Another canceled cycle

Well my friends I am feeling SUPER frustrated with my body right now. Last Tuesday my estrogen level was only 26, by Friday it had doubled but only to 50 (which is still super low) and by Monday, after 7 days of Gonal F injections it was only at 59. So here we are and another cycle canceled. How my estrogen got to 900 last cycle I have no idea. Plus that was 1.5 weeks after stopping injections… so weird! I will be going back around Day 23 this month as well to see what it does. If there was one teeny tiny small win out of this whole thing it was that somehow I got a natural cycle. And it was a long one too – 7 days!

Anyways, with that I think I am done with the easier, less aggressive treatment cycles. I am going to talk to my doctor about taking the month of September OFF. I need some time to reset my body – I’m even considering doing a Whole15 to really detox my body of bad food – and then in October I want to start more aggressive treatment cycles with the goal of doing egg retrievals and potentially even multiple egg retrievals. If we can find some sort of treatment method that works for me and makes my body recruit follicles and eggs than I want to get as many of those eggs OUT of my body as soon as possible.

So that’s the latest update. I am so frustrated by this body of mine. I keep hearing infertility stories about couples in their mid to late thirties and I want to scream out loud until I’m red in the face that I’m only f*cking 27 and this is such f*cking bullshit.

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Quick Update

Hi everyone — quick update! I did my 5 days of Femara / Letrazole (and felt totally fine on it – no crazy emotions like with the Clomid!) and now I’m on day 3 of my Gonal F injections. My belly is getting a little sore this time and I have some small bruises.

Anyways, I went for my bloodwork on Tuesday morning after my first Gonal F injection on Monday and I got my results this afternoon. My estrogen level is super low. 26. That is so low. I don’t understand how it can go from being 400 and too high for me to start the Femara just over a week ago and now down to 26. It’s crazy.

The nurse told me to not worry about the number and it doesn’t really mean anything other than I haven’t started recruiting a follicle yet. I know we’re doing at least 8 days of injections this time before canceling the cycle so I will continue with my injections and go for more bloodwork on Friday morning and hope that estrogen number starts to climb a bit…

Other than that I’m feeling totally different this cycle. More relaxed and feeling more ‘whatever will be, will be’ this is the last ‘less aggressive’ treatment plan we will try before moving onto much more aggressive IVF-type protocols so it will be interesting to see what happens since none of us ever would have guessed my estrogen would have climbed to the 900 level it was on Day 23 last cycle OR that I would get a natural cycle for the first time in months.

What are you up to now body!?! Only time will tell! I will check back early next week for another update 🙂

Cycle Day 4… time to start on the Letrazole (Femara)

So I was supposed to start taking Letrazole (also known as Femara) yesterday but my estrogen levels were still too high (in the 400’s) as of Monday’s blood test so I held off. Yesterday my estrogen levels were down in the 200’s so I started the Letrazole today. I take it for 5 days and then start Gonal F injections again on Monday. I got 12 days worth of injectibles this time so hopefully using them for longer will help stimulate my body to recruit a follicle. Clearly my body did start to do *something* last month since my estrogen level was in the 900’s on Day 23 of my cycle but my progesterone level on that day was also too low for ovulation so this is definitely an anovulatory cycle, which at least I’m still having a cycle, but I just wish it was related to an ovulation!

Anyways, I am trying to be much more easy going about this treatment cycle. Last time I booked my vacation to coincide with my cycle in case I had to go in for an IUI but it just stressed me out more trying to coordinate around my vacation! I can book a last minute flight if I need to go down and I will cross that bridge when we get there! For now I will just focus on taking my medications, going for my blood tests and remembering that whatever will be, will be. My body did SOMETHING last cycle or else my estrogen levels never would have went so high and I also wouldn’t have had my very first natural cycle since November 2015 — that’s huge for me!! So I know it’s just a matter of finding the right combination of medications before the money runs out… I’m just so grateful we have some coverage to help out with this experimentation phase.

And fingers crossed the Femara/Letrazole doesn’t make me as crazy emotional as the Clomid did. That was not fun!

A long awaited update

Hi hi! Ok, I know it’s taken awhile to update after my doctors appointment on August 8 but a lot of things were up in the air and I wanted to wait until I had more answers. Well I still don’t have very many answers and have no idea what my body is doing, but I will try to update anyways…

On August 8 I told my doctor that I’d recently found out that through our new company we have $10,000 towards fertility medications ($5,000 each) and we want to use ALL that money on trying with *my* eggs. If we do donor eggs we can always do that in a few years and take the time to save the money.

So, with that in mind, she wants to try one more less aggressive cycle before moving onto the more aggressive medication cycles that are similar to what you see for patients doing IVF.

Right now, it’s all about finding some medications to stimulate my body to recruit a follicle and less about doing IUI vs. IVF. We just need to figure out what meds will do SOMETHING to my body and then go on to either IUI or IVF depending on what exactly those medications do, how many follicles are created and etc.

Anyways, we decided to do another Gonal-F cycle but this time we will do Letrazole instead of Clomid for the first 4 days and we will also stim for longer, at least 8 – 10 days. There is a lady in one of my Facebook groups who has very similar numbers to me — 0.07 AMH, 29 FSH and she got pregnant on just Letrazole and an IUI. So my doctor said we’d try it.

Before going back on HRT I had to go and get my baseline bloodwork done and low and behold my estrogen levels were super high – over 900. My doctor called me on Friday to say this likely means my body is trying to recruit a follicle and have lots of sex and I’ll likely ovulate in the next week or two.

Then this morning I woke up to a bleed. WTF!! On the positive note, this is my body getting a cycle and a bleed all by itself – that’s good. And it just happens to be exactly 28 days after my last cycle. On a negative note, based on my progesterone levels last Wednesday I had not ovulated, which would make this a non-ovulatory cycle.

Anyways, regardless of whether it was ovulatory or not it sounds like my next treatment cycle will be starting way sooner than originally anticipated. Since I was expecting to have to take HRT to induce a cycle I didn’t think treatment would start again until mid September. With this latest turn of events I will be starting this week.

Oh, and for right now I’ve decided to hold off on the referral to Vancouver. The reason being, I really like my doctor and the nurses at my current clinic and I don’t feel like dealing with the whole ordeal of switching clinics right now which will require more baseline testing and orientation appointments and blah blah.

If and when we decide to pursue IVF we will definitely do it through Vancouver but for now while we’re trying these different medication combos I will stick with the Kelowna Fertility Centre.

Will be back later this week with an update!

Our fertility meds were covered by benefits!

Popping in from my vacation to share the amazing news that I just logged into my online banking to see a $900 reimbursement from my health benefits for the Gonal-F medication! They also already reimbursed me the $63 for the Clomid but I had to send the Gonal F receipt in since it was over $600. This is almost unheard of, very few benefit plans actually cover fertility stuff in Canada. Upon further googling it seems like Great West Life (where my benefits are through) is pretty good at covering fertility drugs and some plans cover up to $10,000 in medication! I am going to call my benefits provider next week and find out exactly what the coverage is.

Even better, my husband works at the same company as me so he is going to sign up for benefits as well so hopefully we can also get reimbursement through his benefits.

So even though this first cycle didn’t work and it cost us $1,713 ($963 for the meds and $750 for the ‘orientation’ appointment), we got almost $1,000 of that back so really it was only a $750 cost to us plus my travel. And any costs not covered by benefits such as travel and orientation appointments and such are a tax write-off.

This is a huge relief to know we can try more treatment cycles and try different combinations of medications and not have to worry about draining our own savings account (at least not as much).

I will report back after my doctors appointment on August 8 about what next steps are.

Cycle Cancelled

Chatted with the nurse today and the recommendation from the doctor was to cancel the cycle. No scan on Sunday and not taking my last two Gonal-F injections. I didn’t get the full details of my results but I know that my estrogen continued to go down and my progesterone dropped considerably which is a sign that the medications were not stimulating my body to ovulate – or even to recruit a follicle.

Anyways, I am heading off on holidays tomorrow and I’m gone all next week. I’m going to attempt to take a break from thinking about the whole infertility thing. On Monday, August 8 I have a phone appointment with my doctor and I’m going to be asking for a referral to Genesis Fertility Clinic in Vancouver and pursue IVF through them this fall.

Thanks so much for all of your messages, good thoughts and support during this first treatment cycle.

The results thus far…

Your results on July 25th = Estrogen 253, LH=41.2, Prog= 6.5

Results on July 26th = Estrogen 198, LH=42.5, Prog= 9.3

Normal hormones before stimulation are- Estrogen= <200, LH= <5,  Prog= <2

Your day 3 hormones were (these are from January) = Estrogen= 243, LH= 27, Prog=  not done

The above was an email that came in from the nurse this afternoon. Because she is 1.5 days delayed getting my results due to me living in a teeny tiny rural community she has only had Monday and Tuesday results so far. On Monday my estrogen level was 253 and on Tuesday it was down to 198. That is the WRONG direction, estrogen!!

The nurse did say that it is quite possible my body is just stimulating slower than others, which has been known to happen. I’m to keep taking my 150 dose of Gonal-F each night for the next three nights and also get bloodwork done tomorrow and Friday. I’m also booked in for a scan on Sunday morning at the fertility clinic in Kelowna, but we may cancel that depending on what my blood work looks like over the next two days.

So back to waiting and getting poked with needles. I’m giving myself an injection each evening, getting my blood drawn every single morning (which is another shit show in itself – I have to go to the hospital at 5 AM to get my number and then I go back at 7:30am to wait and then usually don’t get my blood drawn until about 8:15am. Thank freaking god I only live a couple minutes away from the hospital.) and I’m getting acupuncture every second day so I am just getting poked with needles like crazy right now. I might spring a leak soon!

Anyways, back to the waiting game. I am not feeling optimistic at all but I guess all I can do now is wait and see…