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Infertility, Cancer and Everything In-Between

Usually I don't like to give a recap of the past week. It feels so structured and I feel like people quickly lose interest when they start reading "My Week in Review." But I was spending some time thinking about what I would write about and decided that this week was just way too eventful to not share it with everyone.

It all started when my dog ate my Juice Plus.

Have you heard of this product? Whole fruits and vegetables crammed into these gummy snack-looking things that are absolutely delicious and are supposed to change your life for the better.

My dog Toby seemed to think so too.

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I was driving home from work last week when my husband called me. "I'm going to kill your dog," he growled. Note he has said this same statement over the years for several different reasons:

“Toby ate your yoga mat and barfed up little pieces of rubber.”

“Toby ate an entire bag of trail mix complete with M&Ms.”

“Toby ate a bird.”

So, bracing myself, I asked what Toby had done this time.

He then proceeded to tell me the dog ate my entire bag of fruit Juice Plus that I had accidentally left out on the table. To put it in perspective, that's roughly equivalent to about twenty pounds of fruit. Luckily, he probably got too full to start in on the antioxidant blend containing all the grapes, which are toxic to dogs. We were warned that he may have diarrhea (he didn't) and that his coat may become extra shiny and vibrant (it did). So now I am out of my fruit gummies for this month and Toby is probably the healthiest dog on the planet. I decided to get him back by posting this embarrassing photo of him to all the Internet.

The next morning after that was my mom's surgery. In my last post, I talked about her recent breast cancer diagnosis, which sounds so weird to even write. She was scheduled for a lumpectomy last Friday morning and I had taken off work to be there with her and my dad. About three days prior, I started having some muscle spasms in my rib cage. Usually these come every so often, last a few seconds, making me suck in my breath, and go away. They started coming more often lately, and I was waking up with spasms so bad in one area that I would have trouble catching my breath. So I did what all nurses do and I promptly ignored it. The fleeting thought that this may in fact kill me crossed my mind a few times. However, Friday morning, to my dismay, I found I could only take the shallowest of breaths upon awakening and realized something may really be wrong. So I cried, panicked, scheduled an early doctor appoint, changed my mind and found myself driving to the emergency room at the hospital where I was to meet my parents at in two hours for Mom's surgery.

The doctor told me he wanted to work me up for blood clots from the monstrous amounts of hormones I've taken over the years for infertility treatments.

As soon as I said the words "chest pain," I was whisked inside the triage area, bombarded with questions and strapped to machines, which was not helping the pain when I breathed. The doctor told me he wanted to work me up for blood clots from the monstrous amounts of hormones I've taken over the years for infertility treatments. The tech came to do an EKG; the nurse started an IV and took blood. All the staff agreed on one thing: "Whatever you do, do not tell your mother you’re here."

My husband ended up calling my dad and my mom was informed that I was having a migraine and "would be there as soon as possible." My blood work came back negative, the chest X-ray was normal and the doctor concluded that I was not in fact going to die of a blood clot before I see my firstborn, that it was in fact just gnarly muscle spasms. I grabbed my prescription for Ativan to help me sleep at night, and the nurse and I flew out of the ER to the main part of the hospital so I could go be with my mom.

RELATED: Pregnant ... With Breast Cancer

The surgery went well, even though it was delayed a few hours. We just found out that the cancer did not spread to the lymph nodes, leaving her essentially cancer-free. But this past weekend was emotionally exhausting. My mom's positive attitude is such a blessing, because this whole breast cancer ordeal is terrifying.

On the plus side, I started on blood pressure medication again. My last IVF cycle included dexamethasone, which is thought to improve egg quality. I spent a good month at the end of 2013 with dangerously high blood pressure and headaches as a bad side effect and was able to bring it down on medications. Since then, I went off the medication but my blood pressure has been sitting around 140/90, causing some concern with this upcoming donor egg cycle. My blood pressure has finally come down, making everyone involved happy, and the only thing left to do now is await my next cycle at the beginning of October to make final plans for an end-of-October transfer.

Enough for you? I feel like I've experienced more in these past few weeks than I have in the last few months. This muscle spasm scare has gotten me thinking about all the hormones I’ve injected, inserted or rubbed into my body and what the long-term effects of all this will be. It’s a thought that is never far from my mind as I continue to endure treatment after treatment. Hopefully it will all be worth it in the end.

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