Friday, August 22, 2008

::recovery::

Well, I am the proud owner of just one ovary. An ovary with some endometriosis growing on it at that! My right ovary, which was twice the size of the left one, was removed along with the tumor that was attached with it. The tumor was definitely an endometrioma, thank the Lord! No cancer. My uterus, which had had a thick lining and was worrying us about precancerous cells, was absolutely fine. So thankful for that! My left and only remaining ovary is in good shape, but does have some endo growing on it. I'm still kind of in a blur as to what will be the treatment options for that since yesterday was such a haze, but my husband tells me that when I go for my post-op appointment, the doctor will discuss putting me in medically induced menopause for a few months to stop the growth of the endo. After that, we have an optimal chance to try to conceive. We do have other factors in our infertility, so we would still be praying for a miracle, but we'll definitely try and pray!!

Thanks for praying for me! The recovery time yesterday was NOT fun, but I am at home now and resting. My have three incisions and the one that is over the spot where my ovary used to be is a lot larger than they had planned, and it is the one giving me the most pain, but we're getting through it. I'll be laid out on the couch for a couple of weeks, but my husband is a huge help and is waiting on me hand and foot. My mom is here taking good care of my little baby boy, so I am thankful for her. I don't have to worry about anything but getting better.

Speaking of....I just took some pain meds, so I better stop here before I start typing goofy stuff.

Thanks for praying, friends.

XOXO
glenna

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.

XOXO
glenna

Friday, August 1, 2008

::for a friend::

Please pray for Allison!!


(A real update from me coming soon--I promise!)