Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Here we go...

Thanks for cheering Utie on - it seems to have worked! (Never unerestimate the power of a good old-fashioned pep cheer across the internet.) Got examined today and endometrial thickness is at a 10.46mm which is good to go. As of tomorrow I cut back to 2mg 2xday of Estrace and begin vaginal micronized progesterone 200mg 3xday.

Our Frozen Embryo Transfer of two 5-day blastocysts is scheduled for Monday (Labor day - would be nice if that eventually turns out to be ironic) at 10AM. Acupuncture session directly before and directly afterwards while lying on the same table.

I'll catch up with you lovelies during the bedrest days and will tell you how it went. Oh, and the Lupron side effects do seem to be lessening somewhat. Grateful. Living in the present over here and comfortably on the middle path. I wish you all the same.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Utie is on the Varsity Team!

I wasn't sure how Utie would do, but turns out she's not on the JV team, she made varsity. Measured in this morning with a 7.7mm thickness after 8 days on Estrace (2mg 2x day). We're definitely only in pre-season here, folks, but it look as if Utie will not be a bench-warmer this cycle. Now we start 2mg 3x day for the next 5 days.

And get this freaky detail - because the RE took a while in getting into the room to check me out, my fave sonographer had the wand in me for a while. So for lack of anything else to do while waiting, we counted antral follicles. I had 7 on my left and about 16 on the Right. 16! WTF? When we did IVF retrieval I only had 8 antrals on that side. Maybe we'll put Righty on the team next season if this FET doesn't bring us the championship.

But back to the present. Today was my last shot of Lupron. And I hereby pronounce Lupron to be The Suckiest IVF Drug In My Experience Thus Far. Don't get me wrong, I am glad that it prevented me from growing a cyst, and successfully shut down my cycle, but the side effects suck ass. About three days ago I began having chemical depression dips that are so strong they even wake me up at night. Thankfully, they don't seem to happen much in the daytime, but the further we get from when the shot was administered each day (around 8AM), the dips are really intense. The nurse practitioner at the clinic told me it could take up to 10 days for me to get back to normal. Ugh. I'm hoping it'll be a lot shorter.

This drug shuts down the pituitary gland's release of FSH and LH. But the pituitary is also responsible for lots of other things... like endorphins, dopamine, CRH... all hormones that have a direct relation to mood, anxiety, depression, etc. I am COMPLETELY uneducated (except for the PhD from Google University, as they say) so I don't really understand it beyond reading on the internet. I don't know how Lupron would mess with other pituitary functions. But I do understand that depression, regardless of duration or cause, SUCKS. And I wish the docs and the Lupron people were more upfront about it.

Has anyone else experienced these sort of symptoms while on Lupron or other GnRH agonist? And if so, how long did it take you to normalize after going off the medication?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Time to get Thick, y'all. Mmm sayin'?

Got scanned this morning... still cyst-free after 10 days on 20units Lupron.

Tomorrow I cut the Lupron in half and begin Estrace (2mg 2x day).

I just ended a 5-day menstrual period and endometrium is currently measuring .48mm. We're aiming for 8-13mm. And since my name is Ut R Us I sure hope I can step up. C'mon Utie, you can do it. Let's go Utie, Let's go (clap clap)! C'mon everybody... LET'S GO UTIE, LET'S GO (clap clap)! (I'm laughing thinking of you cheering for Utie out there in cyberland :)

We've scheduled a trip to the E coast during the 2WW (just after the bed-rest days) - assuming we GET to the 2WW, that is. Beach, family and fun. It's my way of insisting on living life and having fertility projects be only a PART of it. We are arriving back home AFTER the traditional scheduled beta day. So either I will get a period or I'll go get the beta when I'm back from vacation. Right now I am completely fine with that. What will be will be. At that time and after that time.

Long way to go before then, though. So... I continue to practice "hope but no expectations." And I have started to go to regular Zen meditation sittings and sit daily on my own. That combined with talking with my therapist each week is really helping with perspective.

I hope you're all doing great.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

And the Verdict Is...

Isn't the word cyst funny when you look at it for a while? Cyst... cyst... cyst. Ha! Ha ha ha!

"Gee," you may be thinking, "UtRus sure is chipper today. Wonder what's with her?"

I'll tell you what's with me...

I am CYST FREE as of this morning's wanding. That's right, completely CYSTLESS! The Yasmin BCP did what it was supposed to do.

And it's a good thing too, because I am telling you guys, monophasic birth control pills SUCK for me. You know that little warning that they may cause depression (but usually don't in most people)? Well they sure as all hell do in me. The first week on them was awful. It's like a veil came down about 3-4 hours after I took the pill each day, causing nasty depression. Add to that dizziness and inability to concentrate. However, I am very happy to report that it's been much better during the last few days (day 7-10). My body is adjusting to it.

Okay, so what this means is that I actually have a FET protocol.

*** Pause... just to enjoy the feeling of wheels grabbing road instead of spinning and going nowhere. ***

Ok, so I am on the Yasmin BCP for 4 more days (scheduling thing) and then it looks like this:

the supression part
- Lupron 20 units for 10 days (BCPs to be ceased after the first 3 Lupron days)

the 28-day cycle part
- Lupron 10 units & Estrace 2mg 2xday for 9 days
- Estrace 2mg 3xday for 5 days
- Estrace 2mg 2xday & micronized progesterone 200mg 2xday for 14 days
-> FET projected for day 19 of this 28-day cycle (we've got 5-day old blasts)

I am very glad my RE mentioned to me that some people can actually grow cysts while on Lupron. I tend to think that if anyone can do it, I can! It would have been a blow to think I was "home free" from here and then be surprised. So, I am hopeful that I won't grow one, but no expectations.


This week I found out that my first cousin has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She is 39 years old and had her first child 18 months ago.

If you are age 35 or older and are not pregnant right now and have never done so, GO GET A MAMMOGRAM. Many of us will (hopefully) be pregnant and/or breastfeeding in the years to come and you cannot get screened during this time. (Well, there are ways of doing it safely if there's a detectable problem while you're pregnant, but not just for pre-emptive purposes).

I just went and had my first one yesterday and already got the results today. Thankfully normal. But this taught me a lesson. We're not "too young" and none of us are exempt from the possibility of getting this disease. If caught early, breast cancer has an extremely good survival rate.

Please take care of yourself. You deserve it.