All of last week I was waiting...and waiting...and waiting.  I had taken five days of medroxyprogesterone to try to induce a period so that we could start with the fertility drugs.  I took the last pill Tuesday.  Wednesday, no period.  Thursday, no period. Friday, no period.  
Saturday, BF and I were leaving for a trip to Hershey Park, which is about two hours from our home, with the little man, my dad, step-mom, their kids, and my brother.  We had booked our hotel and were going to take part in the park's preview plan; if you have tickets for one day, you can get in the park for free after 7:30 the night before.  We had packed our bags and were stopping for lunch before going to the mall for haircuts and the semi-weekly kid swap.  
As we split a milkshake I said to BF, "Okay.  As long as I don't get my period in the next eighteen hours we're just fine." The I went to the bathroom and...Well, I'm sure you can guess how that story ends.
The way the IVF cycle works, the first day that you have your period before 9 am is day one of the cycle.  Having gotten my period at 3:00 in the afternoon on Saturday, Sunday would have been day one.  I didn't want to mess up this cycle, but I also didn't want to skip Hershey, make the guys skip the preview night, or drive the two hours by myself on Sunday morning after driving an hour back and forth from the doctor's office in downtown Philadelphia. 
Luckily, my awesome IVF nurse had given me her cell phone number and had said to call anytime about anything at all, no matter how small.  This, I figured, more than warranted a call.  She agreed.  She also assured me that waiting until Monday morning to start the cycle wasn't going to ruin anything and that I should go to Hershey and enjoy myself and then get downtown first thing Monday for blood work and an ultrasound. 
So we went to Hershey and had a fabulous time.  I was afraid it would be difficult to keep all eleven of us together, but we managed to keep it together pretty well.  It helped that my step-mom had the baby to contend with and doesn't really like roller coasters or "thrill rides"; she kept an eye on the LM and her own six-year old son most of the time.  It also helped that Hershey is laid out exceptionally well and the lines were incredibly short.  There are eight or nine different areas, each with a big ride or two, a few kiddie rides, and a couple rides that everyone could go on.  We were able to go to an area, split up for a little while so that we “big kids” could go on a roller coaster, my step-mom would take the little guys to ride on a ride they'd enjoy, and then we'd all get back together for a ride or two that we all liked.  
I also got one of those great little scooter-like ride on ECVs.  It was the best.  They have keys, so I could ride it up to the entrance of a ride and take the key with me so that I didn't have to worry about someone taking off with it.  And the lines were so short that I didn't feel like I was standing for too long, although there were still some long walks through queues and up stairs at the water slides.  I was pretty exhausted and achy at the end of the day, but the point is that I managed to get through a twelve-hour day that would have otherwise been impossible.  
Sunday night, we didn't get home until 12:30 and after two weeks of insomnia, I fell asleep minutes after my head hit the pillow, despite being sunburned and unable to lie on my side as I usually do.  Monday morning, LM and I were up and out of the house at 7:30 and got down to UPenn about an hour later.  He was a real trooper and reminded me all morning of exactly why I want another little person running around the house.  He snuggled with me in the waiting room, asked dozens of questions about why we were there, told me about how he was going to help when we have a baby, and how he would like to work at the doctor's office and, the best, told me how much he loves me “a hundred million billion” and will be my friend forever, over and over again.  We had to wait to have an ultrasound and then wait again for blood work and it was 10:30 by the time we got back to the car to leave.  He was sound asleep in the backseat about five minutes into the trip home and slept for more than three hours that afternoon.  Shortly after he got up from his nap, I got a call from my nurse with the good news that I could go ahead and start with 150 I.U. of Gonal-F every day through Wednesday and come back in on Thursday morning for a second blood draw.  She also let me know that I have seventeen antral follicles (which I have since learned bodes very well for the success of the egg retrieval) and that my estradiol and luteinizing hormone levels are 77 and 4.5, respectively (which still means nothing to me).
The first injection was easy.  I don't mind needles and this one is tiny and just a subcutaneous injection.  It's also a cool pre-loaded pen; I just attach a new needle, dial in the right dose, pop the plunger up, stab my belly, and press the plunger all the way in.  Very cool.  This morning, however, I woke up to this fabulous little gem:

I don't have room for two weeks full of bruises that size on my lower belly.  Also, later this week I'll be adding injections of Cetrotide daily and possibly Pergonal. Can you imagine how purple I'm going to be? How many different shades of bruise I'll be representing? I'm hoping that injection #2, which I gave my self this evening, won't prompt such an extreme reaction. On the whole I'm thrilled to be started. I'm not feeling any bad hormonal side effects yet and I'm just happy that we're able to do this and that I'm finally moving forward with the treatment.  The purple…Well, I don’t like it, but it makes my stomach match my heavily-bruised appendages and it certainly won’t kill me.
Well, I'm off to bed. BF is getting antsy.  I'll let everyone know how things are going as they progress and I'm working on a post about the schools that we're looking at for LM.  So think about this one for me - but don't answer until you hear the whole story: what do you think about the child of strictly secularly thinking people attending a parochial school? 



They didn't total my car! In fact, it's in the shop right now being put back together.

It was so nice to get the call yesterday. And now I have a nice rental car, so I'm not trapped; I can go out during the day and do whatever I want. And I'll have my own car back soon (hopefully).

BF and I had a nice little date last night. Dinner was okay, but the restaurant had let a group of seventy-five women take over the dining room. They were making announcements, giving away prizes, applauding at everything; it put a real damper on our meal (which was otherwise pretty yummy. We complained to the manager about our problem with the large, loud group, and she comped our meal. After dinner, we went to see Iron Man 2, which I thought was pretty good for an action hero movie. It didn't let out until close to midnight, so we just went home and went to bed.

Today, I'm hoping for the energy to get my vegetable plants planted in the garden. It's a nice sunshine-y day and I would really love to be able to get out there and do some work. We have lots of sprouts that need to go into the ground: peas, beans, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and hot and bell peppers. I know there are more, I'm just cant remember them.

The best news of the week: BF and I are going to Madison Square Garden to see Pearl Jam. I'm very excited, it's gonna be a blast. This will be the third time I've seen them live and I love the concerts.

Alright, that's enough for now. I'll write again soon.


My Poor Car

Yesterday evening, at ten o'clock, a middle-aged Vietnamese man drove his silver Sienna mini-van into the rear driver's side of my Jetta, crushing a good portion of the rear of my car and completely destroying the rear axle. I was no where near the car at the time of the accident. I was sitting on my couch watching TV and my car was parked, perfectly legally, on the street. We only found out that the car had be hit when we were greeted by a police officer at our door.

I'm pissed...and sad. I loved that car. It was my first real substantial adult purchase. I spent five years paying the damned thing off, and now, almost a year to the day after I've paid it off, this happens. So now they'll say it's totaled, write me a check for somewhere around five thousand dollars, and send me on my way, and I will have to go through the pain in the ass of buying a new used-car for less than half of what I spent for my Jetta. I felt like I had the car thing covered, at least for the foreseeable future. It was nine years old, but it was still in good shape.

So until I find out what the insurance companies have to say about the matter, I'm stuck playing a waiting game. And until this guy accepts liability for the accident, I don't even have a rental to drive because, yes, I am that cheap and wouldn't pay the eight dollars a month to have one covered under my own policy and I have to wait for his insurance carrier.

This Sucks.



When I was a teenager I was surrounded by friends. They were mostly of the outcast, drinking, and smoking variety, ungrounded, no jobs or big ambitions. Thats not to say that a few of us went on to bigger and better things, but some of them barely made it out of high school. So there are a couple of things that started to distance us. The first was the death of my best friend Colin. Sitting around, smoking pot, talking about bullshit just started feeling empty with out him there; it felt wrong somehow. Then there was college. My free time disappeared. I hardly had anytime with my BF and the little man, let alone time to just veg out, smoke pot, and watch tv. And after college, well after college I got sick as hell. The PAH was diagnosed, my lung capacity crashed. That year I wasn't up to reconnecting with anyone, and then the next year we had this whole six month hospitalization hell.

So now here I am. Things are starting to look up. Despite the chemo fatigue, I'm driving again, I'm going out, I'm even gardening. But I'm lonely. I have my BF, and he's pretty much my everything. He's been gone since yesterday morning, off to Milwaukee to by a new motorcycle (one I can ride on this time!) and without him here it occurs to me that I've go nothing to do. I'm still in touch with a couple of girls, just by phone and email, i miss 'em. It's just hard to try to reestablish relationships knowing that I may have to reschedule six times, or just cancel all together or get sick in the middle of being out and having to cut out early.

It never occurred to me when I was well that any of this could happen. That I'd get sick. That I'd lose my friends. That I'd become so dependent. This doesn't feel like me anymore.