Thursday, December 15, 2011


The test was positive. The beta HCG was 109. Wooo hooo.

She will have another test on Friday to make sure it is doubling like it is supposed to. I am remaining cautiously optimistic. But really I am thrilled.

I will post more when I know more.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Blood draw

They drew Tierney's blood at 8:30 her time. We should know in a few hours. If it is positive the first sonogram should be in about two weeks. I am going to try to go to Little Rock, Ark to be there for that. Still waiting, waiting, waiting........

Monday, December 12, 2011

Update......looking good

My awesome carrier Tierney said some food smells are making her nauseous. She did a test this morning and it was negative. But, she did one tonight and it looked like two lines which would make it positive. It is still a bit early. The official blood test is on Wednesday.

When I was doing fertility treatment I tested a lot. It can make you crazy though. There is a whole website dedicated to the different types of home pregnancy tests. It is if anyone is interested.

I will update when I know more. I am sure Tierney will test again to see if the lines get darker. waiting, waiting, waiting........


The waiting continues. I do have to say I think the waiting is a bit easier this time than it was with my 8 ivfs, 9 iuis and 1 fet. I think it is a little easier because I am not trying to decide if every little twinge I feel is anything. Since it is not inside me I can't feel it but it will still be upsetting if it doesn't work. It has taken so much to get to this point. I started the surrogacy process in February. It has taken until now to get to transfer the embryo. If it doesn't work we will do a frozen embryo transfer (fet) but I am hoping to find out it did work by Christmas. The test is on Wednesday.

Julianna and I went to see the Nutcracker at Hofstra yesterday. It was a lot of fun. Julianna LOVED the ballerinas. She got a bit antsy just before the end but we did have a great time.

I hope everyone is enjoying the season!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Embryo Transfer Completed!

Well, the embryo has been transferred. They called me just before to discuss the embryos. None of them were perfect. A few were just under perfect. They asked me again if I wanted to try two. I did think about it for a minute but decided to stick with one. They froze two yesterday and three more today. The rest stopped developing. That is normal. They tend to weed themselves out. So I have 5 frozen embryos if this doesn't work. If it does work I will find people to adopt the embryos. I do not want to destroy them.

We will find out if it worked in 8 days. My carrier said she may test early. I hope she does.

Here is a picture of the embryo. It is a 5 day blastocyst. I think it really looks a lot like Julianna did at that age. She has changed a lot since then though. We will know before Christmas. It is pretty exciting.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Things moving along

Today is our embryo transfer. As of Friday there were 11 embryos growing. They are going to transfer the best one into my gestational surrogate today. She made the trip from Arkansas to Texas safely. We are all excited that today is finally the day. They will call me just before the transfer to talk about the embryos and give me one last chance to decide on transferring one or two. I am firmly on the side of one. One healthy baby is best in my opinion. That will reduce the chances of complications and premature babies. I am hoping it works. I will know before Christmas.

We have been enjoying the season. On Saturday we went to breakfast with Santa along with Grandma and Pop- Pop. Sunday we went to the children's party for my job. Julianna had a ball and couldn't believe that Santa knew to give her the Rapunzel doll and horse that she wanted.

I know I am feeling better because I braved climbing up to the top roof on my house to get lights up there. I am not as spry as I used to be but I still managed to do it. Our house has tons of lights and Julianna loves it. Of course the roof will probably be a solid sheet of ice when it is time to take them down, then I will find out how much balance I have.

I still have residual issues from the breast cancer treatment. I still have the hernia and that will have to be fixed at some point. I still have neuropathy and some GI damage. I still do not have eyelashes. However, they are all things I can try to ignore and move on. My ovary scan showed a cyst on my ovary and fibroids in my uterus. It does not appear to be ovarian cancer or a metastasis of the breast cancer. I still have to go to a gynecological oncologist. I would still like to have my ovaries removed. I will see what they say.

I am thrilled that Julianna should have a sibling at this time next year. I had so many issues with the idea of her being alone. I know everyone says she will be fine. I am sure that is true. She doesn't have the issues, I do. She is also very happy about the idea of a new baby. She would prefer a sister. I explain that she could get either a brother or a sister but she is sticking to sister.

Keep your fingers crossed for a successful transfer!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I have had a lot of people ask me to update the blog, so here goes.

I had the port out in June. I was very happy to have it out. I have a pretty big scar but the port hurt and now it is gone. So that is good.

It appears I may have a hernia from the DIEP surgery. I went to a specialist to have it checked. He said it feels like a pretty large hernia. He said it is because I had had previous abdominal surgery. I have a scar from my c-section which is low and horizontal. I also have a scar from an appendectomy that I had when I was 18. That is a vertical scar and it meets the c-section scar. This surgeon told me it was pretty much a guarantee that I would develop a hernia after DIEP with these previous surgeries. He said I was not a candidate for the DIEP because of this and they should not have done it on me. He sent me for a CT scan to see what was up.
I had the CT scan. It showed the area still has a very thin, maybe 1 - 2 mm of muscle membrane holding it in. The surgeon said I can have it repaired now, as we previously scheduled, or I can wait until it tears all the way through. He said he guarantees it will, but he is not sure how long it will take. He said I will get a better repair if I wait because we are then certain where the weakest points are. If we do it now there is a possibility it may have to be redone in the future. I decided to wait. It does hurt though. He said to take advil for pain and come back if it gets unbearable.

When I had the CT scan it also said that my ovaries were prominent and that my endometrial lining was markedly increased. It said that it needed to be further evaluated due to my breast cancer history. I was made menopausal from the chemo but that has recently reversed so I figured it might be due to that. I went to my gynecologist. She said I need to get ultrasounds, both abdominal and trans vaginal and have ovarian biopsies. I told her I would just rather have them out and sent to pathology but for some reason she does not agree with that. I am going to get the ultrasounds and then I am going to look for a good gynecological oncologist for a second opinion.

I have certainly had enough with breast cancer so I want them out no matter what. If there is a malignancy that would obviously be horrific but since there is no way I can have another baby through my own body I really don't see the point of keeping the ovaries. Ugghh.

I go to Dr. Citron regularly for checkups and everything seems fine. That is good.

My Dad is progressing with his Alzheimer's disease. Tough to deal with. We do go see them very often. He enjoys seeing Julianna and we all do have nice visits.

My plans for having another baby have been progressing. Everything is moving along and we are looking at an early December embryo transfer. It has been a very slow process and I am so excited about it. I am hoping that the ovary thing is nothing big. If it does turn out to be malignant I may have to cancel the embryo transfer and that would be heartbreaking in so many ways.

I am trying to keep my mind off all the medical stuff and enjoy life. Julianna is going to be a skunk for Halloween and she is very excited about it. She says "I turn around, shake my booty and spray you!" It is super cute. She has a Halloween parade at school and I am going to leave work a little early to take her trick or treating.

Happy Halloween!!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!!

I hope everyone had a great Easter. Julianna and I had an awesome day.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Oncologist And Other Things

I had my check up with the oncologist. I had a physical exam as well as blood work. Everything is normal and that is great. I told him I am still very tired. He said I should try to do heavy exercise every day. I think that is a great idea but it has been hard to do. I am tired and I don't have that much time. I did rejoin my gym and I am hoping to get there more often.

I still have my port. I am hoping to get that out soon. It has been hard to schedule. I need someone to drive me due to the anesthesia and someone to watch Julianna. I am hoping to coordinate that soon. I had it all set up twice and they cancelled my procedure.

I also went to the breast surgeon. All was normal and I do not have to go back for a year now!! I was worried that the implant side might be leaking because the shape changed a little. Dr. Kostroff thinks it is just settling and doesn't feel anything suspicious. She said the only way to tell for sure is with an MRI, but she said it is very unlikely that there is any problem. Because I have only one implant I have nothing to compare it to. I must say I like the side with my own flesh much better. It is warm and much more natural. The implant side is cold and uncomfortable. I may do another flap in the future, I am still deciding about that.

Julianna had pneumonia and strep. It was a bit harrowing. She was fine when I sent her to daycare. They called me about 11 am to tell me she has a 101 fever. I zoomed over there to get her. When we got home I gave her motrin and I called the pediatrician to make an appointment. I got an appointment for 2:45. She was playing and seemed ok. I then heard a weird pleuritic rub sound coming from her. It sounded almost like she burped but it was coming from the side of her chest. It was only occasional. I called a few medical friends to ask them what they though about that. They asked if she was in any distress. No, she was not. She went in for a nap and then woke up about 2:15. Perfect timing for our appointment.

When I was putting her in the car I noticed that her hands looked mottled and her lips and nail beds were cyanotic (blue). I freaked a bit and was considering taking her right to the ER. I decided to go to her doctor since it was 5 minutes away. As soon as we walked in she vomited all over. I told them she needed to be seen right away since she was getting bluer. They brought her right back. The doctor said we needed an ER right away and had the nurse call 911. I called my friends at work to make sure they were sending someone great.

The doctor gave her a gram of a broad spectrum antibiotic. He said something big is going on here and it is moving fast. Her temp at the office was 102.7. She liked the ambulance (genetic?) and we had a great paramedic.

When we got to the ER her temp was 104.8. Her color was a bit better. They did a chest x-ray, blood, iv and rapid strep test. The strep test was positive. The chest x-ray was not read by the radiologist until the next day but was positive for pneumonia and reactive airway disease. About four hours later she made a great recovery and we were able to go home.

She had bacterial pneumonia which was actually good because it responded very quickly to the antibiotics. After all the years of being a paramedic I can truly agree that it is very different when it is your own child. We were really lucky that the pediatrician was so proactive and that everyone else was really good.

She is feeling great now. Today was her first day of soccer. She was the only girl there and she was awesome. Its fun to watch three year olds try to play soccer. They all sort of do their own thing. It is very amusing.

Other than all that, I have been working and enjoying life in general. I take care of my Dad every other Friday so my stepmother Betty can get a break. That is not too hard but it is sometimes emotionally tough. I take him to lunch and hang out with him. He continues to deteriorate. Alzheimer's is a rotten disease. Julianna loves to see Pop-Pop and Grandma. I know she knows that Pop-Pop doesn't interact just right, but she runs over to kiss him pretty frequently. We enjoy our visits.

I hope everyone is doing well. Thanks for all the help and positive energy! We love you all.

Julianna in the Er with her specail arm IV cover. This was when she was feeling better, just before we went home.

Monday, March 14, 2011

What's up?

So, I haven't posted here in awhile. What has been happening?

I still have my port. It was supposed to be removed but the surgery was cancelled due to bad weather. Paramedics show up in snow but apparently doctors don't. I am hoping to have it out sometime soon.

I have finished everything! I went back to Dr. Kostroff (breast surgeon) and I passed the exam with flying colors. I go back to the oncologist on 3/28. I will have blood tests and an exam. I will not need any scans unless the tumor markers rise, and that is not expected. It is possible, but statistically the chances are low.

As most people close to me know, my biggest emotional upset about the breast cancer was the fact that I would not be able to have another baby. It was a huge blow. I didn't want Julianna to be an only child. It upsets me for her, but also for her potential children who will never have an Aunt, Uncle or first cousin. My family and extended family have always been very important to me so it was so sad to think she wouldn't have that.

So, good news! I have retained the services of a surrogacy agency. I am going to have a baby but a surrogate will carry it. It will be a gestational surrogacy. That means, the egg will not be that of the surrogate. We will do invitro fertilization and the embryo will be placed in the uterus of the surrogate.

It is similar to an adoption, but different too. We will be able to do a pre-birth order so my name will go on the birth certificate immediately. Also, the agency sets it up so I will be able to room in the hospital with the baby.

I am waiting to match right now. I do have one potential match. There is a distance issue there but I may be able to overcome it. That surrogate lives in Tennessee. She sounds awesome and it may work out. She has been a surrogate before and that is great.

So, it will be great to change this blog from one of sickness to one of life! Keep your fingers crossed that it all works out!

Me and Julianna