Yesterday, I was walking to a meeting downtown and I walked right past the building I needed to be in. Overshot it by a few blocks before I realized that I had. Thus making me late for my first meeting on the day. One of those everyone turns-around-and-stares-at-you kind of late.
I should probably note it was the fucking state capitol building that I missed.
Once at said meeting, I ran into a colleague who asked me really quizzically, when are you due? I kept thinking she said what do you "do" and I was so surprised because I thought for sure that information was old news. No, she said when are you due. Because women never forget, do they, when you share good news. So I explained and she sighed. And we hugged. And that just about threw the rest of my day off. Never mind I had to head straight to another meeting and give a pretty detailed presentation to my Board of Directors. That went ok. At least that what my co-worker (and friend) told me. I was on auto-pilot. I really couldn't tell you. I hope someone took notes on what I'm supposed to do.
It's the weekend of my cancer remission anniversary, and these last few years, this seems to evoke more of a melancholy than a joy. 21 years cancer-free. Tomorrow. Woo. Now if only they wouldn't have fucked with my ovaries. I bet they would have been just fine where they were.
I had this sick, sick thought the other night, post-sex, post hearing chicklet's amazing news...I was thinking, oh my gosh, maybe, just maybe. You know where I'm going with this....and then I remembered that I could actually see the surgical clips where my ovaries should be on my last HSG.
Surgical clips don't ovulate, no matter how much estrogen you feed them.
To combat this funk, I just signed up to be part of study I learned (thank you, FertileHope) my very own clinic is doing on the effects of cancer treatments on female fertility (short answer: it seriously fucks with it). I told them they could mine my medical records for any and all info they thought could be helpful. Just have at it. They said word. Sent consent forms, asked me to schedule an appt to talk.
This weekend also marks two years since our first visit to that fertility clinic. I have to laugh. We tried to play it off so cool. Oh, we're just checking out our options. If it looks promising, we'll see what can be done, if not.... If not what? We're funny. We crack me up.
This weekend also marks the five year anniversary of this really cool thing we did once upon a time. Sure, I'll link out. Anonymity be damned.
It's also M's sister and M's grandmother's birthday weekend.
M and I have reservations to go to this fabulous restaurant tomorrow night to celebrate (with the help of an Xmas gift cert from M's sis). But I would like to get into a better frame of mind before then. It's far later on a Friday morning than I would like to admit right now. Not only am I not at work, I am not even bathed. Fell back asleep after M left for work after an almost 100% sleepless night and only woke when my acupuncturist called to see if I was ok. Completely forgot I had an appointment this morning. Shit.
So, I'm take the day off work, hopping in the shower, calling my acupuncturist back, opening some windows and trying to take some deep breaths. Today, I am alive and for that, I should be thankful. I'll get there. I will.
Reading about the effects of your cancer treatments on your fertility reminds me of my cousin.
At 11 she had a tumor at the base of her spine. It ended up being benign (if I'm remembering it correctly) but was in a really tricky place, surrounded by all the nerves that make up the end of the spinal cord.
So she also had radiation. And in order to keep her from going into early menopause, they moved her ovaries.
The difference- no one told her it would affect her fertility until a month before she got married. Unlike your experience, she has gotten her period for the last twenty years, so there was no reason for her to suspect there was anything amiss. She went in for her yearly and to get a refill on her BC. A well-intentioned nurse said "Why are you on birth control?" My cousin was confused- until the nurse explained that the way her ovaries now were would not allow her to get pregnant "naturally".
I haven't shared what we're going through with IF treatments with many people in my family, but since she will need to explore the whole IF world if she wants to have a baby, I hope that I can be a support to her...
Cheers to 21 years cancer free. My husband will be 15 years cancer free this year and I do understand that it can be very melancholy. Huh, I wonder if there is a study like that on male infertility...I'm on FertileHopes mailing list, but don't remember seeing anything like that. I know it isn't a consolation, but maybe your history will help women in the future.
This august will mark my 35th year as a survivor and my 13th month of knowing I am infertile. I know that is short in the time span of many but I got a late start at trying for other reasons (how that haunts me some times is another story...if ONLY I had started trying sooner....)
I have spent many times wondering "what if". What if I never had cancer, what if it had been treated differently, what if I knew then (When I was 3) what I knew now....all of the questions are reason enough for melancholy that is for sure. It is often hard for me to realize the momenuous achivement being a cancer survivor is. I was so young when I went through it all I barely remember any of it. But now, 35 years later I am fully aware of the repercussions. We are blessed to be alive but some how it doesn't make any of the rest of it easier.
The study you are participating in sounds interesting. I am goign to check it out and see if there is anything similar in my area.
Oh that sounds like a really hard day. I hope your day off works a mini miracle, as in having a few moments where things click. If I could make the clips ovulate, I totally would :) You'd be the first to know!
I know a lot about feeling and being slightly off.. and really walking past a state capital building is very much the normal thing to do because most of us never go there unless on a school trip. I am really glad by the way that people like you are walking into them and telling decision makers important stuff. I gather you work with folks that I also work with, and if I have the right folks in mind, they probably don't really pop in for an informative chat with their representatives on a regular basis. I had wondered about doing a video based 'letters' to congress project, but then I moved overseas.
I've also been having a month of wondering if if if.... and then hear myself working in my missing ovarian matter into the most every day conversation, generally with very bad segues.. I think I am still a bit unbelieving of my reality some days.
Thanks for the brave link too... i jumped straight to the Oregon reviews;) What a WOW site and trip! Congrats on being cancer free... even if there is melancholy as well as joy.
Your trip (and website) look amazing. Congratulations to the cancer-free anniversary, but many hugs as well.
Hope the there's some better moments ahead - taking the day off is a step in the right direction!
Jesus, you've been through a hell of a lot...
I'm not surprised at all that you're feeling a bit melancholy. I know what it's like to have your whole day pushed off it's axle just because someone simply asked a question. "When are you due?", "Your second child?" etc etc etc.
I've been on autopilot for the last two years, but, for me at least, it's time to start living again.
I hope you'll be saying the same soon...
At least the presentation was good :-)
You have been through so much, and obviuosly you dont need me to tell you that.
I have faith that you will "get there".
So many milestones, so much accomplished, so much survived...I can see why you'd be feeling melancholy. I'm glad you're here, that you are a survivor, and I hope you're able to relax before your amazing dinner with M.
I've been to your trip blog before (did you post something about it at FN?) and that journey of a lifetime blows my mind. You're like that girl I always thought I wanted to be, doing the amazing when everyone else is working crap jobs just for a paycheck.
Sounds like a challenging day for sure.Congrats with the cancer free anniversary, hoping that tomorrow is a better day.
I'm in awe of how much you have lived and experienced, and I'm so sorry that it hasn't all been good. No wonder you're feeling melancholy. It's only natural with such big life anniversaries. I'm glad you're here to share your story - I love reading your blog.
I can relate to those intrusive questions when you least expect it. They just throw your entire day off kilter and there's no way to get your equilibrium back.
I hope the day off helped to bring the joy within your grasp again.
How very overwhelming. All of it. Of course you're feeling a little "off".
just wanted to wish you congratulations on being cancer free so long. is that even the right word? I know it left scars, but you kicked cancer's butt -- that is amazing.
also that link to your super cool trip you took is awesome. most people never have that kind of opportunity.
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