An Update: Fertility Journey
Today has been a harder day in terms of side effects; the biggest side effect that I have felt through this process has been exhaustion. I’ve been putting myself to bed around or even before the 9pm mark most nights, and this morning I added in a new medication that put me right out, and I napped for almost 3 hours.
But I am presently awake and feeling more rejuvenated so I will take today to update on how things have been. We are in the last week of the treatment, so this time next week everything should be all said and done. How I will be feeling physically and emotionally may be another story, as I heal and my body comes off all the medication I currently am on.
Treatment officially started on February 2. I wore an estrogen patch for a full 7 days (this was during the phase called Pre-Stimulation that starts 5-7 days before your monthly cycle), and during that time I didn’t really feel any side effects except one afternoon I did have a lot of anxiety and stress that did eventually go away. On February 9 I stopped wearing the patch in the morning and started a medication that I now take every day at 12:30 during this process to help with how the hormones interact with my body since my cancer gene feeds on hormones.
On the 10 I started my evening injections (Stimulation Phase), these injections are to help stimulate follicle growth, which then helps more eggs to be available for retrieval.
I had my first ultrasound and blood work yesterday (Day 5) to see how I’m responding and so far my body is responding well but that there are issues with my left ovary. I already knew that my left ovary sits up a bit higher in my body and that means for surgical/procedural reasons it will be difficult to reach to retrieve eggs. But there is no issue with this ovary for pregnancy to occur naturally. Where's my husband at? ;)
When debriefing over the results from my October ultrasound the Drs and I had already discussed that we felt the right side may be the only side we get eggs from, and they determined that our goal is 6-10 eggs in total.
All in all, egg retrieval and my chances of having eggs frozen heavily relies on my right ovary cooperating. So yesterday it was important to see that the right ovary was complying with the medicine.
When the ultrasound started, the technician explained that my right side already had 3 follicles measuring at the size they want and my left side had many follicles but none at the desired size yet. This is the news we wanted. My right side needed to be responding well as it is the one we knew we could get eggs from. I definitely left the clinic feeling relief.
It feels like a miracle that the ovary that we need to respond to the medication is indeed the one that is. I'm feeling very thankful.
This morning I started another medication that prevents my body from ovulating so that no eggs are released as the Drs need to surgically remove them for freezing. However, this medication has piggy backed on the others to add to my exhaustion. It's safe to say that I will be even more tired for the next week as I’m on all these medications.
So moving forward my next ultrasound is on Wednesday and that would be day 8, and normally women are in the stimulation phase for 8-11 days; and depending on how my body continues to respond will then predict when I have the egg retrieval. The projection date is Sunday as of now, but nothing is guaranteed as my body will respond the way it wants to so we can only assume it will fall in the Saturday-Monday window for me.
So all in all, I’m pretty exhausted but everything that the Dr’s want to see is happening.
I also want to take a minute and acknowledge that I am very aware of how lucky I am in to be in this position. I know that this comes at the cost of me having this potential sickness inside but it’s also given me an opportunity to have children later in life that I might not have had otherwise. And I know that for people in my position with fertility issues have to pay thousands of dollars for this- trust me, I am very aware of how lucky I am and I am very thankful.
I feel that God has been working through all this and giving me hope in a time where things could feel stressful and hopeless.
Thanks for listening to my update on this Family Day Monday here in Canada,