Monday, August 4, 2008

::back to the infertility drawing board::

It's so time for a real post.

I was wondering what to do about this blog. I mean, I'm kind of in the "already-not yet" phase of my journey with infertility. Already a mom, not yet pregnant. I have been amazingly blessed by the adoption of our son Isaiah--I can't tell you how it has filled that need to be a mom. I AM a mom, even if I didn't give birth.

I was listening to a Caedmon's Call song recently titled "Sacred". For the first time, I listened to it as a mother (I used to skip it all the time), and I was so choked up I couldn't sing along.
Here are the words:

this house is a good mess
it’s the proof of life
no way would I trade jobs
but it don’t pay overtime
I’ll get to the laundry

I don’t know when
I’m saying a prayer tonight
cause tomorrow it starts again

could it be that everything is sacred?
and all this time
everything I’ve dreamed of
has been right before my eyes

the children are sleeping
but they’re running through my mind
the sun makes them happy
and the music makes them unwind
my cup runneth over

and I worry about the stain
teach me to run to You like they run to me for every little thing

when I forget to drink from you
I can feel the banks harden
Lord, make me like a stream
to feed the garden

wake up, little sleeper
the Lord, God Almighty
made your Mama keeper
so rise and shine, rise and shine cause
everything is sacred

and all this time
everything I’ve dreamed of
has been right before my eyes

Yeah, I'm a little sappy, but as I look at piles of laudry undone, stacks of unwritten thank you notes, mail spread out on the dining room table, and the tiny little guy lying next to me on the couch, I am thankful for my mess, for this little one who makes me a mommy.

So I wondered what to do with this blog. I mean, technically we still try to conceive. There is still in my heart a desire to conceive and give birth. I don't know many women who don't desire that at some point in their lives. But, it's not at the forefront of my mind like it was. I struggle even to know what day of my cycle I'm on these days! I guess that's a good way to not stress about it, right?

About two weeks ago, I had a doctor's appointment with my obgyn for my yearly well-woman exam. I told her in passing that I had been having really painful cycles over the past 6 months or so, followed by intense, acute bloating like I've never felt before. I thought maybe I was making it up--maybe I was being a baby about the pain, you know? But, my doc decided to order an ultrasound just to be safe. I thought maybe she was blowing it our of proportion and I immediately thought, "great, I'll have to pay for a procedure that will show that everything's fine. waste of time and money. bleh." My doctor also ordered a lipids and glucose panel since I'm 27 and haven't had one of those done in a long time. (oh goody, now I'm a candidate for the cholesterol talk.)

Today was the day for my morning of appointments. I went in and had my blood drawn first while I was fairly bursting from all the water I was required to drink for the U/S. After having my labs done, I went for the U/S. The tech did the first part on my belly, and then I was thankfully allowed to empty my bladder and have the internal wand used for another angle(always a joy). When I came out of the bathroom wrapped in the sheet, I hopped on the table and got situated in everyone's favorite position: the stirrups. I'm used to them, so I wasn't concerned. What I did notice is that the U/S tech had turned the screen away from me so I couldn't see what was going on (not that I would have been real sure what I was looking at anyway). I thought, "hmm...odd." Then the U/S took a reeaallllyy long time. At one point I got a tiny peek at the screen and saw a plethora of measurements on the screen. Uh-oh.

I was allowed to clean up and leave for a while (to get a snack since I had to fast for my labs). I was to return in 45 minutes to meet with the doctor. Fortunately, Starbucks was only about two blocks away. I sat and drank my grande Caramel Macchiato and tried not to stress.

When I returned, the doctor came in pretty quickly and sat down. "Glenna, you have a mass on your right ovary. It's not a cyst, it's a tumor."

My heart stopped beating for a second.

She immediately said, "I can see in your eyes that your mind has immediately gone to ovarian cancer and that everyone dies from that." She handed me some tissue; I didn't even realize that I was crying.

"Don't freak out, " she said with her hand on my arm. "While I can't guarantee you that it's not cancerous, I really think it's probably an endometrial tumor. But we have to do surgery to take it out. And I don't really want to wait that long. You have to know that there is a good chance that I have to remove your ovary as well. I will try to save it, but I may not be able to."

By this time tears were streaming down my face. She started to tear up, too, and said she knew this was hard to take. She hugged me really tightly (I have a great doctor, by the way!) and tried to reassure me.

She showed me one of the 40 million U/S pics of my tumor and compared it with some pics of cysts (I apparently have several of those lovelies, also). The cysts were transparent and smaller. The tumor was a bigger (but still relatively small) solid mass. She went on to explain more.

"I think this is definitely a factor in your infertility. I know you have other issues, but I think this tumor is NOT helping. Your other ovary is healthy and you can function and still possibly have children with it (depending on the other infertility issues). I'm SO glad you didn't blow off the bloating issue. I'm really glad you mentioned that to me when you were in last."

She kept reassuring me and comforting me and then took me to the lab for more bloodwork in preparation for my surgery. My procedure is scheduled for August 21.
I called my husband (my rock of a man who is always just what I need) in mess of tears and emotions, and he just wanted me to hurry home (I was a good 30 minutes away). After spending the day talking with him, family, and friends, I am feeling better about this tumor. Stupid tumor, but I'm coming to terms with it. The good news is that I am young, healthy, and my other exams were fine, so it is very unlikely that this tumor is cancerous. It's still a possibility, but I'm trying not to focus on it. I'm a little more concerned about losing my right ovary when we already about about 37 decks of cards stacked against us when it comes to conceiving. Thankfully, God gave us women TWO ovaries, so maybe leftie here will work overtime and give me a darkhorse chance to have a biological child.

Nothing like more infertility grief when I was conveniently distracted by the adoption of our beautiful son. But you know what? God was not surprised by this tumor. He can and will make good out of this situation, and I pray He receives all glory for whatever that is. While I struggle not to fret and worry, I repeat in my head the words, "I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth!" Thank GOD I have a Savior who is alive and well and who will carry me through this.

He is good, all the time.

Even though I fret about losing any tiny chance I had left of conceiving, I get to look at this every day.

I covet your prayers.



Lena said...

Stupid Tumor is right!!! Not like you need this right now. Glenna, I am not sure what to say- but I will keep you in my prayers.

erin said...

Wow, Glenna, what a stupid, stupid, tumor indeed! I am so sorry that in the midst of the blessings and joy you've been experiencing that this has happened, but I know without a doubt that God will use this, and I pray He will strengthen and protect you. He IS good all the time.

Joannah said...

I will pray for you.


Melba said...

Wow, this is unsettling news to be sure. I will definitely keep you in my prayers!

Fertilized said...

oh glenna, you are in my prayers

These Three Kings said...

Psalm 32:10 says.."Many are the sorrows of the wicked, BUT he that TRUST in the LORD lovingkindness shall surround him"

I am praying that our GREAT King, FAITHFUL protector continues to grant you grace to see things from HIS perspective. Keep watch for your enemy that wants you to doubt HIS goodness during this time.. I am so sorry for everything..but THE LORD who created you and formed you in your mothers womb..CREATED YOU SO PERFECTLY..HE knew about this all along..HE IS SO WISE, and SOVEREIGN..
I pray he gives your doctors muc wisdom in caring over you :)

gracechild said...

WOW! you could knock me over with a feather right now. I'll be praying for you. My God, our God will continue to hide you in the cleft of the rock & spread His loving wings over you. He formed your inward parts (ps139) and by His stripes you are healed in Jesus name. Amen

Lauren said...

I'll say a prayer for you. Your baby boy is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Hi Glenna! I'm an avid reader of your blog and just wanted to comment on this. I'm very sorry to hear of your news. :( I pray that the tumor is not cancerous and that the doctor does not need to remove your ovary.

If you do have your ovary removed, you are not alone! I have one ovary and conceived after IVF. Endometriosis is why my husband and I couldn't conceive... not b/c I'm missing one ovary. My ovary actually did beautifully during IVF - I produced 18 eggs with the little guy!!

Stay strong and keep the faith! Your little boy is so beautiful!!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.


amy said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you're having to deal with this. Remember that your Jesus is just the same now as before the u/s. He is sovereign. He is loving. He is good.
You're in my prayers. Keep us posted.


Anonymous said...

Hi Glenna:

So, I've been following your blog for a while. You're in my prayers and do keep the faith. I also have multiple reasons why my husband and I are having fertility issues (all my issues) and two years ago was informed I had a cyst on my right ovary. During ultrasound it was changed from cyst to tumor cause it wasn't clear. Needed surgery and informed they might have to take out that ovary and was so scared, but through prayers of so many family members I was able to grow my faith. Was scheduled for a labroscopy (the 1hr incision) and informed if I wake up and find out I had a laprotomy (the full C-section style incision) then my ovary was removed. I did wake up with a full incision and noticed I'd been in surgery for 4 hrs but somehow trusted I was fine. Turned out it wasn't cancerous and my right ovary was intact but now there was one more fertility issue. I had scar tissues, like endomitriosis on my right side and partial blocked right tube :). They had to open me up to scrape (my Dr exact words) out the scar tissue and the exam showed the tumor wasn't cancerous. It also showed the tissue wasn't my endomitris (now I have doctors wondering why I have a scar tissue with no prior surgery or injury history; more issues). I know the only reason I took all the news without breaking apart was cause of all the prayers surrounding my surgery. You're in all our prayers and prayer really is the master's key. Christ started and ended all things with prayer. Hang in there. It helped me knowing that a couple of my friends' mums had one ovary and some have seven kids post suregery. Didn't know that pre tumor but they all called and shared their stories after their kids informed them about me. I guess what I'm trying to say is, the Lord knows what he's doing. I'm believing that he's chosen us for great miracles. One that the world can never doubt that his hands are on it. One we'll always know that he never left our side. I ask of him, for you, like I ask for me, that he gives you all the resources and strenght you need for this journey. Keep the faith!

Prov 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he'll make your paths straight.

Anonymous said...

ughhhhh. sometimes being a woman seems WAY WAY WAY harder than being a man. not like i'd know. but anyways, i'm saying a prayer for you today.

xo xo wileywomb

Jen said...

Oh my goodness, Glenna! Stupid Tumor! I'm glad you had the foresight and courage to speak up about what you were feeling and a good doctor who got to the answer and who wants to rectify the situation immediately. We'll definitely be praying! I admit my heart skipped a beat when I read tumor, but it sounds like the prognosis is good and your attitude is great. Please keep us updated!

Alex and Jill said...

Bless your heart...this is a lot to hear all at once.

Well, coming from a girl with only one ovary, they tell me our chances are as good as those girls with two. :)

I'm praying for you, girl!!

God has this...


andrea_jennine said...

Oh, Glenna! I will definitely pray for you. I'm so glad that you didn't blow off what you were feeling and mentioned it to your doc. May our Savior give you great peace as you face this medical curveball.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled onto your blog, my husband and I have been ttc with treatments for 4 years we have lost 6 babies, triplets just 2 weeks ago. We are now considering adoption, and the fact I just "found" your blog to me seems like God is talking to me. We have looked into adopting but I have no idea where to start. If you have any advice I would Love to have some. My email addy is
In Christ, Amy

Jessica said...

You are most definitely in my prayers. I'm sorry things are so tough right now! But thanks for sharing so we can all lift you in prayer.

Isaiah is one lucky kiddo to have such a wonderful mom!

Lorrie said...

I've been reading your blog for a while, but have never left a comment. You are so inspirational in your faith, and I have no doubt God will use you for many great things to come. I came across a verse in Jeremiah (ch. 17, v. 7) just yesterday. I hope it helps you as it's been helping me.

"Blessed is the person who trusts the LORD. The LORD will be his confidence."

hopefaithlove said...

Just read this, I had a tumor on my left ovary when I was 16, they thought it was a cyst and went in to remove it and it ended up ebing a tumor, they removed my left ovary. I actually conceived my DD on my own with one ovary, it was not until we started tryig for #2 that we were dx with infertility. GL tomorrow, I will be thinking of you and I am sure it is not cancer.

Reversal of Tubal Ligation said...

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