Stage 4 (and a new beginning)

Surgical intervention? Check.  Next stop, IVF. Or so, I am guessing.

Surgery went well.  It involved some less-than-lovely prep (hello suppository!) the night before and I wasn’t allowed to eat after the ‘evacuation’ or before the surgery which ended up being delayed until 4pm, or drink during the 8hrs before. So, I was really hungry. I spent a couple hours fully prepped in my lovely gown set complete w/ hair net and booties in the short stay room while various nurses poked and prodded, putting in IVs and such and met w/ the Dr and anaesthesologist.

But, M was with me, holding my hand and making me laugh. My mother, too, and she was calm and supportive.  The hospital room was clean and remodeled and the staff so competent and friendly that I felt a surge of pride about working for the same organization.  The last thing I remember is that anaesthesiologist giving me ‘something to relax me but that wouldn’t put me to sleep yet.’ Apparently, I’m a pretty cheap date because said I passed out right away after that and they wheeled me away.

According to M’s meticulous notes, the Dr found Stage 4 Endometriosis.  It turns out that the cyst that was caught  by u/s in my right ovary was one of many hiding behind it. I had to lose half of the ovary just to extract them all.

The good news?

It was the right move to do the surgery.

It appears all the adhesions were on one ovary (right) and nowhere else, including other organs, etc.

My left ovary is clean as whistle.

My fallopian tubes are clear.

Best chances for pregnancy are in the next few months.

AND in a ‘neither here nor there category,’ I apparently have a very large uterus.  This explains is why I have such heavy bleeding during periods, or says the Dr via M.

So, for now, the good news wins! While I could fixate on having this issue at all, I’m actually relieved to have confirmation of a diagnosis and all of this new information about exactly what I am dealing with. We are scheduled to have our first RE appt on Jan 6, 2 days after my post-op appt and then we begin again.

New year, new plan.

I took this photo over a week ago but it currently really captures how I feel in the world right now (and not just because of the post-surgery drugs):

 

Though, if it were really accurate, it would a tandem bicycle….  M and I, feeling clear and resolved, riding forward amidst the chaotic, blurry unknown.

Here’s to a new year and new hope.

 

 

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Welcome Baby G!!

As I am beside myself with excitement about Ruby and Rose’s delivery and the gorgeous Baby G, I had to title this post with a shoutout.  What an exquisite baby and what wonderful life he has ahead of him with two such amazing mamas. Sigh….

As for me, I am feeling hopeful for what the New Year will bring.  Unsurprisingly, I have decided to have the surgery and it is scheduled for 12/22. Here’s to a very medicated Christmas! I’m glad that I able to get in so quickly both for financial reasons (year-end deductible and such) but also because the sooner it’s over, the sooner we can move on to the next step. Although I have been struggling through many long and intense work days this month, I am, at least, distracted from worrying too much and feeling frustrated by another interruption on our path. Uncharacteristically, I have shut off my brain from thinking too much about the risks the surgeon went over, or obsessing about the possible outcomes once we transition to the fertility clinic. I’m living moment to moment here, people…

Decisions, Decisions

A growing, gnawingly familiar pain took me back to the ob/gyn this week where I learned, frustratingly, that I have another cyst. The doc gave me the same speech as last time, mainly that the blood speckled cyst could either be hemmorhagic or endometrial. The former would go away on it’s own, as before, and the latter would need to be removed.  Based on experience, I am inclined to believe that the cyst is, in fact, hemmorhagic and the dr agreed. However, the constellation of my symptoms may still strongly indicate endometriosis, but, as some of you know, there is no way to know for sure without physically looking.  And so, this time, the dr leaned toward laparascopic surgery.   She was clear that were I not trying to get pregnant, she wouldn’t feel surgery was necessarily indicated and would treat the endometriosis hormonally (i.e basically birth control). However, with our pregnancy goal in mind, if I do have endometriosis, surgery would improve my current pain and, hopefully, significantly improve my chances. Her argument, essentially, was that we could go on like this, basically wasting time, while being invisbly roadblocked. This, of course, is like a bell tolling for my deepest anxieties. She even threw in a few incentives, telling me that while she was in there, she will do a dye test and couple of other little mumbo jumbos that would give me fertility information that I would otherwise pay out of pocket for at a fertility clinic.  She called them ‘freebies.’ Please note that with co-insurance and deductibles, there is still very little that is free about any of these interventions. Not that I’m complaining. As long as she is in there, more information is good, right? Still, it’s not a cut and dry decision since there’s no way of knowing if the surgery as worth it until they are actually in there.

Still, it’s a lot to think about and there are drawbacks. If you’ll indulge me, I feel the need for a pros and cons list:

Aforementioned pros:

Definitive conclusion about endometriosis, clearing of any posible lesions thereby increasing my pregnancy chances

Dye test to check for any blockages

Cons:

Cost of the surgery; Even if no endo, worth it for the peace of mind? Surgery for peace of mind? Is that crazy?

Risk of scarring, other surgery risks like infection-all very small according to the dr

Coordinating with work (which could be a separate post altogether. Work stress. Ugh)

Delay in next attempts for 1-2 cycles after the surgery so as not to irritate my uterus

Also, this means moving onto the fertility clinic as soon as I am healed from surgery. I’m ready to do that emotionally, though terrified of it financially.  I have a lot of savings but a partner who is in school and, in the current economy, I’m afraid of letting go of our security net.  It also means making donor changes and decisions. KD could make donations but we wouldn’t be able to use them for 6 months.  I am thinking of having him donate and using an alternate anonymous donor in the interim since it could, likely, take us that long at the clinic anyway. This would also be difficult since it changes our overall plan. How on earth will I make all those appts with a full time 8a-5p job?

I am open, and frankly, seeking feedback.  I am pretty sure I will go ahead with the surgery anyway.  M and I talked extensively about all of our options and plans and she continues to be so incredibly loving and supportive. Still, I’m feeling so lost and overhwelmed and freaked out by life right now that some words from cyberspace sound awfully appealing…