May 31, 2011

Stuff...and a New Cycle

I've started several posts in my head during the past couple of weeks but haven't gotten one into the computer until now.

Going through the services for my dad was tough, of course, but there was good in that week at the same time. R and I got to spend some time with my oldest sister and her family (including my niece, who volunteered last summer to be a gestational surrogate for us). Although I'd only met my nephews once before, all of her family was very welcoming to us.

It was really unexpected to me, but in a good way, how much we just felt like family. It was just natural, just there. I don't know how to explain it very well. I generally think of my parents as being my only blood family, and I had no idea how much I had been missing that connection in my life until after the reception following my dad's services, when we were in the car and R told me that I should organize a family reunion. I said, "Seriously? With everything else going on in our world, you think I need to take on organizing a family reunion?" And he said, "Yeah, I know, but you're happy when you're with them." "Happy" isn't the word you expect someone to use to describe you literally a couple hours after you've buried a parent - and honestly, it's probably not a word he has used to describe me in a very long time - but I realized that he was right. So I'm grateful for that connection.

I haven't really started to deal with my dad's death yet. Certainly I shed some tears in the moments after he passed and during the services, but mostly I just force them back and haven't let myself have a good cry yet. I saw my therapist a couple days after we got back home. She said I was reciting the events as if I was describing a movie that I was watching. She pushed and probed a little and ultimately decided to let me live in my little world of denial for the moment, but I don't think she'll let me get away with that during my next appointment in a couple weeks. :-)

We got some surprising news the week after my dad's services - it looks like one of my health insurances (I'm on both my employer's insurance and R's insurance policy through his employer) will cover IVIg! The home health company that will do the infusion let me know, but I wanted to hear it for myself so I called the insurance company to verify it. They confirmed it as well, although I have to say I still don't believe it 100%.

The cost of IVIg had apparently been weighing on me more than I realized, because as soon as we found that out, I was like "Ok, let's get this show on the road!" And, as R and I so often do, he ying'd when I yang'd. He's been so supportive and strong in all of this, but as soon as I was ready to move forward, suddenly he was feeling "Whoa!" and not quite wanting to face the prospect of our last attempt (with my uterus). But now he's on board.

We still don't have quite all of the pieces together, so the transfer could get derailed, but as of right now it's planned for two days after my birthday in July. The reproductive immunologist can order the IVIg itself, but since I don't live in the state where he practices, I have to find a local doctor who is willing to order the actual infusion of the IVIg, or else I need to find another home health company within my insurance's network in his state to do the infusion, and travel there to have it done. I have an appointment on Friday to ask my PCP if she'll order it - fingers crossed.

Also, my TSH level is better but still not where it needs to be. It was 7+ a couple weeks ago, so that's about half of the 15+ it had been, but it still needs to get down into the normal range before transfer. My PCP increased my Syn.throi.d dosage again from 100 mcg to 125 (I was on 75 when I got the 15+ result), so I'll re-test again in the end of June.

Thankfully, though, it does seem that the improved TSH has reversed my kidney issues. My eGFR is now back in the normal range instead of Stage 3 kidney failure, and my creatinine is much improved (still not quite back to normal yet). Granted, the eGFR technically still at the low end of the normal range, but I'm hoping if the TSH gets back to the normal range that the eGFR will move toward the upper end of normal. It still amazes me how all of our body's systems are so interconnected.

And now, after all that good news, here's how I came off the holiday weekend and launched into the cycle (bcp's start tonight): The co-worker who I began carpooling with a couple months ago, who I clicked with right away and was so happy to find someone else my age who doesn't have kids, who I have made it a point to not discuss the kid issue with at all because I just didn't want to go there, asked me point blank on the way home tonight whether R and I have thought about having kids. I tried to just laugh it off with a "Yeah, maybe someday" kind of response.

It turns out she's 14 weeks pregnant. From her first IVF cycle. I am trying hard not to feel sorry for myself, but I'm not sure I'm succeeding.

May 09, 2011

Dad Passed On

I was not looking forward to last week, but it turned out to be a much more painful week than even expected.

Wednesday was the 5th anniversary of miscarriage #2. Thursday was the 7th anniversary of miscarriage #1.

And then, on Friday morning, dad passed away with his wife and me by his side.

It was somewhat expected, although I don't think anyone - including the oncologist - thought it would be quite that soon.

Dad had seemed to be doing well (relatively speaking) when I spoke with him several times in April, but then test results the weekend after Easter showed that despite the transplant, leukemia cells had returned. So R and I drove out to be with him two days later, and then four days after that he was gone.

I'm thankful he's not suffering any more, and I'm glad his wife, who has literally been by his side pretty much every single moment of every single day since he was diagnosed two years ago this month, no longer has to be a full-time caregiver.

I don't know if it's relief that his ordeal is over or that I've dealt with so much loss that I'm an expert at coping or if I'm just flat-out avoiding dealing with it at all (ding ding ding, I think we have a winner, folks), but so far I haven't really cried. R keeps looking at me sideways, like he's trying to spot the warning signs of the big implosion he's anticipating.

I haven't been in the mood to talk much lately (obviously, since I haven't been posting or commenting). I think between all the infertility stuff and my dad's battle, I'm just tired of medical stuff in general.

We don't know yet when we're going to do our next transfer. A couple months back, tests showed my thyroid meds dosage was way too low (TSH was 15+) and that my kidneys were in stage 3 (the middle of 5 stages) of kidney failure.

My doctor increased my thyroid meds, and I think that has also improved my kidneys, but I need to get bloodwork done to confirm that before we can move forward with a cycle. I was going to get that drawn last week, but with everything going on, we won't be home until next week, so it will have to wait until then.

Fingers crossed that I manage to keep myself together through this week - services are at the end of the week.