In this blog post...

  • Fertility drug smackdown = still worth it.

  • IVF post - any questions?

  • The cancer race.

  • SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS! (can't miss music videos)

Fertility drug smackdown = still worth it.

First - I apologize for what feels like mundane minutiae. I always have all these ideas for what I want to share. It feels deep...and then this comes out haha.

I've been in hiding. Trying to hide from the war of pain my body is waging on itself. I hadn't properly prepared myself for the tidal wave of fertility drug side effects slamming me at all minutes of the day/night.  But first - good news.

Egg retrieval... BIG FAT CHECK! They were successful in collecting a healthy number of eggs. Could. Not. Be. Happier. Here we are walking to the procedure room.

Words amount to nothing compared to the happiness I felt after the egg retrieval procedure finished Thursday. I had been shooting myself multiple times a day in the tummy, injecting myself with a cocktail of hormones etc etc and was then told that there were some concerns with proceeding. I was devastated. They were telling me I might get to the last day and not be able to finish. Why? Part of adding so many hormones in at once means "fluid shifts" in the body which could compromise me in my cancerous state...and I'll spare the boring details. Suffice it to say, I felt incredibly weighed down with a million emotions I had no idea how to process. There were three days of feeling mentally and emotionally drained with no break.

Add to that an onslaught of physical pain and BOOM = Zombie Girl ninja'ing the crap out of Spicy Girl. But an echocardiogram, oncology consult + cardiologist appointment spread over three days later, I was given the green light. 

Let me be very clear: the fact that I was able to finish = priceless. As I titled this portion, despite the smackdown, everything was worth it. Here I am after they put in the IV and I'm waiting to go into the operating room:

However, I want to keep it real. This was not easy. I don't want to scare people, but I do want to give props to women who've gone through IVF and who've had more strenuous pregnancies. Let me tell you now what I experienced - it is no joke. I believe I am suffering from Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) on top of it all.  The nurses did not warn me about this and I wish they had. Perhaps they avoid discussing this in detail with patients to avoid psychosomatic tendencies/experiences. Whatever the case, I am the type of person who appreciates a good head's up so I can ready myself. This is what I've been dealing with, even post-egg retrieval:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • bloating
  • stomachaches + cramps
  • extreme fatigue
  • coughs (some fluid build up)
  • rib-breaking type coughs
  • sharp, side-splitting cramps that tear up the insides
  • ...and my favorite: pounding, life-and-soul-sucking, screaming, wretched, unremitting, relentless headaches that only get worse when I need the peace and quiet (bedtime)

It's felt like getting lost in a fog of just willing time to pass. I wanted to get to my next appointments (there's at least one every day) and learn if I could just do the damn thing. Would I be able to preserve my fertility options or not? Not knowing is the most tormenting part of any process. To be able to complete it - regardless of the ultimate upshot - feels so damn good.

IVF post - any questions?

I'm going to dedicate an entire post to IVF. I will share how it went from Day 0 to 14 (it dragged a teensy longer for us). If you have personal questions or want to chat, just message me. I'd love to help anyone who's at all interested. (For instance, I've got videos of one of the UCSF nurses demonstrating how to mix the drugs and how to "do the shot.")

The cancer race.

Friday the 13th marked one month since my diagnosis.  A day we played the waiting game yet again. 

I was supposed to get admitted but lucky for my "superstitious" self (near non-existent), no dice. I have no idea when UCSF will admit me onto one of its cancer floors. I'm hearing Saturday might not even happen. (Update: I've been waiting at the emergency department after another terrible night.) I suppose in this context it's better not to be rushed in as VIP because it means my situation is less dire or something. But with all my extra symptoms from the fertility process I feel very burdened. It'd make me feel better to have medical resources around me. I also went to a different campus after my egg retrieval to get my PICC line put into my arm/shoulder/chest. I keep hearing it's better than an IV but it was definitely no picnic (I was awake as the doctor put in local anesthesia, shoved the catheter up the arm, sutured my skin shut over the incision site). I did this to expedite my ability to land a bed in the hospital. (Or so I thought.) 

I guess I should cherish this time outside the hospital but I'm eager to get this chemo started. What I am nervous about is my body's response to the treatment. They're not performing a scan to check progress until after the fourth round. All I can do now... POSITIVE VIBES. 

So I have to end with a few snapshots of the love that I've been surrounded by the last few nightmarish days. First... look at what my dear man ordered and loves to wear around me... especially when prepping my needles! 

And amazing deliveries to me from my wedding team! My beautiful planner, Kaella, has worked so hard on our ceremony and she has made postponing the actual ceremony so stress-free for me. I have to plug her here *Kaella Lynn Events* because she is so amazing. Our wedding caterers Paula LeDuc sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers + lemons, as well as a box full of goodies - butternut squash soup, fresh loaf of bread, different kinds of crackers, tea, etc. Our wedding florist Amanda Vidmar personally dropped off a gorge bouquet of flowers to brighten my day. Our invitation printing company Aerialist Press has offered to reprint and resend our invitations at no extra cost. I mean wow.

I don't want to post up gift pics because I know I'll miss people. But from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all of those, all the messages and continued support. I'm sorry if I haven't gotten back to you or it takes me awhile - I've been feeling so overwhelmed. Thank you for the love + the patience. 

SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS! (can't miss music videos)

My besties are here with me on what was supposed to be my bachelorette party weekend. Christine and her husband Ben flew in from New York. She had the loveliest suggestion to turn my blood thinner injection into a fun party - a cappella style.

+ hair washed by my boo
+ endless back massages from the sis and mom
+ friends over enjoying the view
+ ordering delivery from FIVE restaurants for a nice international potluck ;)

= all I do is win win WIN

Love you guys. Hopefully the next update will come from my own room on one of the cancer floors. 

Big hugs,