Saturday, May 09, 2009

What to write when you haven't written

for awhile? It's hard to know where to start, whether with something heavy or light. I received a call from one of my oldest friends last weekend. Having stopped by my blog of late, she wondered if I was okay, as my posts had been a little "cryptic." Entirely unintentional on my part. Sometimes I am too drained to write much. Often I worry that I write too many words, say too many words. Occasionally I receive criticism that I am too "wordy," and I have to say that that particular criticism reaches some core part of me, so that I try to err in the opposite direction--and sometimes land in the region of cryptic. Which is a good thing to hear sometimes, as it gives me permission to use more words, when I have the energy to do so.

So, I have a few topics I'd like to discuss in the near future, only one that I'll address today these are:

1) pop culture report wolverine, star trek, lie to me, and after this evening, Dollhouse.
2) Review of items recently bought "As seen on TV."
and 3) the baby thing. This is where I will start.

As a re-cap, having a baby is kind of big issue around our house these days. I'm of a certain age, and despite our inauspicious financial situation at present, if we're going to do it, the time has come to, as they say "fish or cut bait."

Not that we haven't been making efforts in this arena before now, it's just that now is the first time in recent years that we've addressed the fact that our efforts have never had tangible results.

So finally we have gone to a Fertility Clinic. It has a good reputation, charges lots of money, and sent us a handwritten thank you note after our first appointment. One time we had to sit in the waiting room for some amount of time--probably less than an hour--and they sent us a handwritten apology and a Starbucks gift card. I realize this is not entirely relevant to my story--but I find it very interesting so thought I'd throw it in.

In answer to the questions that the few people we have told seem to have. We have taken many tests, and yes, I am ovulating, and yes, Paul's sperm is swimming, and yes there are eggs, and the requisite levels of hormones. But, one of my fallopian tubes is apparently blocked. This was not the case the last time I had an HSG test, before my cancer diagnosis, so it is probably a result of scar tissue adhesions in the wake of my surgery. To me, this kind of news, is more heartening than disheartening. Since ovaries tend to "take turns," it means that at least some percentage of the time, our lack of results have not been "unexplained" but very explainable. the past few weeks, we've considered a lot of alternatives, including fertility drugs, but then, as fate would have it, the past reared its head, and we realized that there are some "inconclusive" indications that these same drugs might increase one's risk for certain cancers...Since my Ovarian cancer risk is already 10% higher than most peoples, and my Uterine cancer risk is 40%-60% higher, this gave us some pause. I went back to my old habit of perusing articles in medical journals late at night and making myself anxious and depressed.

And then one day I just realized that I have already picked my path for these sort of things, and that it has worked out okay. I have a little down time this, meditation, acupuncture, a particular kind of massage, chinese herbs--and then we could have IUI, which is where a cleaned (they call it "scrubbed") sperm is place, via a syringe, very close to the cervix. Just a little boost, so it doesn't have to do all that hiking. I won't have the advantage of multiple eggs, but I AM ovulating...and if that dude could meditate himself an entire lactating breast, surely I can help my eggs out a bit.

So that's where we're at now. Nothing too dramatic. No trips to Thailand. Just a bit more exact version of what we've been doing, I guess. Hopefully with the help of the clinic's monitoring, we'll be able to tell which ovary is ovulating, and we can try when it's the right one and not the left one.

There is a little bit more on this topic...which is that I am, as I write this, five days behind my usual schedule...The HSG test has been known to "clear out" small blockages, making one's odds a little higher than usual for a few months after the procedure. However, it also can simply delay ovulation and menstruation, and I've read a number of people online who report delays, but negative pregnancy tests.

Still, I can tell Paul is harboring hopes--which he knows better than to show me, since it has so often been followed by disappointment. And for a few days at least, much as I guard against it, I'm walking around with a little "maybe" in my heart.

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