Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Feeling Like a Chicken Laying Eggs

As part of the whole "taking care of business" venture that I and the hubs have embarked on for the rest of the year and into next year, aka stupid breast cancer crap; we decided that there are certain things that are left to higher powers and others that need a little medical assistance. Going through chemo and also wanting to have little monsters of our own someday was NOT something that the hubs and I were going to leave to chance.

We decided to go down the in-fertility road since after chemo I will have a VERY slim chance of having kids the "old fashion way".

We met with the clinic and they were able to get me hooked up with the meds that I needed, Menopur, Follistim, Ganirelix and Pregnyl all of which are injected and I had to go in for ultra sounds along with blood draws every other day and every day towards the end. Awesome. Did I mention that I hate needles with a passion and only have ONE good arm for taking blood since my lymph node removal left my right side totally useless. If I didn't, well it is. So right now I feel like my left arm looks like a junkies arm and my veins kind of suck right now.

follistim, ganirelix, pregnyl, menopur, breast cancer, infertility treatments

If I would have known then what I know now, I definitely would have had them put my port in before all of this so they wouldn't have to stick me all the time in my ONE GOOD ARM. They had me start out with the Menopur and Follistim once per day in the evening injected in my stomach in a fatty area, which was great since I have some "cushion".   Then once my counts got to a certain level they had me add in the Ganirelix and finally when my eggs looked big enough and fit the profile I took the trigger shot, Pregnyl in my butt/hip.

The hubs and I were a little nervous since the last time they showed us how to do this was 10 days prior and we didn't remember anything by the time it came down to us actually having to do it. So after about 20 minutes on the phone with the most awesome call nurse, Suzette, we had it figured out and it wasn't too difficult to do.

Initially I thought that going through all of this during the Harley 110th Anniversary party (the hubs and I were both on vacation) would have made things easier, but it actually made things a complete and total pain in the butt...stomach (literally) over the weekend. One night the hubs "shot me up" behind a gas station (I felt real classy), the second night was in a single stall bathroom and when we walked out a women was waiting to use it....lovely...and I didn't even try to explain (I felt even more classy) and the third night he "shot me up" in a parking lot by our motorcycle (still feeling classy). It had to be done, and we were NOT about to ride 45-ish minutes home to do it, so we sucked up our pride.

When the hubs and I met with the doctor she told us that the meds wouldn't really make my emotions go crazy, boy was she wrong. The Thursday of the 110th, I was feeling kind of depressed and had no reason to be.  We had some friends stop over and then all got on the bikes and took a ride south from our house and at one point my anxiety was so high that I had this overwhelming urge to either cry or punch someone in the head.  One minute I was happy, then sad, then anxiety ridden, then depressed, then extremely pissed...that is how that week went.  How the hubs survived, I have no idea.  I literally had to keep reminding myself that it was the meds doing this to me and to take a deep breath (which didn't help much).

 Then later that night once the hubs and I got home I was crying hysterically because I remembered that before my breast cancer diagnosis the hubs and I were going to start trying for a little one of our own after and it just REALLY bothered me.  On one hand I was so happy to be celebrating Labor Day weekend with great friends, but I feel like no one understood how bitter sweet it was for me.

That is pretty much how the entire time went for me, up one second, down the next, then add it hot flashes, bloat, wanting to pass out about an hour after taking my shots and feeling like a hot mess and that pretty much sums me up during the entire time.  Towards the end of my fertility process I was feeling like I had to pee every five minutes and felt like a bloated whale.  I literally felt thick in my mid section....

Fast forward to Wednesday, September 4th.  I went in for an ultrasound and blood work done and they told me I would be ready for the "trigger" shot aka the Pregnyl, which was the most exciting thing ever.  I didn't have to take the Menopur or the Follistim (which made me soooo happy because I was getting sick and tired of shots).  I only had to take the trigger shot and the Ganirelix.  They drew a circle on my butt and told me that was the area that the trigger shot had to be put in at 9:30 PM that night and I would be ready for the retrieval on Friday at 6:30AM!!!!

follistim, ganirelix, pregnyl, menopur, breast cancer, infertility treatments

The needle on the trigger shot is HUGE but doesn't hurt at all! Wham bam thank you mam and I was all done with my shots and counting down the hours till I could get the procedure done!

The following morning at 6:30AM, the hubs and I got to the hospital, walked upstairs where I got changed into the ever so stylish gown, took a Valium and waited until I was brought into the room, put under twilight anesthesia and what felt like another five minutes later I was done-zo!  I waited in their recovery room for about an hour, drank some juice and had some crackers and was released.  The entire procedure took just about 30 minutes! Who knew it would only be 30 minutes? The only thing I thought could be done was Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals.... 

follistim, ganirelix, pregnyl, menopur, breast cancer, infertility treatments, egg harvesting

The only negative thing about the procedure was I didn't get my nausea patch and I felt drunk when I woke up.  And not that fun, giggly drunk.  Nope.  The type of drunk where you are definitely going to puke....and I did.  On the way home in the car, in the front yard of our house and several times on our side yard.  I felt like my dog when she gets into something she shouldn't have, just spreading the puke love everywhere.... I've also felt sick and sore since the surgery...

Lesson learned and when I have my port put in, I'm going to be relentless about having that damn patch.

My doctor did tell me that they were able to get 20 EGGS! That's crazy...definitely wasn't expecting THAT many. But I'm blessed.  A few hours after being home and feeling way less pukey, they called and told me out of the 20 eggs, 19 of them are mature enough to move ahead!  Then after they watched them for a day or two more, I got another call saying that out of the 19....14 made the cut and were "growing" perfectly!          

The next few days were not as much fun for me....and the hubs.  I have been so nauseous that I have barely been able to eat.  I've been extremely exhausted and spending most of my day sleeping.  So that's where I'm at right now....

Next step: Physical therapy to work on my cording in my right arm, get my port put in, shaving my head and chemo starts on the 24th.  Only a few more bumps in the road and I'm done-zo with this whole breast cancer thing...kind of.

I consider that then I can officially call myself a survivor!  Cancer free is the way to be! 

My only wish right now is to get over this pukey feeling and be able to eat more then a cracker...I literally started crying at my moms last night knowing I wouldn't be able to eat dinner because I was so sick....I'm just taking it a day at a time right now.

So to sum up my fertility experience:

24 shots in my stomach=painful
6 blood draws=even more painful
Having approximately 14 "excellent" growing embryos=makes it all worth it!!!


  1. Great blog. Congratulations on your "babies to be." Don't worry about the crying. It happens. I had to write about it, too. Then went on antidepressants (can't be bursting into tears at work, ya know). Best to you-- Kay

    1. Blogging about it is definitely cheaper then therapy! I am so happy to be done with the infertility portion of this. I think it was the most emotional part...or tied with me shaving my head!

  2. Just read this...I was one of the first 10 people in the US to have a baby by IVF. (actually the 9th) I so totally know what you are going through - the roller-coaster ride and it was experimental at the time so we had no clue as to what the outcome might be. 14 embryos are amazing. I had one for my second attempt and it was successful, I had 4 for my third attempt and was also successful....and this was 31 and 29 years ago so I'm confident you are going to be great parents one day! And with your attitude, I can't think of better parents.