Thursday, May 31, 2007

Word to the Wise

If you decide to spend an obscene amount of money on fancy cellulite busting shoes, do NOT, I repeat, do NOT take a "before" cellulite photo unless you are a size 2 or less. It will just depress you. It is far better to live in ignorance as to the exact amount of cottage cheese you have in place of skin on your thighs.

Just saying.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Well, so I'm settling back into life at home. I know, I was only gone for a weekend but it seemed longer because we did so much. And of course I mucked up my nice healthy vegan diet and swapped it for my old, unhealthy "fried eggs and ice cream are OK" diet. So it takes me a while to get back to healthy eating after giving in to temptation and having fun.

And of course there's always the reflection on the time away. Cali makes me feel inadequate because she's so smart and witty and full of amusing anecdotes. And me? Not so much. I'm the quiet mellow type that doesn't have all that much to say. So of course I'm all in awe of how Ms. Cali keeps everything together, what with looking after GM and all. But she has motivated me more on working on the "when I grow up" plan of figuring out where I want to live and what I want to do once my green card comes through/I have babies/my aunt's husband dies. You know, all that stuff. But there's plenty of time to get it all sorted out. And besides, I need to actually visit some of these cities that are on my short list of potential good places to live.

I went to therapy last night. I hadn't been for 4 weeks because the therapist had been out of town, although she swore she was only away for 2 weeks. Whatever. I felt like I'd accomplished a lot in the time she was away. I'd read a lot of books, I'd changed some of my thinking, I'd done lots of mind/body work. In fact, I probably don't need to go to therapy again. So why did I cave when she suggested another appointment? I'm not quite sure, except that I will say that it was good to have yesterday's appointment hanging over my head in order to keep me focused on changing things, as I knew I'd have to report back on what I'd done. And she wanted me to keep focused with the IVF coming up, hopefully, so that I go to NY really in the best frame of mind. Well, of course I know she also wants to get paid but I'm ignoring that aspect for the moment.

I still didn't really get into a lot of what I'm really feeling. Although I did own up to wanting to strangle the new RE when he did the old "you need to get clearance" thing. Hopefully she knew that I wasn't speaking literally! And I owned up to feeling jealous at being left behind yet again, and about being lapped twice by women who I started TTC#1 with and are now pregnant with #2, or are trying for #2. That hurts, and it's not their fault, but it makes it hard to want to have anything to do with them. So I tried pushing myself to reveal more of the darker thoughts that I have, and I did fairly well although was definitely aware that I was still doing too much of the "see how normal and well adjusted I am" type chatter.

The next appointment is in 2 weeks so I'll make a decision then as to whether it's time to move on or not.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What I did on my summer holiday

OK, so I've only been gone for a 3-day weekend, but it feels like it was my summer holiday. Especially as this year's vacation is (hopefully) going to be taken up with an IVF trip to NY. But I went away, people! I forced the lovely Cali to put up with me for a whole weekend, which she did most graciously, even when I was being an obnoxious brat and complaining about having to watch "Because I Said So" on DVD. In my defense, it is pretty darn bad and I was, ahem, tipsy, due to the quantities of red wine I had consumed. Well, OK, there is no defense. I was just obnoxious and one should never say "this movie is really crap" every 90 seconds when someone else is trying to watch it.

But! We went out to dinner and lunch and breakfast. We did touristy things, and looked at fancy houses and took a little river trip and went to a museum. Culture! Big City stuff! We had fancy beverages. We rode around in a turquoise convertible with all the guys checking out the foxy ladies (OK, maybe that part was just in my imagination although surely some of them were checking us out). And we tried to go to a movie in a real cinema but failed due to a technical mishap with the car. But even sitting in a parking lot for 3 hours or so while waiting for the tow truck guy is quite bearable when you can talk about the important things in life, such as poop and the quality of the dining clientele at the Golden C.orral buffet restaurant, with someone as witty as Cali.

So, thanks for putting up with me, my dear. I had a lot of fun, and am sad to be back at work today. Boo hiss. And, being the bad blogger that I am, I forgot to take my camera, so I have no photos to delight anyone with. I am bad, I know. But it's probably for the best for my ego, because Cali is way more photogenic than I, so I'd probably just cringe at the photos anyway. But maybe I can discuss those insecurities in my therapy session tonight, so I'll see if that's of any use whatsoever or if I've already got past my need for her.

Back to the grind...

Friday, May 25, 2007


TGIF blogosphere, TGIF. I am dragging today. I haven't been sleeping well all week. Normally I'd look forward to snoozing a lot at the weekend, but this weekend I am going away for some FUN so there will not be enough snoozing to catch up on the deficit I have created.

I had a weird dream last night which involved a public bathroom and getting someone else's shit all over the hems of my jeans. And then much cleaning up. And then weirdly a hot guy who came to take me away from the frantic shit cleaning, and we were walking along blissfully hand in hand. But were we smelling of shit I wonder? Anyway, I haven't quite figured out the dream yet, but I guess it'll come to me at some point.

Have a great weekend, one and all.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Well, that didn't work

No ultrasound. They refused to do it, because as I'm now an "outside monitoring" patient, I must provide them with a prescription before they'll do anything. I felt like saying I wanted to be their patient again and do an IUI this month just so they'd do the ultrasound for me, but I didn't because what would have been the point? They were already refusing me everything. So I drove there for nothing. Made the appointment for nothing (and, may I say, it would have been nice if the scheduler had mentioned the need for a prescription). All for nothing.

So, my 5cm cyst could have shrunk, or could now be a 7cm cyst. Who knows? Certainly not me. Fuckers.

Sooo, here we are. My next hep C test is in 3 and a half weeks. It's been taking 2 weeks to get the results, so unless I have a 5 and a half week cycle this time, I'm not going to have that magic "clearance" letter from the internist, and hence have a prescription from Big New Clinic in time for next CD2. Which means no ultrasound again, presumably. Which would put a dampener on me starting estrogen and ganirelix that cycle. Oh, of course I shall call and beg and plead for early Hep C results, an early "clearance" letter and an early placement on the IVF schedule for Big New Clinic. I shall certainly try. But given how the beauracracy seems to go around here, I am beginning to think I might be cycling in August/September. And that's IF the cyst has shrunk on its own. If it hasn't, there'll be another couple of months wasted while I get the cyst operated on. Which is getting to be just plain ridiculous. I'm wasting fertility here, you wankers!

In better news, I had a physical exam this morning for my g.reen c.ard. The doctor was very nice, and agreed with the absurdity of testing me now for infectious diseases when I've already been in the country for six years and could have infected a whole bunch of people. He smiled and said "ahh, that's the American way!" with a twinkle in his eye. In fact, once we got to the questions he had to ask me and he had to ask if I was curently or ever had been insane, we had quite a chuckle over me saying "no, but wouldn't I say that even if I was insane?". So he ended up giving me the form, and asking me to tell him if I'd ever had any of the diseases listed, and that was that. I had to have a booster vaccine for tetanus and diptheria, and a skin test for tuberculosis that they will check on Friday. And if I pass that (and the HIV and syphillis tests, which I've only just had done for IVF and passed), I'll be all set.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The lost art of written communication

Why is it that there are a very large number of otherwise well-educated men in this world who think that it is perfectly acceptable for them never to have learned to type, and that short, terse emails with no capitalization is a perfectly proper means of communication?

I'm talking about my RE at Big New Clinic, Dr. S., in particular at this moment. Now, I should say first of all that it is wonderful that he responds to emails, and responds quickly. My last RE didn't do that at all. He didn't like being at the beck and call of the computer, so his nurses would return emails sporadically on his behalf. If at all. So, actually getting a quick response from the actual doctor is great, and lovely, and all that.

But the quality of said emails is rather lacking.

I emailed him to let him know that my hep C tests were totally clear. Foolishly I mentioned that we were retesting in a month, just to be doubly sure. I asked what to do about the cyst. He emailed back a short, pithy reply which essentially said that we won't do anything until my doctor clears me.

There he goes with the "clearance" obsession. I'm sorry, what about "I do not have hepatitis C" do you not understand? Isn't that clearance enough? His emails just leave me screaming for more. For more understanding, more clarification, more punctuation, for eff's sake. Just more.

Of course, in actuality, I can't cycle until July/August anyway because of Big New Clinic's annoying lab closures, so I have to sit out a month. Again. I had to sit out March for the same reason. So it doesn't matter if we decide on cycling again after my next hep C test. And I will ask my internist to fax Dr. S. something with the magic words in it. But I would like to keep an eye on that cyst, because I don't want to finally get the approval to cycle again and then find out that the cyst has swelled even more. And then have to sit out yet more time for a cyst removal or something. Because at that rate, it's going to rapidly get towards a year since my last cycle, and that's frankly ridiculous.

So I'm going to march down to my local RE's office and just get the darn ultrasound done at next cycle day 2. And screw Dr. S. and his "clearance" obsession. The u/s could be tomorrow or Wednesday, depending if today's spotting turns into anything more meaningful.

So there. I'm taking charge. If I want someone to stick a dildocam where the sun don't shine, by gum I'm going to get them to do it.

And thank you all so much for your comments, by the way! I'm so happy that you're happy for me! Gives me the warm fuzzies all over. However, it pains me that other internets got bad news when I got such good news and I never usually acknowledge that pain here because it always makes me uneasy to do so, especially as most of said internets don't know me from Adam. But I'm thinking of you all - people with bad news, people with good news, and people just waiting for something to happen, damn it.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Oh My Fucking Gawd

I am one of those people. I made the 5%. Satistics were my friend for once.

The blood tests were negative!!!!!

No virus, no antibodies, normal liver tests. It was a false positive. I do not have hepatitis C. All that worry and angst over the damn positive test for nothing.

I am SO relieved. Can't even begin to tell you how relieved. More than fucking relieved. I am utterly dumbstruck and amazed. My cholesterol was sky high, though, so he wants me to try dietary/exercise modifications and go back in a month when we will retest the hep C just to make sure and retest the cholesterol again to decide whether I need treatment.

Thank you God.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Things you don't know about me

I've been tagged by Cali !

7 things you may not know about me, but then again, knowing me, I'm probably repeating myself.

1) I didn't get my first car until I was 26. I just didn't need it in most of the places I lived up to then, and I can't say I was really keen to start driving. But once I did, I actually loved the freedom it provides. Even if I still would take trains everywhere if I could.

2) I secretly love opera.

3) I distinctly remember my first taste of avocado. It was at my friend Rachel's house - I'd stayed for dinner after elementary school one night and they had salad. With this alien substance called avocado. It cracked my world open thinking that there were these exotic, sophisticated people who had avocado for dinner. In my town. Who knew? I'd never even heard of such a thing before. At my house, salad was limp lettuce, a bit of tomato, some cucumber, green onions (that I didn't like) and maybe some pickled beets (ditto on not liking them). With salad cream that I didn't like either. I did not get a good start in life with salad!

4) I shave my toes every now and then. Yup, hairy toes. Ewwww.

5) I often don't shower at the weekend. Even if I go out and do yard work or something. Sometimes I just like to sit around stinking. It seems like an honest smell. Not that I'd go out in public smelling the place up, you understand. Well, maybe to Winn Dixie where I know I'll be in good company, but nowhere else.

6) I cannot let a day go by without cleaning out my ears with Q-tips. Even though you're not supposed to do that, but I just can't not do it. It gets all nasty feeling if I don't.

7) I was a competitive swimmer when I was a kid. I was a pretty mean backstroker (backstrokist?) if I do say so myself. But laziness won out, and I didn't want to practice twice a day or get up at 5am so I gave it up.

OK, as far as tagging goes, as usual everyone I want to tag has either done this already or probably doesn't read my blog (hmm, maybe I should have posted about my insecurities??). So, consider yourself tagged if you read this and feel like doing it.

In immigration news, I have made my appointment for my medical exam, which is set for next Wednesday. I also dug out old vaccination proofs last night, and of course I don't have them all, so I guess for some things we'll have to test to see if I am immune. Or maybe the doctor will just give me some shots right there and then. I was also horrified to find I had the wrong type of birth certificate, as I only have a short form, and don't have a copy showing my parents names, which apparently I need. I imagined this would involve a lengthy delay, but luckily in the internet age you can order the darn things on line and they'll even try to mail them the next day for an extra fee. Score! So I've ordered a copy from England, and paid the premium processing fee in the hopes that this won't delay things too much. Should be OK, I think.

Aaaand, in hep C news, tomorrow is the day. The day I will know. It was hard to fall asleep last night thinking about everything, so I imagine that tonight will be even worse. Gack. This is it, people. The truth, plain and unvarnished. No more hoping for false positives. A potential IVF delay of over 6 months. Eeeek. I'm pretty nervous now, I have to admit. I feel my heart racing every time I think about it, and have to work to calm myself down. It will all be OK in the end, though. I hope.

ETA: Just in case the fact that this post is dated "Wednesday" and I'm saying "tomorrow is the day" could cause confusion, my appointment is not today. I started the post yesterday, got caught up in work and finished it today. In my defense, it takes a while to think up 7 things! But it looks like it's kept yesterday's date. Just to confirm - the appointment is tomorrow, Friday, and this is Thursday, despite evidence to the contrary. Or I'm in Groundhog Day or something.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Um, so, wow. Big news!

OK, 3 more days, yadda yadda yadda.

But here's the big news of the day:

The US government has been working away diligently, and all of a sudden they've cleared some immigration backlogs. Meaning that I am cleared to file my ad.justment of st.atus to get my g.reen card! Whoop!! Yes, to eagle-eyed readers, this is the very thing that I was told in January would take another 3 years for me to be able to do.

Umm, like, wow. I have to have a physical to prove that I am healthy. Bwahahaha! Luckily, hep C is not on the list of prohibited diseases. Phew, phew and double phew. But I will have to get a hep B vaccination, so I'll have to ask the internist if that's safe for me to do right now.

Now, obviously it'll take a while to get all the reams of paperwork together, book the physical, take the tests, find my old vaccination records, have new vaccinations, etc, etc. And when I say reams of paperwork, I mean the forms together pretty much make up a small book. But lordy! Here I have sat, annoyed at my job, seething that I couldn't go anywhere else, and this week I've actually been having a good week at it, working away diligently, and bam, here's my opportunity to change jobs if I really want to. And I don't think I'm ready! How ridiculous is that? But I just haven't figured out that old second career thing, or where in the country I might move to, or how on earth I'd tell my aunt that I'm ditching Florida. So I actually have to start thinking about what I really want, and figuring out what I'm going to do. Not that I'd do anything until after the next IVF is over, of course. I guess it gives me a great opportunity for if the IVF fails, of completely changing my life. And if it works, I'll be staying put anyway because I finally reached maximum benefit entitlement so I'll want as much maternity benefit as possible.

But ooh, I'm all giddy! This week is turning out to be a trip so far. Still hoping it doesn't all come crashing down on Friday.

Monday, May 14, 2007

4 more days

4 more days until I know the Hep C situation.

Not that anyone's counting, of course. Me? Obsess? Never!

In food/healthy living news, though, I lost 2lbs last week! Score!

And my aunt loved her M-day flowers, so that worked out well. In fact, she positively gushed about them, so that made me feel better, and I managed to avoid pretty much all mention of the day by not turning the TV on, and not socializing, so I didn't dwell too much on things.

All in all, apart from the 4 more days thing, it's been a pretty good start to the week.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Taking charge

I am still loving The Fertile Female by Julia Indichova. The link is two or three posts down. I have read it twice now, and I really feel energized by it. My therapist was telling me that I have to see this delay in the IVF as a positive thing, to think about the benefits and blessings. And so I'm trying to jump in with both feet and think that what I really need to do is go at this IVF with everything I've got. Oh sure, I said for previous IVFs I was really giving them everything, but I wasn't. Not everything.

You see, I was still giving the power for my own health and fertility to other people. To the doctors and acupuncturists and manufacturers of herbal preparations. I was looking for healing to come from the outside in, whereas I need to look for healing from the inside out. I need to figure out what it is that's holding me back, that's blocking me, that's preventing me living in the moment and potentially conceiving. While of course availing myself of the best that modern medicine has to offer, but in a partnership, not a giving-over of power.

So I cancelled this week's acupuncture session. And every alternate session thereafter. I'm not ready to give it up entirely, but I'm going down to once every two weeks. I figure I've got all the healing out of acupuncture that I'm going to get, but I can keep going as a prop. Routine maintenance, as it were. I may switch down to once every month if I get brave. And I gotta say, it felt like such a rush. Like I was finally taking charge. Just because Randine Lewis says that acupuncture is the Infertility Cure doesn't mean that it's MY infertility cure. So even though it may seem on the outside to be such a small thing - after all, I'm still going to be going, albeit less often, on the inside it feels much bigger than that. Much much bigger.

I've also been experimenting with foods, and I made a kick-ass miso soup yesterday, even if I do say so myself. I've never made "real" miso soup before, just always used a packet mix. But I made a kombu broth, and then mixed in fresh miso paste. Oh the heavenly smells that wafted up! It was like my body was saying "yes, yes, yes!" Seaweed and miso! Gimme, gimme, gimme. Who knew? When I thought my body craved ice cream and dark chocolate, eating this stuff felt like manna from heaven. And it was so deeply satisfying to eat it. I felt that finally I was nourishing myself. I mean, don't get me wrong, I try to eat healthily anyway, but I feel that Julia has shown me which foods really deeply nourish me and which foods I should avoid.

So, there we are. I'm putting a positive spin on the delay. And, hell yes, I'm going to avoid church tomorrow. But next week I intend to start going again. Of course, by next weekend, I will know the score with the Hep C. I have to say, it's going to be so much easier to keep up the positive thinking if I have no viral load and am cleared to cycle again. If I have to have interferon treatment, I'm sure it'll be very easy to crumble and fall. But I'm determined to cross that bridge only if I get to it. I very easily fall into worrying about things that may never happen and basing such worries on imaginings (like imagining that a positive Hep C means no more IVF ever and no adoption - not true). So, here's hoping. Here's hoping that I can maintain the momentum, and not fall into the pit of despair if the test results don't go according to plan.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

So, the Mother's Day post

Mother's Day, oh Mother's Day, why are you always such a kick in the teeth?

If there's one holiday that I dislike more than Mother's Day, I can't think of it right now. Valentine's Day comes a close second, but mostly I just find it kind of stupid. Mother's Day makes me downright sad.

First there's the fact that my own mother has died. Every year I have to watch commercials trying to lure people to buy stupid trinkets for their moms, or advertising some Sunday brunch special that I'm not going to go to. Then there's the fact that I'm infertile, and may never be a mom. Sure, I try to hold out hope, but sometimes it is hard. No mother + not being a mother is a double whammy for an infertile, I think. Then there's the fact that I'm still single, so have no mother-in-law or husband to put some of my emotional energy on to. Then there's the fact that my aunt, who is more of a mom to me than anyone else, has a child that refuses contact with the family so she has her own sadness over Mother's Day and every time I get her flowers or something I worry that I'm just making her remember that I'm not the true daughter who should be doing that for her.

Mother's Day itself, as a concept, is not so bad. Yes, we should honor the mothers in our society, and our own mothers in particular. They are worthy of thanks, and at least one day a year of being treated as special people. That's all fine and dandy. It's the TV ads that get me. That make you feel that you are only normal if you are out buying your mom a camcorder or something. And seriously, who does that? I've never met a mom who would like a camcorder for Mother's Day over a nice meal, a hug and maybe some flowers. And then of course, there's the whole church thing. I'd like to maybe start going to church again, and had thought of going this Sunday. Until I remembered it was Mother's Day, so that's what the service is bound to be about. Which will probably make me cry. What's a girl to do?

Oh well, come Monday it'll be over again for another year. I will, as I do with everything, endure.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Fertile female

Read this book if you're dealing with infertility.


Much better than her first book. Much better.

And that's all I'm going to say on the subject. But this is giving me hope again. I feel peaceful and calm and centered. Even though I'm going through this trauma of the hepatitis C diagnosis, it's helping me to believe that it's still possible to have a child.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Wow, thanks to Marie Baguette. She found a site that I didn't find, and I've been googling fairly obsessively. It is here. Thank you, thank you blogosphere, for your support and information. First of all, it is a more recent study than those I found, and while I was finding things that said "as many as 10% of patients with hepatitis C have no known risk factors", or "10-15% of patients have no known risk factors", this one says that 20-40% of patients have no known risk factors. 20-40%! And look at all those things that people did in the year they got infected - surgery, intravenous drips, intramuscular injections, acupuncture, manicures and pedicures. Wow. It recommends that this information is made more widely available.

Uh, yeah. That would have been nice. Who knew? I certainly didn't. I thought that Hep C was like HIV. That you'd have to pretty much know where you got it from - intravenous drug use, sex, etc. Not that you could have a small puncture wound with a presumably sterile needle and then somehow pick it up. Would it have stopped me doing IVF? No, probably not. It may have given me pause before doing acupuncture, I guess, given that that was really an unnecessary addition. Can't say I've had any manis/pedis in the last couple of years (pedis always made me a bit squeamish) but I can say I'm not going back again for a pedicure at least.

I wish they would make this information more available. It makes me want to start telling everyone to be careful out there. That, you know, infertility treatment isn't just hard on your wallet, your hormones and your emotions. It could open you up to other problems. Injectable medications aren't a no-brainer. Acupuncture may not be entirely safe. An IV drip for egg retrieval? Is it worth it all?

So, anyway, I am moving more towards acceptance. I am moving on from denial. I figure I have it, that this was not a false positive test. And strangely, the need to know where I got it from is abating. Could be the donor sperm, could be the IVF itself, could be the acupuncture. Could be something unrelated. I'll never know. Or at least, never be able to prove anything for certain. I can live with that uncertainty. It just means that life has dealt me a shit hand. Before infertility I'd probably have been more angry and more needy about figuring out where the infection came from. But now that I've been dealt the shit infertility hand, I've already gone through the "why me?" angst and I don't have the strength to go through it all again. Why me is just because sometimes shit happens. There's no rhyme or reason. Life just sucks major ass sometimes. Of course, maybe I just haven't hit the anger stage, or whatever the stages of grief are that you have to go through.

But, whatever, in two weeks I will know. I had my appointment with the internist yesterday, and he seemed like a nice guy. He is running a shit load of tests on me, some of which I'm sure have no bearing on hepatitis but he seems to be running them because he can. Or maybe he just wants every tiny piece of information possible before deciding on what treatment to give me, and wants to know if I am healthy enough to cope with the treatment, which is pretty nasty, let's face it.

So I have a different type of two week wait now. Not the two week wait for pregnancy test results but nasty disease test results. I'm sure I'll be every bit as anxious and distracted as I am before a beta test. I've already been mentally rehearsing the conversation with the big boss at work where I ask for reduced hours for interferon treatment, but let's hope it doesn't come to that, eh. I'd much rather do another IVF than waste more than 6 months injecting myself with really nasty drugs. At least I have the injection techniques down pat though, so that will help I suppose.

Friday, May 04, 2007



That's the number that is going around in my head today. That is the number that will spell doom and gloom for at least the next few weeks, possibly for the rest of my life.


I got a copy of my lab report sent by Big New Clinic, and it arrived in the mail yesterday. This is the value for my hep C test. Less than 1 is negative. I'd been reading how less than 3.5 is very often a false positive, whereas over 9.9 is 95% certain to be a true positive. So of course, I assumed that my result would be 3.4, or heck, maybe 5.6 or something. You know, something nice and low that would reassure me that this would just be a silly false positive. Because how can I have hep C? I have done NOTHING risky since the last two negative tests. NOTHING. N.O.T.H.I.N.G.

But it came back at 58.9. There go all my hopes of it being a false positive. Well, I can hope to be in that 5% but really, since when have statistics gone my way lately?


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I wuv ya tomorrow

OK, so exactly how long do your liver enzymes stay affected after drinking too much alcohol?

I decided last night that a glass of wine with dinner would be very nice. After all, if I'm about to get a diagnosis of a chronic liver disease, I may as well make hay while the sun shines. Of course, of course, I have a little self-restraint issue when it comes to red wine so one glass turned into three. And I am not stingy on the pour, so I am feeling a little worse for wear this morning.

And wouldn't you know it, the internist's office called to say they needed to reschedule Monday's appointment. My heart sank when they said that, because I was imagining another three weeks delay. But no, they are going to fit me in tomorrrow at 3pm. So there go all my plans of having a non-alcoholic weekend so that my liver is in tip-top condition for the tests just in case. And the secretary casually mentioned that I need to fast for 4 hours before coming in, so there also go my plans for a nice Friday lunch.

But, eek! I'm going to see the doctor tomorrow!

On a related note, I did a pubmed search for hep c and ivf, and found this:

Impaired ovarian stimulation during in vitro fertilization in women who are seropositive for hepatitis C virus and seronegative for human immunodeficiency virus.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the impact of seropositivity with hepatitis C virus (HCV) on in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes. DESIGN: Retrospective, case-controlled study. SETTING: Fertility clinic of academic hospital. PATIENT(S): 42 IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles in HCV-seropositive women and 84 matched control cycles. INTERVENTION(S): IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection treatment for infertility. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Ovarian response to stimulation, laboratory findings, and implantation and pregnancy rates. RESULT(S): Absence of ovarian response was statistically significantly higher for HCV-seropositive women compared with controls (10/42 vs 5/84 cycles, respectively). For cycles with oocyte retrieval, HCV-seropositive women required more gonadotropin units compared with controls. The maximum estradiol levels and number of collected oocytes were similar, but HCV-seropositive women had statistically significantly fewer embryos available compared with controls. Embryo morphologic features, number of transferred embryos, and rates of implantation and pregnancy were similar for HCV-seropositive women and controls. CONCLUSION(S): When compared with matched uninfected controls, HCV-seropositive women display a decreased ovarian response.

Doesn't that just put the icing on the cake? I know, I should be grateful that they do IVF on hep C positive people. I know that. But as someone who is already diagnosed as a poor responder this kind of ratchets up the fear a bit - what if I go through all this, do the IVF and then have no response at all? And given that my last negative hep C test was the same month as my first IVF, I don't think that I could blame the previous poor responses on hep C.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Chitchats on the sofa

I had my second therapy session last night, and won't have another one for four whole weeks! Four weeks! The therapist is going to be away for 3 weeks, and I guess next week she's saving appointments for the really needy people. Not that she said that, but why else wouldn't she offer me a time slot? Aren't I needy enough?

Anyway, I have lots of homework, books to read, journals to write, thoughts to process, so it will actually give me an opportunity to see how well I do on this on my own, and whether I will need to go back for many more sessions after she is back in town.

As for whether I liked it any more, I don't know. I do feel a bit more positive about things, but is that due to the stuff I am doing, or due to her? Again, we didn't really get into any deep stuff. I wonder if part of that is my tendency to fill the time with any old fluff that comes out of my mouth so I can just prattle away any silent bits, or if she is waiting to pounce. Or maybe we'll never get into the really deep stuff? Not sure.

As for the relationship stuff, I said I was open to one, but that it was not my focus at the present time, and I think we successfully moved on from that. We talked about positive thinking, and seeing blessings in things, like trying to see that this is only a delay and the delay may bring me benefits such as giving me longer to get my body in good shape for the cycle, and get my mind in a more positive place.

She wants me to be doing positive affirmations and visualizations. She wants me to forgive myself for judging myself over past actions, to accept that we are where we are today and there's no point blaming myself for not starting trying to conceive earlier and various other things that I tend to blame myself for.

I also am going to try to start seeing the next cycle as my last one. But not in the way of saying to myself that it is the last one and that's it, finito, done, no more, but more in the sense of giving myself permission to stop after the next cycle. That I think I've done enough and tried hard enough with my own eggs, and that after the next cycle I will be at the stage where I won't be having any regrets of "if only I'd tried this or that". The therapist said I should also think about it being the last one because maybe it'll work. Well, duh. But I suppose with my incessant need to always have the next step planned out in my head, maybe I have not been allowing myself to believe that the cycle may actually work.

So, I dunno, I'm still sort of trying this because it's the one thing I haven't tried. You know, seeing if all that mind stuff really does make a difference. And maybe she'll keep me on the straight and narrow as far as not giving up on the relaxation and visualization exercises. But it's a very expensive pastime if I'm just going to have a genial chat once a week. Aren't I supposed to be feeling more like I need it? Or maybe I'm still in the phase of trying to impress her with my normalcy and am still hiding the bitterness. Oh well, we shall see what happens at the next appointment. In four weeks.