tried to manage the pain as best I could.

Then something happened. I had just come off of NIAW which left me with mixed feelings of both reminders and of hope, when I began to do more research on this procedure. I figured with three months to wait, might as well prepare myself as much as possible. I was literally just reading up on some success stories during my lunch hour and my phone rang. I was asked if I could move my surgery up by a month, to late June. It gave me a feeling of restored hope, that there’s a solution on the horizon that’s finally within sight.

So I now have two more awful cycles to get through. Just two more. Unfortunately, one of them is slated to hit during vacation which really upsets me. Carrying around an arsenal of supplies and looking for a bathroom every 60 minutes, is not something I wanted to do. It would be wonderful if my cycle length changes even by a day, pushing future cycles up just a tiny bit. But I suppose that’s too many wishes to have at one time, so I’ll just focus on late June. Let’s see what that brings about.

Cornered in

Not even 24 hours have passed since telling two different people about our short-term residential plans of sticking it out a few more years, and I already feel like the biggest hypocrite. After work I had a drink with a coworker and later in the evening I went to yoga with a neighbor friend and within both conversations the topic of moving came up. The underlying thought process has always been don’t be hasty with moving because you just never know, but sometimes I don’t think I can handle another day living where we do. And this morning solidified those feelings even more.

My husband has been on night-call all week so it’s been nice spending time with him every morning before I leave for work. We discuss honey-do lists and vacation planning and dinner ideas and sometimes have breakfast together. This morning was not a good morning. After not being able to get comfortable to sleep because my back is hurting again and having a slow morning getting ready to take out the trash, I noticed a bunch of kids on our corner. I thought that seemed odd since the bus stop is the corner across the street. Always has been. Then I noticed some moms who parked on our side and stayed put with their kids on our corner. Ok, this is news to me. Since when are we the bus stop now? What’s strange was there were kids also at what is supposed to be the bus stop. Are there two corners for this stop now? Our development pumps out kids like jackrabbits and what’s next? Take over the entire intersection?

It’s been bad enough trying to pull out of the driveway to leave for work when there are cars everywhere and a mob on the corner across the street, so now we have to split it up and have kids run all over our property when there just isn’t room for them? We don’t even have a sidewalk that extends past the corner, so how’s that supposed to accommodate everyone?

I really don’t think I can live here anymore. I really don’t. We had plans to finish the back yard where we can retreat to and try to find some solace every night, but in all honesty, there’s no escape. It’s like with each passing day we are being closed in on and eventually pushed out of a neighborhood where we so clearly don’t belong. Maybe if we had children, we’d not care about this. Maybe it wouldn’t matter because we’d be sending a child into the sea of children every morning. Maybe it wouldn’t matter running across the lawns because we’d have a kid following along in tow and apparently none of this matters to other parents as long as the kids are playing nicely. Maybe we wouldn’t feel like outcasts that people have to tiptoe around or think twice about inviting to “kid friendly” things.

Maybe I wouldn’t be feeling this raw if it weren’t NIAW. Maybe I wouldn’t be feeling this way if it weren’t the big consult day where we discuss the state of my uterus. Maybe we should move. Maybe I will never get over this.