Friday, December 21, 2007

Looking Back

It has been such a long time since the last blog post! So much has happened.. where to begin?
Thanksgiving was great.. we had a nice (albeit L O N G) trip and saw both of our families. Maya had a great time visiting her cousins (and everyone else.. but the cousins were the highlight!). After returning from that trip, we hosted a fun holiday party. Unfortunately the weather was crap that day - we had several inches of snow and the roads were terrible.. so not the complete turnout that we anticipated.. but still quite fun. We collected Toys For Tots at the party and were able to fill a large box with donations, which was nice.
Not long after returning from our Journey to Thanksgiving, we embarked on Christmas Travels 2007. Why do we do this to ourselves? I don't know. Yes I do. We like to travel with our dog (I say 'we', I mean 'dh'). I love the dog, but I HATE super-long car rides.
It has been a great trip so far though.. we stopped in Cinci to visit some friends (we lived in Cinci prior to our move 3 years ago) for a night. It was so nice to see them - I miss you guys so much!! We then continued on to my hometown.. and here we are. Lots to do in preparation for Xmas.. plus my brother just graduated from college (congrats!! and PHEW! haha). We tried to make it to his commencement, but a snowstorm delayed us a couple of days and we missed it. :( We're planning a little post-grad celebration on the 26th to make up for it. :)

On 12/11, I celebrated one year of HEALTH! It was a happy and sad day.. the anniversary of my surgery which turned out to be the closing chapter of my battle with infertility. It was the end of years and years of pain and sickness and huge medical expenses.. but also the end to years of charting, procedures, injections, pills, patches, close relationships with REs and RE staff, POAS, hopes and prayers, devastation and tears. I don't think anyone who has not traveled that road would understand the turmoil of emotions resulting from this experience. Years of dealing with this - years of keeping hope alive through disappointment after disappointment.. it is a very difficult journey to end. Years of chatting with friends met on web forums who are in the same situation (one of whom I now am very good 'live' friends with!), whom I had to stop chatting with because my journey took a different direction. I could not visit any type of fertility-related site or blog after the surgery. I still can't do it. It opens up wounds that are just below the surface and haven't been completely healed yet. Will they ever be? I don't know. It's ok .. as my life has taken a path that I know is right for me and for my family. Don't get me wrong (though if you've been down this road, you likely understand completely). I love the process of adoption - I could not possibly love Maya more than I do, and I never think of her as anything but MY DAUGHTER. The grief is more for the lack of the experience of being pregnant. The unfulfilled instinct I guess. And maybe the issue with lack of control. Something that comes so naturally to most women.. for some reason was not in the cards for me. Not for lack of trying, for sure. It's so weird being unable to achieve something when you have achieved everything else in life that you have worked hard and aspired to do. It just seems so darn unfair.
Anyhow.. the anniversary of the surgery also brought a huge sense of relief to us, as we (mostly dh, as I was on major painkillers) had a big cancer scare at the time. The surgeons found and removed a large tumor from my colon during the surgery - something that had been making me very sick, but had not shown up on ANY CT or u/s tests. The general surgeon who was called in to perform the tumor removal and associated surgery (removed a few things that were feared to be affected by the cancer.. if it was cancer) was so sure that the tumor was cancerous that he could not look me in the eye when I asked him questions about it after the surgery. My gyn surgeon was so upset that she held my hand when she discussed it with me. She didn't seem like the hand-holding type. Poor Aj was completely devastated and out of his mind for a couple of days until the path results came in - negative! It was an endometriosis tumor. In a form that neither of my surgeons had ever seen or expected.
Alls well that ends well. The tumor was another proof that the surgery was very necessary and timely. It could have caused devastating effects on my health had it remained much longer and grown any larger. It had already caused me one trip to the ER (and they could not figure it out.. sigh).
One of my points in writing this is that if anyone reading this ever feels strongly that something is wrong with their health and they are not getting the care and attention they feel is necessary - GET ANOTHER DOCTOR!! My allowing doctors to blow me off and put things off for 'a year or more', etc.. led to this situation. My belief that maybe my doctor was correct when she told me that she had no reason to believe that I had endometriosis, though I had EVERY symptom that is listed for the disease, led to years of unnecessary suffering - and the early end to my fertility. Be your own health advocate!!!

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