March 25, 2010

Ups and Downs

Ups:
The antibiotic treatment in NY is done. My uterus should now be squeaky clean and bacteria-free.

I did not gain an obnoxious amount of weight during the trip, despite eating an obnoxious amount of junk - lots and lots of chocolate, a fair amount of other dessert, pizza at least 4 times, fish and chips, mac n cheese, etc. (Clearly one of my favorite things about NY is the food.) Must be all the walking and climbing up and down stairs to the subway and the apartment we rented that kept the pounds from piling on.

Our flight home landed an hour ahead of time. The pilot must've really been stepping on the gas pedal! But I'm not complaining - happy to be home, and got an extra hour of sleep as a result that night.

We have a tentative FET plan. There will be no Lup.ron, no BCPs. It looks like the transfer will be either the week before or the week after Mother's Day, which means no test results during that holiday timeframe (yea!).

It only took one phone call this time for the nurse and I to get beyond the issue of my unpredictable cycles. I don't ovulate with any sort of consistency. I've never, NEVER had a Day 21 progesterone draw that was above 1 during a non-medicated cycle. They are a fertility clinic. We've already been through this issue 3 times before - for the first one-day workup, the first retrieval, and last fall's one-day workup. So why the heck is it so hard to understand that when I say "I don't know when my next CD1 will be", the appropriate response is NOT "Okay, so do you think you'll get CD1 next week?" as if I had just spoken the words into thin air. But as I mentioned, we got through it (and landed on the "no Lu.pron, no BCPs" approach.)

Downs:
My first day back in the office, drama arose. I haven't shared this blog with anyone at work, but just to be safe, I won't go into the details. Suffice it to say that the drama does not involve me at this time, but depending on how it plays out, I could wind up being pulled into another job that is an area in which I have little experience and even less interest.

The FET isn't going to happen before our communicables expire, so we'll be coughing up several hundred more bucks for that.

Really Down:
My dad saw a new oncologist a couple weeks ago, while he was filling in for the oncologist in my dad's small town while she was on vacation. The new doctor (new to my dad, he's actually been practicing for 40 years and is semi-retired, so not new to medicine in general) gave my dad hope and said he thought there was more that could be done to try to treat him. But now the other doc is back, and she refuses to try. She discharged my dad from her care around Thanksgiving because she feels there is nothing more to do, that blood transfusions are pointless (despite the fact that they've kept him alive for the past 4 months), and she thinks he should just go into hospice, stop trying, and accept death. I'm trying to find a way for my dad to get in touch with the oncologist who filled in.

I could understand her feeling that it was time to stop trying if he was like he was in the hospital - delirious, constantly restless, sores all over his body, requiring oxygen to keep his levels above 90%, a respiratory system that seemed to be in decline at various points, etc., but that's not the case. He has his full mental faculties, he's able to walk without assistance, feed himself, talk on the phone (he sounds pretty normal, other than sometimes he has mouth sores that cause him pain), go out to lunch, lead an hour-long church service, and play Yahtzee all day long. It still seems to me like a life worth fighting for.

In the middle of all of that, another challenge arose this week: My dad's iron levels are way too high - 5,100, when the normal is below 400. It's apparently a common problem in patients who get a lot of blood transfusions. Because of the iron level, he can't have any more transfusions. But the transfusions are what's been keeping him going, and he's been getting them every 10-14 days. So we don't have a lot of time to figure out a solution.

The options seem to be phlebotomy (taking a pint of blood at a time out of the body) or iron chelation medications. Dad's not a candidate for phlebotomy because some of the other levels in his blood are too low; that's why he's getting the transfusions in the first place. So it looks like iron chelation is his only option, but the oncologist won't consider doing any sort of treatment at all. I'm hoping we can get in contact with the other oncologist tomorrow.

Obviously, depending on what's going on with him, the FET may need to be postponed again.

3 comments:

Baby bump bound said...

I am wishing you luck and thinking about your dad. I am glad that you had a fun and successful time in NYC. Did you hit the good weather?

lastchanceivf said...

Oh man. I'm so sorry about your Dad. I don't know a lot about chelation therapy but hopefully he can get it. The way you described his life--THAT is a life worth living, most definitely. I'm sorry it's so hard.

I'm glad you had a great time in NYC!! We're about 5 weeks out and of course cannot wait :) I predict lots of chocolate for me, too!

Nic said...

I'm so sorry about your dad. It definitely sounds to me like he has a life worth fighting for, and if he current doc won't do it - see ya! I hope you can find the other doc and figure out a path forward. And a path forward with your other quest too!