Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Phew ...

So ... my sister met with the new oncologist. And she LOVED her. Which is just so great ... because she has decided to go with her. AND this new oncologist said she sees no reason at all why my sister can't do a fresh cycle before starting her cancer treatments! SO YEAH!!!!! We are definitely proceeding with a fresh cycle!!! I'm so excited, scared, nervous and anxious!

I honestly never thought I'd be going through another IVF cycle, much less ever possibly being pregnant again. And those a two very possible possibilities. And the best part?? Making my sister's dreams come true...

I know the absolute desire, the NEED, to become a parent. If I can help her with this ... well, it would just be AMAZING!

Alright ... gotta start thinking in pregnancy mode ... Gotta start curbing my caffeine, and drink more water. Oh man ... exciting times ahead!


Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's been a while ...

I'm sorry. It's been a while and I haven't had much to say. But things are ramping up, and I'm excited.

My sister had her lumpectomy. Twice. I wrote about the first time, and the lymph nodes were clean, and that was wonderful news. But her margins didn't come back as clear as her surgeon wanted. So they went back in again. And all the cells they took out were clean! YEAH! So surgery done! Move on to the next adventure.

She met with her oncologist last Friday. The oncologist told her that she would be radiation for 6 weeks, and she would have to take Tamoxifen for 5 years. Ok, all expected stuff. We already knew this. The doctor then said she was sending her cancer cells off to California to be tested, it's called the Oncotype test. It tests the rate of reoccurence of the cancer. If it comes back low, NO CHEMO!!!! If it comes back medium or high, she is giving my sister of the option of doing chemo, or not. Her choice. But she told my sister that if she opted to do the chemo, it would be a very low dose, and she wouldn't even lose her hair. Yes, that was one of her biggest worries. So my sister said she will probably do the chemo if it comes back medium or high to be safe.

The not so good news is that oncologist will not release her to go through a cycle of IVF prior to starting her cancer treatment. She is concerned because my sister's breast cancer was estrogen driven, and doesn't know what effect all the drugs they use during IVF will have on her. My sister told her doctor that she still wanted to do it, and the doctor said she would give her 6 weeks to do it, but no more.

So it's an issue. Our fertility clinic will not even let her cycle without the release from her doctor. So she talked to her nurse at the clinic and they referred her to an oncologist that they work with a lot in our area. My sister has an appt to see her on Monday for a second opinion.

All that being said, we are starting our process. My sister has 4 embryos on ice from a previous cycle, so worst case, I will do a FET for her. So I have some sort of saline something or other tomorrow to check my uterus. I'm really excited to get this ball rolling. I got pregnant on my first IVF cycle when me and my DH were trying. I keep hoping that I will get that lucky twice, but this time, it won't be for me.

So here's my schedule:

Tomorrow, saline test to check the uterus.
10/7 - Pre-screen with the shrink
10/14 - Pre-screen with the medical doc
10/21 - "All - Day" at the Fertility clinic with my sis, her husband and my husband. Lots of blood work and all our tests...

I'm excited. I'm anxious. I SO want to make this happen for her ...


Saturday, August 30, 2008

So ... what do we think of all this election stuff??

First a quick update. My sister is recovering well. She's back to work and has some pain where they took the lymph nodes, but she's doing better. She meets with her surgeon next Wednesday, and as long as she gets the all clear, she will be moving on to her oncologist. He needs to give her a letter that clears her to do the IVF cycle, so that's what we are waiting for!

I have gotten all my paperwork into the RE, so the next step for me is to have two phone screenings, one with the doctor, and one with the therapist. Then they plan an "all day" where me, my husband, my sister and her husband spend the whole day at the clinic, having tests done, meeting with doctors etc. The only thing is, this costs about $2500 (out of pocket) and the RE doesn't want to do it until my sister gets the all clear. No need to incur costs when there could be reasons that stop this from happening. So we'll see how it goes.

Ok, so now, what do we all think about McCain's pick. I must admit, I was in the middle. I am economically a Republican, but very much socially a Democrat. So I wasn't sure which way to go in this election. But then McCain picked Palin, and I offically am in Obama's camp. For me, I can't support anyone who is a Conservative Christian. It's just completely off the table for me. I am terrified in general of politicians using their political power to push their dogma. No no no! Can't have it.

Plus, she's like SUPER anti-choice. And, as someone mentioned on another blog I read, if they overturn Roe v Wade, guess who they will come after next? Yup, all us infertile and our reproductive sciences. They already have issues with IVF ... I imagine if abortion wasn't their big problem anymore, they might turn to that.

As we discussed on another site I frequent, Pro-life is not a proper term. Who isn't pro-life? The opposite of pro-life is anti-life ... and really, who is that? If I was anti-life, I would be running around killing everyone, or I would have killed myself if I was anti-life. It doesn't make sense. What pro-lifers really are are anti-choice. They do not want a pregnant woman to make the choice of what she does with her body, And I just can't get behind that. So, I will always be pro-choice. And I can't get behind this McCain/Palin ticket.

I think it's easy to be against abortion, DON'T HAVE ONE. Congratulations. You have been given a choice, and you have chosen not to have an abortion. I, on the other hand, would prefer that my choices are left up to me, and not up to a governement made up of men. Thank you.

So what about you all? Any feelings about this election? Truth is, I'm never going to be happy with either candidate. Is anyone? Does anyone REALLY believe these promises that these politicians make?

On my twin website, people were moved to tears by Obama, and were SO excited about him. Really? Do you REALLY think anything he said will happen? I guess I'm just horribly cynical, but I just don't see how it can happen. It's not like one man or woman can get into office and really make a difference. There is that pesky thing called Congress.

Oh well, how I look at it is like this. If we are going to have new supreme court justices places in the next 4-8 years, I don't want some conservative douche bag that makes his decisions based on his religion deciding things for the entire country.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Woo Hoo!

I'm sorry I've been a slacker. There hasn't been much to say, and I've been kind of staying away from the computer. I read everyone else's blogs, but I just don't feel like posting.

But we have some good news!! My sister had her lumpectomy today, and they tested her lymph nodes, and the cancer has not spread! I am so happy I cried with relief when my mom called me. It was just worrying us so much, and her luck as been SO shitty, that I just was so worried it wouldn't turn out to be good. So this is good.

She still has to go through radiation. And maybe chemo, depending on the size of the cancer, but just knowing it didn't spread is such a relief.

On the surrogacy front, I finally got all my paperwork in order. My OB was supposed to pull all my OB, L&D and C-section reports together for me. I faxed in the request like two weeks ago. I finally called them this week to see what was up, since I hadn't heard from them, and they didn't have my request. So annoying! So I did what I had to. I lied. I told them that I have a doctors appt on Wednesday, and I NEED these records. Thankfully it lit a fire under their butts, and they faxed all my stuff over to my RE right on the spot. So I'm going to drop off all the paperwork I had to fill out tomorrow. I'm so anxious to get this how on the road.

That being said, I'm getting slightly stressed. I'm already putting a lot of pressure on myself. I want this to work SO BAD. I want to give my sister something to keep her going while she battles through this stupid cancer. I want to be pregnant, and be able to give her this amazing gift, this beacon of light to help her get through this. I'm going to feel like crap if it doesn't work. And I KNOW how often it doesn't work! I think maybe I was just spoiled, because my first IVF worked. Two in, 8 months later, two out. I want that again, but not for me. For her. So my DH keeps telling me to please realize that I can't MAKE it happen. We can only do the best we can, follow the procedures, and hope for the best.

I know he's right. But I know that I'm still going to be feeling the pressure. And I want to add, this a pressure I alone am putting on myself. My sister has said to me that she knows this whole thing is a crap shoot, and there are no guarantees. But damn, I want to give her one.


Monday, August 11, 2008

The results are in...

My sister got the results of her BRAC Analysis. She does NOT have any mutations ... which means she is NOT pre-disposed to getting breast cancer again. Woo hoo. A silver lining in this big crappy mess.

So, she has made her decision. She is going to have the lumpectomy, followed by radiation and some pill that she needs to take for 5 years. Depending on the size of the cancer when they remove it, she will probably have to do chemo. They will also test the lymph nodes will she is in surgery to see if it has spread there. Her surgery is scheduled for Aug 19th. One week from tomorrow. I'm anxious for it to be here, and over with.

We have been doing a TON of surrogacy research. After a lot of going back and forth, it seems that my insurance WILL cover my maternity care. The exclusion listed in my insurance coverage means that my insurance will not allow me to use the 10,000K they give me for fertility for surrogacy purposes, which is why the exclusion was listed under the "Reproduction" area. There were no exclusions under maternity, so we are good to go with that. I am waiting for my OB and Labor and Delivery records from my OBGYN to give to our clinic, so we can get the process started. I'm anxious, nervous, scared, and all I want to do is be able to help my sister with this.

What else is going on? I'm fucking tired. I've been fighting this weird bug where I've been nauseous, super tired, with pounding headaches. Yeah, sounds kinda like pregnancy right? No chance. The sickness started the day after my period ended. I just wish it would go the heck away.

I have to go into NY for work tomorrow and I am so not into it. I worked from home today, and I wish I could do that again tomorrow. My mind is just so NOT into work. I spend time on my crazy twin website (yes, that post is coming!!) and on the surrogacy website. Which means I'm doing a whole lot of nothing else. I suck. I'm so unmotivated.

Ok. I'm going to drown in my tiredness and finish watching "The Two Coreys". Yes, I LOVED Corey Haim when I was younger, and this show is like the worlds craziest train wreck. I LOVE it! haha ...


Monday, August 4, 2008

I'm feeling down

So I'm kinda bummed today. I found a surrogate website, and just spent some time reading it, looking around, trying to gather info. And I came across someone who mentioned that some insurance companies have exclusions for surrogacy. So I pulled up my insurance info on their website, and sure enough, surrogacy is excluded. So, I called up my insurance company to find out info, to see if everything was excluded about it. Because some people were saying that it might be excluded from being on, or from using one ...

Everything is excluded. So if I was to be a surrogate for my sister, I couldn't use my insurance for my maternity coverage. So I think we would have to purchase the insurance to cover this, and who knows how much that would be! We paid out of pocket for our IVF, but my company just added IF benefits, 10K lifetime. Not great, but it's something. DH and I talked about it, and we were willing to use it for this surrogacy, but now I'm not sure if I can do that either.

I hate this. I'm so angry. It's not like my sister has $50,000 lying around to pay for me to go through this, and then to pay for my medical benefits. I'm so ANGRY. I'm so mad that this stupid cancer is going to make it impossible to have a biological child. She might have to freeze her embies, and wait 5 years to have her own child ... and who even knows if it will happen then.

I know that she can adopt, and I think adoption is a wonderful way to build your family, but I'm still mad. I'm mad that I am here and willing to carry for her, and god damn money is the one thing standing in our way. How much is this poor girl going to have to go through??

My sister had Lasik eye surgery ... she was in the 1% or some ridiculously small percentage that develops something call Keratoconus, which basically is a weakened cornea. My DH's father actually had this, and he had to have cornea transplants in both eyes. So, her vision has gotten so screwed up, but she can't wear contacts to fix it, and she can't wear glasses to fix it. So, she can't drive at night anymore and she doesn't do things like go the movies or go to the theater because her vision is not good. She is in the process of working with a lawyer to sue her doctor because she should never have been a candidate for Lasik, and the doctor didn't do the due diligence testing to discover this. So great, she can't see.

Then she is going through IVF, with loss after loss after loss. Now the cancer. Do you see why I'm angry? I just want ONE thing to fall on the right side of the coin for her. My heart breaks every single day when she comes to my house and hugs my kids, loves on them, covers them with kisses and just lets them how much she loves them. She would be an AMAZING mom. And I'm beyond pissed that her journey is this hard.

This might be a good segway into my "I am an atheist and please don't tell me that God has a plan" post.

Until then,

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Baby Mama

So, I'm kind of excited at the thought of being a surrogate for my sister. We were talking about it the other day, and all I kept saying was "So, I get to have 9 months (give or take) of people all excited because I'm pregnant. You KNOW how everyone loves a pregnant woman! And then to top it off I'm sure I'll get extra attention when I mention that I'm not carrying my babies, but my sisters! because she is going through cancer treatments. Then I get paid time off of work before the baby/babies are born. Then I get 8 weeks paid time off after they are born, with NO NEWBORN BABY! And a big fat bottle of percocet! Can one girl be so lucky? DH asked me where he could sign up!

As for my sister, she met with the people at Sloan-Kettering in NYC this week, and really liked the oncologist. So I think she will be going with them. Right now, she is really waiting for the results of the BRACAnalysis. The BRACAnalysis test detects mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Mutations in these genes have been determined to predispose individuals to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. So I am thinking if they find the mutations, it may push her towards doing the single or double mastectomy. If it is not found, she may just do the lumpectomy and radiation. But it seems like regardless of these choices she makes, she will have to go through chemo. Which I think for all of us is the scariest part.

Once she makes her decision, we (her DH and her, me and my DH) will meet with our RE and discuss what we are going to do, how we get synced up, and what my part in all this is. I don't know anything about surrogacy, so I have no idea how much of the protocal I need to do. I know I'll have to do the PIO shots, but besides that, I don't know if they stim me. Anyone know anything about surrogacy?

It's funny, because so many people have said to me what an amazing sister I must be, and I just don't feel that way. I feel like it's nothing. It's my body for 9 months, to give my sister a lifetime of happiness. She would do it for me in a heartbeat. I just don't feel like I'm doing anything special. It's my sister. She's my best friend, and all I want is for her to be healthy and happy.

That being said, I'm going for my first ever mammogram tomorrow, and I'm kinda freaked. I've never had one, and with everything going on, I'm certainly a bit scared. But I've always been one to say, if there is something to be found, find it sooner. I don't want to not know, because then it's just going to get worse.

I'll keep you all updated.