Life Family and the Pursuit of Sanity

or… adventures in infertility and babies and family drama!

It wasn’t meant to be, and other nonsense fertile people say February 25, 2009

Filed under: Infertility — arminta @ 2:25 pm

One of my friends from childhood, with whom I stay in contact, had a miscarriage this week. I feel terribly for her. Thinking about her and her experiences this week has reminded me of all the insanely stupid things fertile people say when they learn of either a miscarriage or other infertility issues. For this reason, I’m posting a guide of shit not to say to a woman who’s just lost a child, and the response they should give you if you’re stupid enough to say any of the following things. This also applies to general infertility as well…

1) It just wasn’t meant to be: So, in effect you’re saying that all of the pregnancies that end in abortion were meant to be. All of the children born into abusive homes and bad family situations, they were meant to be. You were meant to be, but the thing I wanted and loved above all else in the world wasn’t meant to be. I don’t think I want to talk to you anymore.

2) God has a plan or It’s in God’s hands, or anything else insinuating God doesn’t want you to have a baby: Translation… God wanted my baby to die? God doesn’t think I’d be a good mother, but the abortions and abused children they are God’s plan? You must worship a different God than I do…

3) You’ll get pregnant again, or it’ll happen, just wait: I don’t want to get pregnant again, I want my baby, the one who’s precious little life has ended far too soon. It’s not like a puppy, you can’t just go get another one. There is not replacement for the one that died.

4) At least you weren’t further along: What the fuck does that have to do with anything? Seriously. My baby was somehow less of a baby because he/she was only 10 weeks gestation instead of 20? Without a doubt it’s much harder to deal with a miscarriage after you’ve heard the heartbeat, but seriously, do babies get more real somehow as they get bigger? Just because you didn’t love and care for and feel it growing doesn’t mean I didn’t, asshole.

OK, that is my reaction to these comments, although from speaking with others in similar situations, I can say I do not stand alone in feeling this way… So what do you say to a woman who’s precious child has died before she’s even had the chance to hold him/her?

“Wow, I am so sorry. I know there is nothing I can do to erase the pain of losing a child, but if you need anything, I’m here for you. If you want to talk, I’m glad to listen, and if you don’t, that’s OK, too. I am so sorry”

That’s it.


Baby Shower Season is Upon Us February 23, 2009

Filed under: Infertility — arminta @ 7:44 pm

So, I had this whole long bitchy post written about one of my cousins and her baby shower. I’m not going. I’ll send a gift. The rest is. not. my. business. I need to quit dwelling on other people fucking up their kids and lives and just concentrate on my little family in progress. It’s not selfish, it’s self preservation, and if they can’t get that, fuck ’em.


WHEW! February 18, 2009

So, new doc called me today. Apparently, she has been given the impression that I was worried. Why on earth would she think that? Not possibly because she said I might have cancer, then I’m anemic then… … … … …? Anyhizzle, she called today and apologized for the nurse not having full info last Friday. She also said definitely not cancer. WHEW! and again I say WHEW!

Now, the rational side of my brain knew that was the likely answer, and although I feel a bit of an ass now, I’m glad I was prepped for bad (while hoping for good). If I’d been all “everything’s gonna be peachy” then she’d called and said “oh yeah, you’ve got the cancer” that would have been way worse than how it went down. So, what’s that word I’m looking for? Right, WHEW!

I wish she’d have called with this news a little sooner, but whatevs, I’m not going to get pick snickety now. I’m feeling a little too, WHEW! to care about the little schtuff.

Here in southern Ohio it’s rainy and gray and cold, and I’ve never been happier to be in Ohio in February!


I really hate waiting… February 16, 2009

I think God must be playing some sort of cruel joke on me. He gave me an impatient personality, and then filled my life with one wait after another. For those of you dealing with infertility, you know exactly what I mean. Then add to that, more waiting to decide if moving forward with fertility goals is even an option, oh an wait to find out if you’re dying. I’m losing my mind.

The thing is, I can’t get my head around the cancer thing. It just can’t be real. The only thing that feels real about it, is how it’s impacting fertility plans. Obviously, if I’m dying I can’t have a baby. But, how could I possibly be dying? Since we don’t know anything for certain, yet, I’m choosing to believe that I’m not. But… I’m also researching the shit out of tests that need to be run and possibilities. I keep looking for that magical, “Oh wait, this really could be nothing” article on the Internet. As of yet, it’s eluding me.

So, since, I can’t think about anything else, here’s what’s going on in my head: New Doc is faxing lab work to me, I will take it to my GP and ask for her interpretation along with:

  • Blood test for calcium levels
  • Bone Marrow biopsy for plasma levels
  • Urine analysis to check for Bence Jones proteins

I’m continuing to do more research to determine if anything else needs to be done. If there’s anything I can do other than wait. Sure, I could be working, but frankly, I’m too keyed up to concentrate.

Hopefully we can get all of this out of the way in the next two weeks so it doesn’t mess up March being a Clomid cycle. See, what I mean, this is only real in as much as it affects the baby making.

Speaking of baby making, as was previously mentioned, the baby making sex has been quite monotonous of late. So, I gave G a birthday present of “love making” every day, as opposed to “sex” every day. Now with the cancer stress, I’ve been falling down on the job. He is being quite understanding, but I feel terrible for not delivering on a gift that’s less than a month old! Anybody out there have tips for keeping the sparkle while dealing with stress?


Off to the casino? February 14, 2009

Filed under: Fun Assvice — arminta @ 12:33 pm

Yes. The hubs has decided this is the best way to get me out of my funk, so I’m off to waste money I don’t have on drinks (might as well, since this is a no go cycle, now) and gambling. Yay…?


Updates of a nefarious nature February 13, 2009

Filed under: Rheumatoid Arthritis — arminta @ 7:38 pm

OK, not really, but I challenged myself to use the word “nefarious” in real life today, so there you have it.

I did hear back from the new RA doc’s office today. Here’s how the call went down:

  • Unidentified Nurse: Your lab results show that you’re very anemic.
  • Me: Really? I think Dr. W already told me that, though… There aren’t any updates that say, I haven’t been told about, yet, are there?
  • UN: Uh… no?
  • Me: Uh…no?! What about the results of the serum immunofixation test? Do I have the monoclonal immunoglobulins, or not?
  • UN: Well, the doctor didn’t write any notes about that, so I guess they’re normal
  • Me: Fax me the lab report, number is ###-###-#### *click*

Well, maybe I wasn’t THAT rude, but I certainly wanted to be. OK, I was kind of rude, but COME ON. I already knew I was anemic. It’s one of the diagnosis codes from my last visit. Sure, I’m concerned about the anemia, but I’m just a little more concerned about what is causing the anemia. I didn’t get the lab report though, but that’s a whole other story.

So, here’s what I’m assuming… the definitely cancer came back clean. Which is good. That means if it’s cancer (as it still could be) it’s not far progressed. It also means more than likely I have the monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). So, I attended some Google med-school classes and learned the following…

MGUS is diagnosed if Mutiple Myeloma is ruled out by certain conditions being met:

  • M Protein is less than 3 g/dl
  • Less than 10% plasma cells present in bone marrow
  • No Bence-Jones proteins present in urine
  • No Lytic Lesions (wholes in bones)
  • No Anemia, Hypercalcemia or Renal Failure

Now, I’m thoroughly confused. I don’t meet all of the conditions above, seeings how my M Protein spike and anemia are what started this whole nightmare. There’s been no talk of testing urine or bone marrow.

So, now I’m thinking I need to get all of my test results and take them to my family doctor and get her opinion and interpretation. The nurse who called, obviously wasn’t prepared to answer any questions. Meanwhile, I’m ovulating and am so confused. I am so confused.

Earlier in my life I would just take doctors at their word. I’d assume they knew best and would order whatever tests were necessary. Then, I spent several long years being told that my daily pain and fatigue were all in my head. Then, I spent several more long years being told that timing was the reason I hadn’t fallen pregnant, yet, but just wait it’ll happen any minute. So, I don’t really trust doctors as perfect all knowing beings any more. I trust that they are doing the best they can with what they have, just like everyone else, but I’m quite sure that if I need somebody looking out for me, it needs to be me. So, I research and ask questions. I get really pissed though when doctors give me a small piece of a large, complex, scary puzzle then don’t follow-up with all of the facts needed to put the f’ing thing together.

OK, rant over. Not much else to report, it’s just been another scared, lonely day.


And the plot thickens February 12, 2009

Filed under: Rheumatoid Arthritis — arminta @ 2:42 pm

Alrighty, so ya’ll remember that I went to a new rheumatologist recently and she needed a lot of blood, yeah? Of course you do, and if you don’t please feel free to click the post tree thingy over on the left (Minta is not a pincushion, yeah, that’s the one).

So the results are in and they aren’t good. It’s taken me a couple of days to get to the point to be able to write this, they’re so not good. Here’s the basics:

  • I am Vitamin D deficient, despite taking a daily pre-natal and drinking loads of milk.
  • My white blood cell count is up, probably from the prednisone.
  • My white blood cells are small, probably because of the anemia.
  • I’m anemic, despite the daily pre-natal.
  • I have monoclonal proteins in my blood serum.

Do what, now? What the flip does that mean? Yeah, that was my reaction, too. Well, apparently auto-immune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, increase your likelihood of developing certain lymphomas and one of the tests she ran was to check for lymphomas. And it came back positive.

This. Can. Not. Be. Happening.

Right, but it is. So, no this doesn’t necessarily mean that I have cancer right now. It means that I need tests to find out if I have cancer right now, or if I have a disease that leads to cancer later. I am awaiting further blood tests; however, from what I’ve read online, it looks like I need to see an oncologist either way.

So, because I need to make lists in order to not go insane here is a list of the possibilities:

  • Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance: Not cancer, 25% chance of developing cancer later, causes osteoporosis, requires yearly screening for cancer. Best case scenario…
  • Multiple Myeloma: Cancer of the plasma cell, incurable but treatable, 5 year survival rates are rising rapidly but still under 50%
  • Other Lymphomas: Cancer, incurable
  • Amyloidosis: Not cancer (I think), causes organ failure by depositing too much of a weird protein in organs (again, I think), incurable

The other possibility… the test is wrong and I have no monoclonal protein. I tend to be more of a realist, and while I’m hoping like hell that’s the case, it probably isn’t. My doctor only gave me the top two as possibilities, I found the other two by doing my own research. My doctor says don’t worry, it’s probably the top one. For some reason that’s not terribly comforting to me.

So, here I’m dealing with this and ovulation is supposed to occur any day, now. I don’t know what to do. We’ve been trying for so long and I hate to miss any opportunity. On the other hand, I can’t do chemo while pregnant, plus what if I don’t make it, I can’t leave Gar to raise the baby alone, if we’re finally successful. I don’t know who to talk to about this. I feel so alone.