November 25, 2009
Attempting to be thankful on the eve of thanksgiving
Tonight I feel as sad as this panda looks.
Today would rank up there with one of those 'really rough not going to forget it in a while' days.
I started my day at 6:45 am with bloodwork, something that I despise. I should have known then what a crappy day this was going to be. I then went to school for professional development where we practiced lockdowns, evacuations, etc. Though these drills were meant to make us all prepared I left feeling overwhelmed at the fact that I have a key role on our "safety team" yet no one has told me how to fulfill that key role...ugh.
And then the day got really bad. We headed to Iowa City just before 2pm for my baseline ultrasound (an ultrasound at the beginning of a treatment cycle to make sure that everything "looks good" so that pills, shots, etc can begin). All week I've felt very anxious about this appointment, I attempted to brush off the feelings because I've never really had any issues at the start of a cycle. I guess I should have listened to my intuition after all.
Just a few minutes into the ultrasound the technician, who was SO sweet, located my right ovary. A little history on "righty", she has never once produced a single follicle (egg) and always just looks big and empty, so really when the technician started to look around at righty I didn't pay much attention. I looked up (at my very own flat screen on the ceiling, very cool!) to see righty in all her glory. It looked big and empty... but in reality the big empty space was a large cyst. My ovary was 2-3 times the size that it should be because it was filled with a huge cyst. Tears began to fill my eyes. I've read enough to know that large cysts at the beginning of a cycle usually mean canceling the cycle (which means no medicine, no ovulation, zero chance at conceiving, just sitting and waiting). She then went to the left ovary and started to count under her breath, she stopped at 20. That would be TWENTY small cysts on lefty. Disappointment struck me like a python strikes it's prey. Tears rolled, Matt sat silently, and the technician rubbed my leg.
After the ultrasound was over she asked if I was ready to go the waiting room so that the nurse could take my results to the Dr, and then I could head back to talk to them. I said yes, and then started to bawl again. She told us to wait there and she went and got the nurse so that we could go directly to a private room, instead of having to sit in the waiting room, I thought that was pretty darn sweet of her.
A while later the Dr came in to speak with us. Dr Davis was not in the office so we spoke with another really great Dr. She explained that my cyst was 4.5cm big. At 5cm they are VERY concerned for a condition that causes that ovary to flip over, so since mine was 4.5 she wanted us to be very aware of what could go wrong. Matt asked how we would know if this "condition" happens, she said I would be in such excruciating pain that I would want to head straight to the ER. If the ovary stays flipped over too long, the blood supply will be cut off and the ovary will have to be removed. Sweet... that all sounds like a lot of fun to me!
So we discussed the options for the rest of this cycle now that this huge cyst is present. She said that they usually recommend canceling the cycle. The cyst produces so many hormones that it usually counteracts all of the hormone shots (all $700 in medicines, plus several more hundred for visits) that I would be taking. About 90% of people that go on to do the shots with a cyst have very, very poor results. The shots can also cause the cyst to continue to grow, which could potentially cause harm. She told us that we could do "part" of the plan and take just the oral drugs and cross our fingers for the best. She said they can't make us do anything, so if we wanted to continue with the original plan we could.
I looked at Matt with tears in my eyes. We have not had a legitimate chance since July, when we ended up pregnant. July! Over 4 months ago. If this process doesn't teach me patience nothing will! She told us that we could talk over our options and call back Friday.
We stopped and filled my prescription for the shots in case we decided to go on. On the way home we talked about all of our options, what it meant for next month, and what we felt we should do. We came to the decision that I will take only the oral medications this month, and pray that a miracle happens. If we only take the oral medicines this month then we can still do shots next month (when the cyst is hopefully gone). You have to have a month break in between shots, so if we did shots this month knowing that they likely would do nothing, then that would put us into February before we had a real chance at evertything working like it should.
I'm trying to be okay with this plan. It at least feels like we are doing something, yet we are also sort of resting so that the cyst will hopefully shrink on it's own, and we would be completely set to do everything in January.
I'm definitely bummed, and very sad, but I'm attempting to remind myself that everything happens how God plans it, and be thankful that I at least know that much.