Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Too much stress

I am so very stressed.

First of all, this month resulted in no pregnancy either. I had some hope, my numbers looked good - for few days. I had some symptoms that I hadn't had before... all of this made me hope. But nope, nothing. On what should have been CD 24, boom, there was my AF. At first I thought that might just be implantation bleeding, or simple spotting... but nope - the following two days have revealed that it is definitely AF. *sigh*

However, that's not my major stressor right now.

Currently work is a bit of an insane situation. I am a teacher and my union is trying to negotiation a new contract for the teachers in my province. For the first time ever, teachers walked off the job for three days this past month. So that is causing a bit of stress given that we don't get paid when we're out on strike. After the first day of striking, we were faced with a slap in the face offer. This resulted in teachers waiting two more weeks and then being told to walk out of the classroom for two more days. So, now we're three days behind on classroom instruction and still have no contract. So then our union tells us to not do anything other than teach and plan for teaching starting on Monday. So we do. We cancel extracurricular activities, we tell the kids they can't go, we make alternate arrangements for supervision, for awards banquets, etc, and we got settled into the idea of not putting in all the volunteering. And then.. wait for it... Tuesday we get an email saying that on Wednesday we go back to all the normal services. *sigh*

I read the email this morning and I just cried. Seriously, I broke down and sobbed. I'm so tired of the back and forth. I'm so tired of trying to explain this all to the kids. I'm so tired of the emotional roller coaster. I have now lost two days of planning time for a big camping trip that my class is taking next week. Until midnight tonight I'm not supposed to do anything to plan for it. This means that I've lost valuable planning time, and I had replanned my instructional schedule to take into account that I had two more days to teach by not going on the camping trip. Now I have to redo it again. It's just so frustrating. I'm so tired of it all. I have dreams, or should I say nightmares, about this stupid job action.

On top of it, we're still waiting to hear if my husband has a job for next year. Because we're both teachers, this strike action has lost us about 1500 dollars this month in pay. That's a lot of money when you live paycheque to paycheque. My husband is currently on a temporary teaching position and his admin has told him that he wants him back next year, but hasn't yet confirmed that it will for sure happen (he claims that he is waiting for the HR dept to confirm that he is allowed to hire my husband without posting the position). So we're at a stand still. We live in a rather rural area so there aren't that many jobs out there for us... but my job is permanent and we're not planning on moving any time soon, so we're going to have to just wait it out. More stress.

I'm just so stressed out. I need a vacation.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Am I Finally Normal?

I have come to the conclusion that the five days of spotting that I had nearly three weeks ago must have been my period.

I kept charting my BBT and my CF, and it actually mirrors a normal cycle. My BBT is all over the place. It jumps up near my coverline, and then back down very low, then back up again... but it never crossed the coverline... so that's normal.

TMI time. The CF monitoring has been exactly what the books say. It was dry after my period stopped, then moved to sticky, creamy, and finally yesterday egg white.

Also yesterday my temperature dropped well below any other temp that it had been - below 36 degrees. Normally I am at around 36.3. I did some research and discovered that many women experience a pre-ovulation dip in temperature the day prior to ovulation.

In addition, I have been wishing for the past four days that I had no breasts. Oh My God!! They hurt so much. Never have I ever had such soreness. It hurts to even bump them. I slid past someone to get out of the staff room today and brushed against them and nearly screamed in pain!

So, all of these signs are good. But the best one came today when I woke up and had a temp that was above the coverline. It wasn't much above, but it was above at 36.65.

I know it sounds crazy, but just the thought that I might actually have a normal cycle is very exciting. I can't even hazard a guess as to when the last time I had a normal cycle was. I may never have had one.

Of course, the chances of me getting pregnant this cycle are limited as I'm still on the progesterone for the hyperplasia. That doesn't mean that it won't or can't happen, but it is unlikely.

So, at this point, I'm going to sit back and try not to focus on it too much. I have a lot of personal stress going on work wise, and if I spend my time focusing on the baby making issues as well I might just lose it. So for now, I'm going to try to enjoy the fact that my cycle may be normal, and take it as a sign that maybe we're not too far off from conception after all!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Sniffle Sniffle

I think I'm catching a cold :(

That is all!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Stupid Cycle

This cycle is driving me crazy. It has been all sorts of weird.

My BBTs have been all over the map this month. I think that I found the time that I MAY have ovulated, but I don't think that I did. Other fertility signs (read cervical fluid) showed a normal pattern, so that's good.

My period was due today. Ten days ago, I had spotting. Well, I assumed it was spotting anyway. Is it just me, or was anyone else never really explained the difference between spotting and AF? Seriously, I always assumed that it had something to do with quantity of blood, but since having the D&C in January, I have a hard time telling the difference. My flow has always been REALLY heavy, and since the D&C and progesterone treatments, I can't really tell for sure. So, I assumed that since I bled so little that I barely needed a pantyliner, that I was definitely spotting.

However, my BBT has stays pretty low (as it does in the first half of anyone's cycle), and the cervical fluid is now doing what it's supposed to in the days leading up to ovulation. If I track back to that first day of spotting, I would be on CD 11 of this cycle, which means that I could be close to ovulation. But that also means that my last cycle was only 20 days.

So I'm losing my mind. I don't know what to think. If AF is still coming, then it's extra strange this month. Usually I have cramping and heaviness feelings in the days leading up to my period, not to mention my mood swings. This month, nothing. This makes me think that the spotting was actually my period and I"m half-way through another cycle.

On the upside, I got an appointment for the beginning of June with an acupuncturist so that I can start that for fertility and hopefully throw in some herbs to go with it. So, hopefully that will make a difference.

Monday, 16 May 2011

waiting, waiting, waiting!

I'm getting so frustrated!

I called the obgyn today. I have an appointment... for AUGUST 24!!!

So, I have to wait three months to get in to see her. urgh.

Three months is a whole trimester! Three months is a lifetime when you're waiting to conceive!

I asked about a cancellation list - they said that they didn't do it because she was so booked up all the time.

Silly me, I thought that since I was already on her patient list that it wouldn't take three more months to get in to see her! That's longer than with my first referral! urgh.

Anyway, I'm frustrated as hell and don't really know what to do. I'm still holding out hope that I might actually be pregnant (unless those five days with minimal spotting was my body's attempt at a period this month - but it was on days 20-25, so that would be SUPER early).

I hate having to waste another three months waiting for her, not to mention that in those three months, the hyperplasia could return and I could be right back to where I started!

I was wondering if my GP would be willing to prescribe Clomid or something like it to help, or if she was going to tell me to wait. I know that reproduction isn't her specialty, but it's worth asking right?

In the meantime, I decided that I'm going to book an acupuncture appointment and get some advice on herbs that might help with ovulation without overloading me with estrogen. I'm going to keep working on the diet and exercise, and hope that it all happens naturally (very little faith in this, but still...) I'm going to try to enjoy my summer of not running to doctors and just enjoy the weather and being a home with no moving!! (first year in about four that this will be the case).

On a side note - I'm SOOO sore today! I walked about 8-10 KM today while picking garbage in the ditches with one of my classes. What a long long day - this after spending 6 hours doing yardwork (trimming hedges and hauling trees) on Sunday. I need a day off... but tomorrow is another very busy day and I'm sure something will come up to make it exciting - working with teenagers is definitely never boring! lol

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Biopsy results...

So, yesterday was the big day. The big appointment with the oncologist. The big, scary, appointment with the oncologist.

The night before was crazy. I think it was probably a good thing that I was busier than hell, otherwise I probably would have spent the entire night obsessing. On Friday night, the students at my school held a 30 hour famine. They didn't raise money or anything, all they did was stay up all night and not eat. I don't get the draw of starving oneself, but apparently they wanted to do it... so we gave them the chance. They converted the gym into a giant play room. Giant highjump mats to lay on, two TVs (one with a Wii, one with an Xbox Kinect), a giant screen for movie watching, several corners of piles of blankets and mats, the laptop cart (one for every student there) and the couches from the lounge. I set myself up with a laptop to do some planning work, and settled into the couches. The kids had a blast and they were so awesome. At midnight someone else came in to take over and we went home. The drive was crazy with the bad roads (here there has been so much water that the roads have heaved up and there are piles of road everywhere which are hard to see in the dark). We got home around 1:30 and I didn't get to sleep until after 2. So then, surprise, surprise, I was wide awake at 6 and hyperfocused on the day ahead.

Naturally, the doctor was 20 minutes late. He's ALWAYS late! I asked at 11:20 if he was in the clinic yet, or if he was still on the way, and the receptionist pointed to the parking lot. He had just driven up. So, at 11:30, I get called into the office and he comes in with a big smile on his face. He said in his deep Spanish accent... "I have great news for you".

Truth is that they had my chart open on the table in the room before he came in. Naturally, since I"ve been so focused on this hyperplasia issue since the diagnosis, I knew the words to look for. Before he told me, I saw on the chart that it said "no evidence of hyperplasia or carcinoma".

The doc told me that he was VERY impressed because it usually takes much longer than three months on the medication to clear up hyperplasia, and that complex hyperplasia with atypia is very hard to control with medication and usually results in hysterectomy. So, he kept saying that he was very impressed and so happy.

Then he said that there was another issue to deal with before we were completely in the clear! urgh. Of course. It couldn't be that easy! Not that any of this has been easy.

He told me that I have something called squamous moruluar metaplasia. Basically, he said that what it means is that there are mature cells in the uterus that are not endometrial cells. He likened it to having cells from your mouth in your nose. He said that it's not a big deal because it's mature cells which means that they have likely migrated and duplicated, but that since they are mature and benign, they aren't a concern. He said that it was cervical cells that are residing in the uterus. He said that there aren't a lot of cells there and they aren't affecting my cycle, and the rest of the tissue was completely normal, healthy endometrial tissue - so not to worry about it.

He put me on another month of progesterone, just to ensure that the hyperplasia is gone and to try to eliminate the metaplasia. He said that one month of the progesterone, to go back ASAP to see my obgyn and talk to her about what type of things we need to do to get pregnant as soon as possible. He suggested that she do blood tests and hormone tests and ultrasounds and to probably put me on medication to promote ovulation. He also did a pap to rule out cervical cancer, but when he was doing it said that he didn't see any indication that there was anything wrong there. Not to mention that I've had five paps in the last year and all have come back perfectly clear. Can I add those up and not get one for the next ten years? Yeah, I didn't think so!

He told me to go back to see him in six months. He said that if I wasn't pregnant by that time, that he would need to do another biopsy to ensure that the hyperplasia hasn't returned.

So, I hate that I have to be on progesterone for another month. I hate that we can't start legitimately trying this month. But I guess that practice is important before the big game. I'll keep charting and tracking and doing what I'm supposed to do in hopes that it happens anyway, but know in the back of my mind that I"m probably going to have to wait until at least July before we can actually conceive.

But I think that I'm ok with that... I'm ok with one more month... because, it's only one more month of waiting!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Can't Talk - too stressed!

Ok, so last weekend I was supposed to go and see my oncologist to get my biopsy results. Buuuuut... on the Thursday, right before the appointment, I got a message from the 12-year-old receptionist telling me that the appointment had to be cancelled.

Who does that? Who cancels an oncology results appointment! grrr. My hubby called them and gave them hell about it, but there was no changing the fact that the doctor wasn't available, and no amount of convincing could get them to have a different doctor give me the results. I was THIS close to going into the office and asking for a copy of my file, so that I could check out the results myself - but I figured they would deny that too.

So, I sat last week and stewed over the fact that I hadn't gotten any results and was still waiting... and waiting... and waiting.

So my appointment is rescheduled to tomorrow morning. 11:00 am. I feel suprisingly zen this week. I think that I may have finally hit an emotional wall with all of this.

I know that there are stages of grief, and I have been grieving over my inability to naturally conceive easily. And I've been greiving over what I may lose, and what I may end up having to do (hysterectomy before 35). I've had anger. I've had denial. I've had pleading and praying and begging and bargaining. I think that I've hit acceptance.

I think that it actually hit when talking to my mother on Monday. Monday was a long day. I love my mother but she knows how to push my buttons and she is completely dismissive of my current medical state. When we were talking about jobs and careers, she said "well you have to make a determination on where you want to move based on what would be best for your future family". We were driving in the car at the time, and I very calmly said "well, our future family may look just like our current family." She insisted that she meant kids. I told her that it was a reality that we may never be able to have kids and that I wasn't putting my life on hold and holding my breath that we would. She naturally dismissed my comments and said that I had to "think positive"

I think that the "think positive" comments bug me the most! As I told my mother, thinking postively will NOT change those biopsy results one iota. I know that positive thinking can improve health, etc. I'm not denying that. What I am saying however is that thinking positively will only result in me getting my hopes up and ending up devastated if it's not the results I want. I've always been a realist... this is no different.

I'm fine with the idea of having a hysterectomy. I don't believe that my femininity or identity as a woman are tied to my uterus. Hell, the idea of not having painful cramps or a period every month is a wonderful thought. I'm fine with them taking it away. But, I would really like the opportunity to have children, before that HAS to happen. At this point, I'd be happy with just one. We'll figure it out from there... but I want just one!

So this week, I kind of expected that I would be super-stressed and losing my mind awaiting results. I have barely thought about it. I'm sure that at 10:55 tomorrow I'll be a nervous wreck, but right now I'm ok. I honestly am not worried about it. I've tried to imagine how I will react if he gives me bad news - but I'm not sure. I think that I can handle a repeat of the pre-cancerous cells. I will definitely be disappionted, but I can handle it. I think that a diagnosis of cancerous cells may be the end of me. I'm not at THAT level of acceptance yet.

To top it off, I found on Wednesday of this week that my paternal grandmother had a hysterectomy when she was 60 because she had uterine cancer. Not a good sign for me. Up until this point, as far as I knew, we had cancer in the family background, but we had no female related cancer (no uterine, ovarian, cervical, or breast cancers). This changes everything. You may think it's strange that I didn't know already, but my grandmother died when i was 15 and she had 25 grandchildren (me being one of the youngest) and I was never really close with her. It wasn't until my mother asked her mother on the phone about her family history that my father piped up and said "hey, Ma had that, that's why she had a hysterectomy in '65".

So, I'm hoping for positive results. I'm hoping that he tells me that it's all clear and we can start really pushing for and getting help to have a baby. I'm hoping... I'm hoping... I'm hoping...

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Mother's Day... Happy? Really??

Facebook is trying to kill me.  I really believe that it is.  It's Mother's Day, or as I have been referring to it as "Happy You-Suck Day".  To me that's what it is.  And Facebook won't let me forget it.

I know that I should be focusing on the positives of this day. I grew up with a mother who loved me (in her own way).  A mother who I don't always get along with, and yes, who makes me crazy most days, but I think that she loves me in her own way.  It may not be like your typical mother would show love, but I do believe that she loves me.  I was cared for and given everything that I needed while I was growing up.  I am blessed with a mother-in-law who is a very strong and, while sometimes distant, caring woman.  She raised my wonderful husband and is always there when we need help.  I have a grandmother who loves me and has been incredibly supportive throughout the past few years of struggle that I've had.  I should be focused on these things, and not on how bad I feel for myself today.  Today is a pity party for me.

I won't deny that I feel like a total loser today.  I feel like I'm missing out.  I feel like I've been sitting and waiting in the clubhouse.  You know the one.  It's the one that nearly all little girls are part of... the "I'm going to be a mommy club".  Little girls play with their dolls and imagine their lives ahead of them when they will have real dollies to play with and care for.  Then, year by year, girls leave this club and move into a bigger clubhouse - the one where they have their real dollies, and the rest of us either willing walk out the clubhouse door and move onto something else, or are left sitting waiting in the clubhouse... left now however looking at the dolls with a big hole in our hearts and souls. 

Facebook is taunting me today.  In the last two days I've had two friends announce via FB that they are expecting.  Now, I shouldn't judge them.  I don't know their story.  They may have had the same problems that I've been having, but for some reason I doubt it.  When someone has been with their boyfriend for two or three years and then announces that they are pregnant - it is hard to believe that they have been struggling, but I shouldn't judge.  The point is that every time someone announces that they are pregnant, another part of me dies inside.  Yesterday and today on FB, there has been a non-stop stream of mother's day messages, and a variety of chain posts.  "Post the names and ages of your children", "Post a picture of your children" "Post a picture of your mother", etc, etc, etc,

The most recent one that I have seen is this:

To all the unselfish moms out there who traded sleep for dark circles, salon haircuts for a ponytail, long showers for quick ones, late nights for early mornings, and designer bags for diaper bags, and wouldn't change a thing. Let's see how many moms post this who don't care what they gave up and instead LOVE what they got in return...Post this if you LOVE being a MOM!! ♥
Happy Mother's Day!

This one really bothers me.  It implies that I've chosen to get a good sleep, chosen salon haircuts, chosen long showers, and chosen designer bags, rather than having a child.  It implies that all mothers have given up things in order to have children.  It implies that I have given up nothing or am not willing to give up anything because I don't have kids.  It really bothers me.  I have given up sleep and sanity because of the months of infertility and worry.  I have given up long showers because the shower has become a place where I don't relax, I cry.  I have given up designer bags (well I never really had any, but you get the point) because fertility treatments cost money as do numerous trips to the city to have procedures and tests to figure out the infertility.  I have given up sanity and peace and gone through tremendous physical pain all in the hopes of getting pregnant.  But, according to the public, I'm selfish because I don't have children.  

I found this on another blog today and I thought that I would share it.  It really does explain how many women struggling with infertility feel, particularly on a day like today.

We may not have stayed up late when the kids wouldn't go to bed.  But we've stayed up late worrying about our transfers he next morning.  We've stayed up late wondering why the agency hasn't called.  Stayed up late wondering "how on earth are we going to pay for this?"
We may not have endured 20 hours of labor and a natural birth. But we've endured countless hours in stirrups, endless rounds of needles and herbal treatments and painful surgeries. And years of silence and shame.

We may not have brought our child to work but we've sacrificed careers to stay in jobs we hate just to maintain specific health insurance coverage, however crappy that coverage might be - but it's better than paying 100% out of pocket

I just wish that, while people are wishing mother's a Happy Mother's Day, they could realise that sometimes what they say is painful and hurtful to those of us who want so desperately to be a mother, but for whatever reason can't.

So, while I know that I should be grateful for my mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law, I'm selfish.  I want more than anything to be a mother and I can't.  I want so desperately to hold my child and know that I can love this person more than I've every loved someone before.  I want it.  I can't seem to have it.  So, yes, while I wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day, I just hope that they recognize how lucky they are.  Because some of us are not that lucky, and my never be.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Maybe? Maybe not?

So my body is just trying to mess with my mind. It's like they have a competition to see which can make me feel worse.

This month has been crazy.  I've been charting my BBT and checking cervical fluid, and my body is just messed up.  According to my chart, my temperature started rising on day 11 and hit a high on day 14, but then dropped really low on day 15 (so one would think that this doesn't equate to ovulation right?).  In the meantime, the cervical fluid was indicating fertile but not REALLY fertile.  On day 17, the cervical fluid indicated REALLY fertile and my BBT started rising, it peaked on day 20.  From day 11 to day 20 I was taking OPKs in order to try to catch the ovulation, and it kept saying negative.  Negative, negative, negative.  So, I'm completely confused.  Over the past two days (since day 20 when my temp spiked) I've had minor cramping and a small amount of spotting.

So, here's the thing.  I've been on progesterone to control the hyperplasia for the past three cycles.  I start it on day 10 which could account for the day 11 spike, but not the day 14 spike.  I wonder if it is possible that the progesterone could mask the LH surge at ovulation and therefore get a false negative on the OPK.

So my mind starts to think that maybe, just maybe, the spotting and cramping are due implantation.  If I did in fact ovulate on day 11 or day 14 (and TMI time, certain other *cough*activities*cough* would make it possible for fertilization), then this would be the right time to have implantation.

This could be me just really really wanting a baby.  Because I really really do.  It could just be my body messing with me again - taking the stress that I'm feeling and running with it.  It could be that my period has decided to arrive a week earlier than planned just to make me miserable.

Would that just be a great gift for Mother's Day... haha, guess what, not pregnant!  Yeah, that would be just fricken fabulous!!

So the morale of this story... either I'm pregnant, or I'm not. *sigh*  My money is on not!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

I Elect to Be Annoyed

So, on Monday, May 2, my country, my wonderful country, had a general election.  We were electing the leaders of our country, those who would be the ones to make the decisions and control our fates.

Throughout the campaign, even though I knew who I was planning on voting for, I followed the campaign and the promises, and the platforms.  I am a political junkie - I fully admit it!  My first university degree was in political science, and I have always had dreams and aspirations of going into politics.  I'm not sure if I have the toughness, but I still dream of running the country.  As the results rolled in last night, I was cheering, booing, and getting very worked up. My husband was laughing at me.  My response was "this is MY sporting event".  It's true too - that's the reaction I have to politics... it is out of sheer enjoyment that I watch it.  I even admit, as strange as it may sound, I watched the Parliamentary channel a lot when I was in university - and not to fall asleep... for fun!  Yes, I'm that strange.

I like to say that politics is in my blood.  My father was very closely connected to a former leader of our province, and was very much involved in the party until just a few years ago.  Meanwhile, my uncle sat as the speaker of the house for a number of years... and a representative for many more than that.  There is even a family rumour that my great-great-grandfather was a member of parliament in Britain years ago.  It is in my blood to have political leanings.

Despite letting myself get swept up in the politics and just enjoy it, one thing because abundantly clear with each of the things that I read in the platforms.  Family was the most important thing.  No, wait, children were the most important thing.  Even according to my government I don't deserve any tax breaks or any consideration because I don't have children...  There were several tax exemptions and breaks, from all parties, but only for those people with children.

It really does stress me out that the value of a person is placed on how many little people they can push through their hoo-ha.  Of course I want to be one of those people, but in the meantime I feel like my worth has been completely discounted  by something that I truly enjoy.  And it sucks!