Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Other things may change us, but we start and end with family

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
- Dr. Seuss


All us kids, spouses and grandkids on Memorial Day, 2012

(L to R: Eric, Me, James, Nik (sis), JJ, Michelle and Cody, Brandon and Brian (bro).

Monday, May 21, 2012

Today was the day!!

I am so excited to update you guys on the info we got today at our appointment in Orlando with the Reproductive Endocrinologist. We decided to go to the Center for Reproductive Medicine in Orlando because there is only one of these docs here in Melbourne and after doing some research I didn't feel comfortable going there. I'm so glad we made that choice!

First of all, I chose this specific doctor because he specializes in PCOS research and treatment, which is the condition I have been diagnosed with. It was obvious at our appointment today that he is very knowledgeable about it and is interested in each of his patients.

For the first time, I feel like I have more answers than questions about this whole ordeal. The doctor spent almost an hour with us talking about things and going over our options. Since I hadn't eaten yet, I was able to do blood work and he's running  tests for seven different hormone levels which will give him a lot of information about my issues. All of these levels can be adjusted with medication. He is also prescribing a different medication from the Clomid that I've been taking which blocks my estrogen receptors and improves ovarian sensitivity to FSH (or something like that). The medication, called Letrozole, is the same medication used with post menopasual women who have a high risk of breast cancer in order to prevent it from reoccuring.

He also did an ultrasound to look at my ovaries which was interesting. It didn't show very many if any cysts which is good. I'm on cycle day 28 right now so there is a chance I'm pregnant now (will test at the end of this week) and the ultrasound did show that I ovulated. The doctor was funny and said that if I'm pregnant this month he gets the credit! LOL. I doubt my Melbourne doc would appreciate that. Haha.

Either way, if I'm not pregnant starting next cycle we'll start the new medication and treatment plan. The Letrozole has been found to be much more effective than Clomid. If that alone doesn't work, they will add hCG shots in order to guarantee an egg actually releases (which is the main problem with PCOS patients).

As I was writing this, the nurse called me with some test results already!! Amazing.

Progesterone level is 21.7 - GREAT (remember I started with 0.07!)
Prolactin (pituitary gland) was 10.7 -- Good/normal
TSH (thyroid) was 1.2 -- Good/normal
DHEAS (adrenal hormone) was 308 -- High/abnormal. She said this hormone should be around 200, so the doc might add a medication to bring it down. If this is high it can prevent pregnancy from occurring.

Still waiting on the results for the Insulin (if it's high I'll start taking Metformin again), AMH and chem panel. Don't ask me what those last two mean! LOL.

Sorry if this bores any of you, but I'm SO EXCITED about the future and the options we have!! My friends and family have been so, so, so supportive about this. Everyone is cheering us on. I have more hope and anticipation than ever, which is saying something for me. :-)

Today I was trying to sum up how I feel... just thinking back on this whole process and how far we've come. I remember how much anger, frustration, and disappointment I felt in the beginning. To say it's been the biggest challenge in my life so far would not be an overstatement. But now, even though we're still not pregnant, my heart is so full with the love and support from those around me and the hope for our future. I have been changed irrevocably through this process. But I can honestly say, with true happiness, that I would not change it for anything.

God has shown Himself so powerful, loving, kind, and most of all patient with me, and I am confident in His goodness and plan for our lives. This has been a blessing in disguise. Goodness, I never would have told you even 5 or 6 months ago that this has been a blessing. But now, I say it wholeheartedly. This quote I found today sort of sums up my feelings:

"It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars."

The "stars" that I can see now are so important to me. I couldn't see them before this. The future is bright... irregardless of what the future holds. I am finally at peace. I anticipate struggles in the future, but I can rest in the fact that no matter what, God is good, and He has our best interest in mind.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hope


"Hope is both the earliest and the most indispensable virtue inherent in the state of being alive. If life is to be sustained hope must remain, even where confidence is wounded, trust impaired."

- Erik Erikson


P.S. I have an appointment with a repoductive endocrinologist in Orlando on May 21st! :-)