Monday, October 13, 2008

Raining and Pouring

I'm really starting to think that either I'm cursed, or the universe is laughing hysterically at the fucked-up-ness which has been my life as of late.

But, I'm not laughing. Really.

We things were starting to settle down-got my repeat mammo (nothing suspicious, and I get to go back in 6 months for an update-yay!), I actually have a prospect of a new job in a great, blue-ribbon district (although I'd be adding a commute, I'd be a fool not to take the job if it's offered to me), I'm doing another show (Beauty and the Beast), we're gearing up for another cycle, probably within the next few months. We thought that finally things were stabilizing.

But something wasn't right. And it wasn't with me, or with Sean, but with Buddy.

We noticed, after we returned home from vacation in July, that he was going through his pee-antics again. We actually had to rip out the carpet in the house because it was just out of control (which really wasn't a bad thing, now that I'm looking at the finished floor), but we also noticed that he was vomiting more frequently. He also looked as if he'd lost a bit of weight, so off we went to our regular vet, where it turned out that he actually lost two pounds. He did a slew of bloodwork, found nothing, so we thought perhaps he had some bug. But, to me, something wasn't right.

About three weeks ago, Buddy started having diarrhea-at first it was the typical kind, but then it quickly became watery and bloody. He was up and down constantly to the litter box, and looked even skinnier, so we went to the emergency clinic. They diagnosed him with colitis, gave us some antibiotics and told us to follow up with our vet. Our vet x-rayed him and found nothing, but he wasn't getting better, so he referred us here for additional testing. At this point, Buddy was listless and not eating, drinking water but just going from the litterbox to the bed, and whimpering, so two days after our vet visit we went to the animal hospital as an emergency. We were there for five hours (it turned out that he lost another two pounds-not good), but the staff was awesome. They did tons of tests on him (and had to keep him overnight) and found, though ultrasound, enlarged lymph nodes in his colon, which they took samples of and tested them.

And found out that he has lymphoma. Our options were: meet with an oncologist, take him home, where he'd pass on, or euthanasia. So, we met with the oncologist, but we had the feeling that we were going to hear that we should put him down.

Needless to say, we were both a mess. Couldn't eat, didn't sleep, cried constantly. He's our baby-we got him three months after we were married, so he's our first, and so sweet. We weren't sure that we could make the decision to euthanize him, but we didn't want him to suffer.

The oncologist we met with was wonderful. She examined Buddy (who put on a little show for her, flirting and being cute....the most active he'd been in two weeks), and recommended a 25 week course of chemotherapy for him. Although lymphoma insn't "curable" like other cancers are, it seems to be the easiest type of cancer to treat in cats, and they respond pretty well to the therapy. The doc gave us a 50-75% remission rate, and said that she felt that if he responded to treatment we could have up to another two years with him. She said that we don't have to make a decision that day, and she'd send us home with some prednisone, but we had to make a decision within a week of starting the pills. She left us alone, and we talked about it. We had to give him a chance, especially since he seemed more alert that day than he'd been in weeks.

Ultimately, we weren't ready to let him go. Perhaps that's selfish, but there it is. We had to give him the chance to fight it, to live. So, we started the chemo that day.

The doctor recommended four weeks of treatment to start, and an ultrasound on the 5th week, which will check the lymph nodes in the colon. If the nodes are shrinking, then the treatment is working and he's going into remission. If not.....well, then we have to discuss this and make decisions.

We're already seeing a difference in him. Luckily, cats seem to tolerate chemo much better than humans-they don't lose their hair (most often, just their whiskers, which grow back after chemo is done), or suffer from sores. We've noticed that he's a little tired and out of it after a treatment (all injectible, btw-the last week is an IV infusion, but he's usually done within 30 minutes), and not as hungry, but he's doing really well. He's back to his old tricks, and his appetite has rebounded (helped by the prednisone and an appetite stimulant) to where he's eating a 3oz can within 24 hours. The only problem we've seen is that, although the diarrhea has stopped, he seems constipated (poor guy), so I called the hospital and they recommended adding pumpkin to his food to help things along. When we went for his treatment yesterday we mentioned it to the doc. He examined Buddy and let us know that his intestines seem okay, what's in there is soft and nothing is blocked. He said that the straining he's doing is due to the lymph node enlargment, but to continue the pumpkin until he starts to go normally. He let us know that because he basically didn't eat for two weeks it's more than likely that he's absorbing most of the food and not producing enough waste for him to go yet, but he will.

And how are we? I feel better making the decision to go through with it (although people I know have told me that we're crazy to do this)-it's not as outrageously expensive as we thought (less than $100 a treatment), and if we have to give up going out to dinner and spending money on fripperies for a while, it's worth it to have this cute kitty, who is curled up next to me as I type, around for a few more years. It's a committment on our part, with giving him meds at home (which is a joy, let me tell you) and taking him to appointments every week, but I look at it this way. If people make a committment to have an animal share their home and become part of their family, then you have to follow through with that responsibility-whether it's cleaning up poop or vomit, or take care of a sick animal. You can't have all the good and none of the bad. That's not to say that people who make the decision to put their animals down are not good people-everyone's decision to do that is a personal one, and I can't judge someone for that. We made the best decision for us right now, and we're hoping for the best.

It was also interesting to note that he started treatment the day of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, who is the patron saint of animals. Hopefully that's a sign that we made the right choice, and that he will go into remission.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


In all of my various postings, I've never written about September 11th.

I think that, for a lot of people who lived near the sites of the terrorist attacks, it isn't easy to talk about. It's hard to explain to someone who lived hundreds of miles away what it felt like, the chaos, the fear. And, to be honest, in some ways I also don't have that direct experience, compared to many who lived in Lower Manhattan (like Shelli, or my uncle and his friends), or some friends of mine who were actually in the Towers at the time of the attacks, and managed to escape-they had a first-hand experience that I never, ever want to have to go through.

I had just started teaching (I was in my second week of school), trying to get acclimated with the whole school routine for the first time. Sean, who was celebrating his 30th birthday that day, had started a freelance gig working at NYC Fashion Week, and had already left for Manhattan to get to a call on time. We had made plans for dinner that night, and went our seperate ways.

It was in the morning, I was on my prep time, and I was sitting at my desk when the principal came in and asked to see me outside in the hallway. She then told me and the art teacher that two planes had crashed into the WTC, and into the Pentagon, that it was a terrorist attack, and that we needed to go into a lockdown situation. I actually didn't believe her at first; in fact, I thought that it was a drill. Then I suddenly realized that Sean was in Manhattan, and told my principal that he was there. She immediately said to me, "Go" I remember going upstairs to the Teacher's Lounge and seeing a television on, with a group of people huddled around it; this is how I saw the first tower fall-through a grainy transmission on an old TV set. Then the phone calls started-from my parents, my brother-in-law, my mother-in-law...."Have you heard? Where's Sean? Has he called yet?" Of course, I had NO IDEA. And I was started to panic.

We were three weeks from celebrating our first wedding anniversary.

Since the cell phone reception was sketchy due to overloaded lines and connection problems, it was difficult getting through to anyone in the Tri-State area. My uncle lived (and still does) about 12 blocks from the area, my aunt worked in the Chrysler Building, I had friends who worked in both Towers........and we had no clue if they were were okay, or if there were going to be more attacks in Manhattan.

I went home, and turned on the news. I saw the second tower fall. And, I waited.

The phone rings. Different voices, different people calling. Have you heard? Can you believe it? Do you know if they're okay?

I have no answers for anyone. I can't stop watching the images on the screen; the dust clouds, the destruction, the fear in people's faces. I can't move from the couch.

It's completely silent outside. No cars driving down the street. No kids playing outside.

No sounds of planes in the sky, which is the norm here, being that we live less than 10 miles from Newark Airport. And that unnerved me most of all, that day, and in the days afterward-lying in bed and not hearing that drone of airplanes overhead. Of hearing nothing and wondering if more was coming.

I remember, distinctly, the sound of helicopters overhead. I ran outside and stood on my front steps, along with my neighbors, to see military helicopters swooping overhead, rushing to guard the refineries that are a few miles away......refineries that supply gasoline to the airport. And, I remember seeing the fear in people's faces, the fear that I'm sure was mirrored in my own face.

The phone rings again. It's 3pm. It's Sean, finally; calling from a payphone in a Midtown bar. He's okay, thank God. He's not sure if he can get home, since there's no public transportation allowed in or out of Manhattan. The company he's working for are planning to put them up in hotels, but he's going to try to get out if they open the trains up.

I don't want to stay in the house alone. What if there's more coming? But, what can I do? I have no choice.

And so....I wait.

Hours pass. The television is still on. More phone calls-uncle is okay, aunt is home and okay. So and so got out of the Towers; another friend, luckily, didn't have to go to the complex that day because her meeting was rescheduled at the last minute.

I can't eat or sleep. My stomach is in knots. Will we have to go to work tomorrow? Yes-the district decided that schools should remain open, to give the kids a sense of normalcy. Yeah, right. Nothing will ever be normal again.

Finally the door opens. He's home-scared, dirty, and sweaty after a three hour wait at Penn Station. He managed to get the first train out of Manhattan. We hug. We cry. We give thanks that he's home and okay.

That's what I remember. Like I said, compared to many who witnessed the horror first-hand, it's fluff and trite. But still, it's something that I'll never, ever, forget.

May we always remember.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Squash and Repeat

Well, I guess I spoke too soon...

I got a letter in the mail about my boob-squashing results. Apparently, they found something "inconclusive" about my right breast, and I now need to go for a repeat mammo and ultrasound.

Yeah. You've read that right. Did I freak out? Slightly, considering that my grandmother had both breast and ovarian cancers (which she eventually passed away from, at age 61). I called the gyno's office and spoke to them about what the report said, and they told me that I shouldn't worry too much (yeah....riiight), because repeat mammograms happen A LOT when you get your baseline. It also seems that I have "dense breast tissue" (shit, I could've told them that one-my cans are huge and always have been, even when I was a skinny 110 lbs in college), which makes "inconclusive" results more common. Luckily, I'm pretty fanatical about doing self-exams, so I know that I haven't felt a lump anywhere. But, that letter was like a kick in the gut.

Of course, the first thing I thought of was the shitload of fertility meds I've taken over the years. The RE's all have said that there's no correlation between taking IVF meds and breast cancer; but, let's be honest here-there's no way that they definitely know one way or the other. Did I open myself to a risk that I shouldn't have? Perhaps. And, the sad thing is, I was getting this mammo not only for my regular gyno, but also for Dr. Pipsqueak as part of my IVF checklist for another cycle. Now there's a possibility (a small one, but one nonetheless) that I might never do this cycle.

So, I have make my appointment to go back next week, once I get my period (because there is NO WAY I'll go near that thing with sore PMS boobies). Of course, there is that slight possibility that I won't get my period, but.....well, we won't hold our breath on that one.

There's the story......not the funny one I started writing (which is still in my drafts). Once the dust settles, and I find this shit funny and not scary, I'll post it.

Until then, make sure that you don't neglect your tits, girls. There's my public service announcement of the day.

Friday, August 29, 2008

No Guarantees

I'm a bit sad today, since this weekend marks the end of the summer, and the end of my summer vacation. Back to the grind, starting on Tuesday (with the kids coming in on Wednesday).

While I'm usually more than ready at this point to go back to work, I'm finding that this year, for the first time, I've felt that the time off was too short, and I don't feel at ALL ready to start. I half-heartily went to my schools, set up my spaces, but it was a struggle. I don't want to go back and begin all the mess and politics and bullshit. But, I have to.

I also, stupidly, think every June that perhaps, just perhaps, I'll be pregnant by the time school starts in September. And, of course it doesn't happen, so I go back for faculty meetings with a flat belly and watch the other teachers congratulating someone else on their pregnancy or welcoming someone back from maternity leave. And then I feel like shit because I'm jealous and sad and then I feel even worse because the pg/new moms don't deserve me giving them the stink-eye. And then the vicious circle keeps going around and around....

I think that also, the beginning of every school year also brings to light the fact that I'm going to be a year older; and, when going through infertility, every year that you're not pregnant and every year that you're getting closer and closer to the dreaded 40 is another year further away from the dream of your own child. Now, I do realize that many women my age (and older) have successful pregnancies and births, but who knows if I'll be one of them. There's no guarantee. Sadly, infertility teaches us that nothing in our reproductive life is a "given"-all those assumptions of "fall in love, get married, have babies" just doesn't happen in our least, not easily. And, for some of us, it doesn't happen at all. And it scares the shit out of me that I might be that person-the one who never has that baby.

Of course, the fact that we're trying to get our ducks in a row for possibly another cycle doesn't help the floundering feelings that I'm having right now. Is this the right thing to do? Should we, or should we throw in the towel altogether? In a stupid, almost naive way, I'm not ready to give up yet. I always have the glimmer of that old crusty bitch Hope in the back of my head saying, "Weeeelllll, perhaps if you do just one more cycle....". But, am I torturing myself, or should I trust that voice? Is it intuition, or just delusion speaking?

And, the worst thing of this whole thing is that there are no answers. There's nobody that can definitively tell you yes, or no. I hate that the most about infertility-it's so indecisive, so ambiguous. I like answers, I like dealing with the concrete, not the abstract, which is odd given I make my living in the performing arts. However, infertility's not like researching a character for a play or delving into a solo in a major oratorio. It has a life of its own, very similar to a little child-unpredictable, and unable to understand things that are too complex.

So, what to do? Right now, it's the waiting game. We think that we will probably cycle again, but we need to be prepared; or, at least as prepared as we can considering the situation. Will it suck? Totally. Am I ready? Well, as ready as I can be. We just have to dive in again, instead of just sticking in a toe, then pulling back.

And, that's that.

Our next installment will be all about that lovely mid-thirties rite of passage that we women ALL look forward to......Our First Mammogram. Believe me, it's full of insanity that only I could have the joy to experience. Seriously.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Yeah, yeah, I know that I did say that I would blog more. I even make up posts in my head while driving, putting together dinner, during my acupuncture appointments. But, somehow, they never make the connection from my overcrowded brain to the keyboard. And, it's been bothering me as to why. Is it because I've got writer's block? Or does that signal the beginning of the end of this blog? Perhaps I'm all blogged out?

Nah. I've figured it out-it's because I'm a lazy bitch, that's why. I've taken a vacation from my infertility; or, at least, as much of a vacation as one can take away from a disease, I suppose.

I realized that this is the first year since we've begun riding the ART roller coaster that we haven't cycled in the summer in one way or another-either a fresh or frozen cycle. This is the first summer I haven't either been sticking needles in my body or have had to stick things in my girly bits in 40 months. That's over three years, people. Wow. It's really mind-blowing when you think about it.

Quite frankly, I've enjoyed my time away from the RE and the loss of privacy of my nether regions. I did "cheat" once, however,to update some bloodwork and do an OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test) to see what the deal is about those "PCOS ovaries" the RE found (no results as of yet, but we're also dealing with that stupid-ass IVF Coordinator); but, otherwise, it's been nice not being chained to the phone, my injection kit, or having to reschedule plans around an operating theater or an ultrasound wand. I like not having a sharps container next to the coffee maker, or my dining room table becoming a back-door pharmacy, full of fertility paraphernelia. I especially like that I can enjoy a cup of coffee ("half-caff", of course) in the morning without worrying that it will affect my egg quality. I can make love with my husband and not feel uncomfortable due to swollen ovaries (although we stupidly are still having Baby Making Sex), or not be able to at all because we're scared shitless of doing anything wrong during the 2WW.

I've especially enjoyed not having to hear the post-cycle BFN phone call, and subsequent follow-up appointment. That's been my favorite......but don't tell anyone.

However, all good things must come to an end, and we're contemplating going through with IVF#5. It's a lot like being a kid (or teacher!) during summer vacation-even though it's great not having to be in school, September is sneaking up and tapping us on the shoulder, reminding us that we will soon be back to the routine. We've had some interesting developments in our household as to exactly how we'll proceed with it (it's a little bit of a touchy ethical-type of subject to write here, so if you're REALLY interested as to the dilemma, email me and I'll explain it in detail-perhaps one of you out there might give me a different perspective, and I'll certainly welcome that). I've missed blogging, and I feel badly that I've not been commenting (although I have been catching up on reading posts), so forgive me. I will try my hardest to do better (that is, if anyone's still out there in the blogosphere reading this).

The only things that sucks about my Infertilivacay is that I don't have any outward physical signs of my time away from IF-no "tan lines", sand in my hair, that cool "beachy" smell your towel gets from the mix of salt air and sunscreen, with exception of the 15lbs or so that I've lost. Nope, the signs are all on the inside-I'm not stressed out, not worried, no headaches, no marital tension, no depression and anxiety. I've still been doing weekly acu appointments, and I can count on one hand the amount of headaches I've had (and the ones I've had are nowhere nearly as bad as they were). I'm not feeling the pressure to succeed that I once felt. Sure, I want a baby, and I want the whole she-bang-pregnancy, birth and all of it. But, I'm not beating myself up over it as much anymore. I'm not feeling the bitterness at seeing a newborn, and wondering if this will happen for me. I'm not as angry as I was at God, the fates, or whatever else is out there.

I think that I've come to that elusive place called "acceptance". It's not that we're giving up TTC, not by a long shot. But, I have decided that I refuse to let it rule over me and define what my life should be. I can't change the past, and I can't predict the future (oh, but I do wish I could, though-at least, in this case!), but I CAN control my present. And, I'm tired of letting infertility "tell" me that I can't meet with friends, go on vacation, or that I have to work a second job I wasn't happy in simply because of the "possibility" of a pregnancy and birth of a child. I've lived that way for over three years, and I've cheated myself out of so many experiences and opportunities. But, no more.

I've found out that you can take a break, and still be okay. Does this mean that perhaps I'll be okay if we decide to be child-free? I'm not quite sure. But, I do feel that, somehow, whatever ends up happening, it will all be okay.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Great Church Job Firing

Well, now that we've thoroughly documented the M drama, let's move on to #2, shall we?

Yep, the Great Church Job Drama.

Well, as I've previously posted, there was a BIG upheaval at church last year. Our pastor (who was there when I was hired 11 years ago) received a job promotion-that of Vicar-General of the Archdiocese (for those of you who aren't Catholic, a VG is like the second in command to the Archbishop in whatever diocese you're in-read more about it here if you're interested) back in February of last year, and his replacement in our parish just happened to be the former Vicar-General. It became apparent that this guy was a total tool job-he rushed through the Mass, started talking more about money than faith, was less personable, and sent out a "survey" to the parishioners to see what needed to be changed. Now, the survey came back with the music ministry having a 86% approval rating from the parish, and, of course, there were a few negative comments listed (as there always will be in situations like these). Monsignor decided to listen to these negative comments and began instituting changes to the music ministry. He wanted the service quicker, music "simplified" (ie. more cheesy hymns and more "modern" things performed), and wanted the music director (my friend A) to "streamline" the program. Well, A is not a "streamline" kind of guy. He doesn't feel that the Mass has to be 45 minutes or less, that music is an integral part of the worship, used to enhance and bring home the message that the presider is trying to send to the congregation. He used to plan the music a year in advance, using the lectionary and making sure that the music corresponded to the readings (something not a lot of directors do, trust me), or with whatever Sunday was being celebrated. We used to get SO many responses from parishoners about how beautiful the music was, how it helped them to pray, that it gave them the courage to sing from the pews-hell, we even had a Jewish woman who would come to the choir mass every Sunday just to hear the music.

Well, A could only take so much, and back in October he gave his notice, with his last day being the week before Thanksgiving. He could see the writing on the wall, and he knew that if he stayed he probably wouldn't have his contract renewed in June. Some people left with him, but most of us stayed, to try to make a go of it. The assistant was named as Interim director, but it quickly became fairly obvious that this guy was in way over his head. He's also a "yes" man, so whatever Monsignor wanted, he started to get-starting with the cheesy hymns at Communion, and rushing through stuff. People stayed through Christmas, then started dropping off (Sean and G among them). We quickly went from almost 50 members to around 20.

Now, A is immensly talented-as both a musician and a conductor-and, realistically we knew that it would be hard FOR ANYONE to fill those shoes. But, you'd think that the Interim, who A hired (and who he worked with at the Archdiocese Cathedral), and who'd been with us for 8 years, would have AT LEAST payed attention, and would be competent. The only competency I saw was in his big organ pieces (pre-and postlude), but with anthems and hymns it sounded like he was throwing in an elbow on the keyboard. He also didn't rehearse on his own with the organ enough, because at our weekly rehearsals he would spend almost an hour going over the Sunday music, not for the choir's benefit, but so that he could play it on the organ (which he invariably couldn't and would then switch to the piano for the rest of the rehearsal). I can only describe his conducting skills as one who is slapping away a cloud of flies-there was no clear downbeat (or upbeat, for that matter), no cutoffs, no entrances. In other words, it was starting to look (and sound) like a hot, steaming pile of mess.

But, I didn't leave-I wanted to give him a fair chance-and, let's face it, A didn't have a job and I didn't want to part with the money. However, I wasn't sure how long musically whoring myself would last, because I felt myself getting sloppy and developing bad habits......and as a teacher, those things just wouldn't be acceptable. The Interim also covered up his inadequecy by lying about things (for example, if I questioned where the choir should cut off on a sound, he would start babbling about the "English" vs. "American" cutoff.......huh? WTF???). Of course, I would constantly question him, because he would say one thing, then do something totally different. And succeeded in confusing everyone, and pissing them off.

Now, why didn't anyone speak up (besides me), you wonder? Well, because, to be honest, Catholics aren't usually the type to speak out. We're usually guided by the parish and by the priests-it's not like the Episcopal or Lutheran faiths were there's a council made up of congregants and clergy. Even though a Catholic parish is supposed to be about the people, unfortunately there's a "sheep mentality"-just following the herd. And, this church wasn't about that-it wasn't a Mass Factory, where you got in, put your money in the bin, got Communion, and got out. But, it was slowly becoming that.

Well, at the end of the year it all came to a head. We were asked to sing a Mass celebrating a Cardinal's (who was the former Archbishop before he was elevated) 50th anniversary of his ordination, which was to be held at our parish. We had a month to rehearse, but of course the Interim didn't really prepare and subsequently, we were rushing at the last minute. The Interim, unbeknownst to the choir (with the exception of a select few-the other section leaders and others who kiss his butt), hired ringers-professional musicians-to sing the Mass. And, we didn't know until an hour before the Mass, when they all showed up for the warm-up and rehearsal.

People were pissed-I was pissed! Two of these ringers were in my section, and I was the section leader, and I had NO IDEA! People were coming up to me and questioning me, and I had nothing to say to them. So, after the Mass (which I cantored, btw), I spoke to the Interim privately and told him that people were upset over this (me included). I told him that I had no problem with ringers-I've even done it myself, but if he needed extra singers, then they should've come to a few rehearsals beforehand, not the day of. I told him that the choir volunteer their time every week for two hour rehearsals, and that it sent them the message that he didn't trust them or their abilities, and it just causes bad feelings, and we couldn't afford to lose people.

I guess he didn't like what I said, because two weeks later (a week after he was named full-time director) I was fired by Monsignor (with the director looking on), after singing two masses. After being there 11 years, being married there. Just like that.

Well, as you might guess, I didn't go quietly. I told both of them off in the sacristy-I called Monsignor ignorant and told him he was running the parish into the ground, and I called the director incompetent and sneaky. Then, I proceeded to send an email to the entire music ministry (two choirs) and told them EXACTLY what happened. There was NO WAY that these people were going to make it look like I walked away, or that it was my fault. I was going to call them out on the whole thing, and let them have to explain themselves.

Here's the email I sent (and I'm leaving in the names of the guilty to expose them for who they are):

Hello all:
This is just a note to let you all know that today, after the 12:30 Mass, unbeknownst to me, was my last day as OLS as cantor/section leader, after an 11 year tenure.
In other words, I've been fired (or, as I was told "we'd like today to be your last day"). Why, you ask? Well, in a nutshell, I was told by Msgr Emery (NOT Glenn, surprisingly, since he WAS my superior, but I suppose one must let someone else do one's dirty work) that I wasn't part of what the parish needs in order to make "positive" changes to the music ministry. When I pressed as to EXACTLY why, since I felt that in my time there I have gone above and beyond what was in my job description as a section leader and cantor, I was told that it was because I'm not a "team player", not because of my work ethic. In plain English, because I refused to let our "esteemed" new director get away with incompetence, I was asked to leave. (I was also told that, given my non-salaried status, the parish needs no cause to let people go, so BEWARE anyone who gets paid-you might be next!!)
Now, I'm going to relay EXACTLY what I said to both of them. I told them that, although according to the parish survey (which was unfair to begin with) there was an 80+% approval rating for Allen and the music ministry, he decided to listen to a minority of parishioners who wanted changes. Although, as pastor he has the right (although an uneducated "right", but I digress) to make whatever changes he felt necessary, the PASTOR is representive of the PEOPLE of his parish, and ideally if the parish was happy, it seemed to be a case of "if it isn't broken, why fix it". I also stated that, in the many times that Sean has been out sitting in the congregation since he left the choir, almost NOBODY sings. Of course, Msgr disagreed, so I asked him if HE was sitting out there every week to hear it (of course not!!)-he said, of course, that he is going by the "feedback" of whoever has his ear (probably the same "people" that wrote negative comments on the survey....although now I'm beginning to wonder if there are any actual "people" to begin with and it's simply a case of autocracy at work). I also told him that by making changes for the sake of change has UNDONE 11 YEARS of work that both Msgr. Doran and Allen Artz worked so very hard to achieve. Of course I was told that it was "my opinion", but many of you have expressed the same concerns. Look at the travesty of the Carol Sing dress rehearsal, when this man had THE NERVE to try to give us a "pep talk" that only resulted in insulting people and alienating the Canticum Novum singers. Haven't you noticed the slow slipping in of the Gather Hymns at Communion every Sunday? Remember him saying to the choirs back in December that these changes were going to happen "only at the 9:30 Mass" (which was ludicrous to begin with)-but that THE 11 AM CHOIR MASS WOULD NOT BE AFFECTED by the changes. That didn't last, did it? The writing was on the wall well before Allen's resignation-we, in trying to be charitable and to give someone the benefit of the doubt, let this happen to the parish. And, this is coming from a man who, according to Msgr. Doran, "chose" OLS because of the music and liturgy? Why, so he can rip it all apart? He very clearly cares NOTHING about the music OR the liturgy.
As for Glenn (who was actually "hired" much earlier than he wants you to believe, and I know that for a FACT since he told someone that directly back after Christmas-another case of subterfuge, perhaps?): I told him that if I was being fired simply because I challenged him, then it was extremely unfair. Since Glenn has taken over as Interim, there has only been communication between him and select section leaders and cantors, and I was apparently not "privileged" to be amongst them. Let's take June 1st travesty as an example. How many people knew ahead of time that there were "ringers" coming in to sing the Cardinal's Mass? Not many, I'm sure. I can say that I, as the soprano section leader, WAS NEVER INFORMED. Why should I? There were only two of them in my section! I was as surprised and upset as others (I know that a few of you spoke to me about it), and I spoke to Glenn about it after the Mass, when I told him that, although I had no problem with ringers, I DID have a problem bringing them in AN HOUR before the Mass, when there are people who VOLUNTARILY give up their time every week to come to rehearsal. Why not have the ringers come to the last rehearsals? I felt, (and yes, it's MY opinion, however since other people voiced it I guess I'm not the crazy one) that bringing in ringers is demoralizing and insulting to people who, again, VOLUNTEER THEIR TIME EVERY THURSDAY NIGHT to sit through rehearsals. Quite frankly, it's not a good way to build morale in a group that is in desperate need of it, considering everything that's happened this year. I was told that it was okay because "they're musicians". I guess that was my final nail in the coffin-because I, not only as an employee, but AS A FELLOW PARISHIONER, dared to question, and dared to voice, yet again, what others were saying. I also told Glenn that even when Allen was director there were times that I didn't agree with things, yet EVEN THEN I voiced what I felt. And, although what I said didn't necessarily influence his decisions, Allen never shot me down or treated me as if what I said was inconsequential or invalid, which Glenn did not only to me, but to others (unless they were the select few). If that is a by-product of his insecurity as a musician, then so be it. I also said that he does not know how to effectively communicate (which is obvious since I was kept in the dark about things), assumes that OLS choir is a paid group in that he blows through music and refuses to teach parts (since there are quite a few non-readers in the choir) and assumes that choir members can just go home and plunk parts out on the piano. THAT is why people have left, and why people will continue to leave-because it's clearly a step back. And, once you've had the best, it's awfully hard to go back.
Basically, what I have said has fallen onto deaf ears, since I was told that it was my opinion. I was also told by Glenn that he, as a paid singer for 8 years didn't agree with Allen at times, but didn't say anything as it wasn't his place. I guess that's because he was too busy talking during rehearsals to notice (which is probably why his music was never marked either when we asked questions). But Glenn, is that true of JUST ME, or do you allow the other section leaders to have input? Or, do you take into consideration only CERTAIN people's input (and we can list them here, for we ALL know who those people are)? Not very fair of you, is it?
We have all known since Emery's tenure that there was a possibility of this happening-a "dumbing down" of the music program at Sorrows. Now, it's a reality. Allen, as an accomplished musician, teacher and director could ONLY TAKE SO MUCH of the watering down of the music, so he left (regardless of whether or not you agree with how it was done, many of you DON'T KNOW what went on behind the scenes to lead up to his resignation, so it wasn't a decision that was made spontaneously). And now, with Glenn being hired full-time, Emery has exactly what he wants-a yes-man who will water it down to not only make the boss happy but to make it easier for himself (which we've also seen slowly happening-pulling out music that we could do in our sleep for totally new music nobody's seen before that we're supposed to "wing"). A music director who cannot effectively get what he wants from his choir, because he has NO IDEA how to bring it out in them-he won't (or can't) teach parts, his conducting skills are subpar, his playing (with the exception of his prelude and postlude) is unrehearsed. How many rehearsals did we have to go through a piece over and over again not for OUR benefit, but simply because Glenn couldn't play it due to not rehearsing it enough with the organ? And, how many excuses did we have to hear as to WHY he didn't, or couldn't rehearse it? You know, for someone who is getting paid the salary that Glenn is being paid, it's HIS JOB to know that music, just as it is the paid singers job to have notes learned for a piece once it's been introduced. And, it's obvious that the parish isn't getting their money's worth with Glenn.
How about how he's treated the children's choir? I'm sorry, but as AN EDUCATOR, I would never talk to children as he has done. Yes, they were unruly at times, but a lot of it was due to Glenn and how he spoke down to them, and treated them. Going down from 50+ children to 19 at the last mass they sang with us is proof enough of that, regardless of the stunt he pulled about making those two girls get up and apologize to the Parish Choir. Way to go, Glenn-what a good way to build embarrassing children.
It saddens me that, after 11 years at Sorrows, it has to come to this. At one time, I really felt as if Sorrows was my "second home" Sean and I were married at OLS, and felt as if we were in a community of people who were caring and compassionate, but that has, sadly, gone off into the horizon. The reason that I'm writing this to you is that I don't want anyone to either hear untruths or come back in September and think that I resigned VOLUNTARILY in any way. I don't want Emery or Glenn to mislead anyone into thinking that it was my decision to leave, since we already saw that Glenn can do that (i.e.. assuming that George resigned and hiring another cantor BEFORE even speaking to George about it). I'm NOT going by my own choice. Of course, I will no longer be calling Sorrows "my" parish. I can't call a place "mine" when they basically chew you up, use you, abuse you, then spit you out. I got a double slap in the face - as an employee, being fired is bad enough, but, as a parishioner, being told that your services are no longer needed is like saying that Sean and I are no longer welcome in the parish. And this is coming from a CHURCH, which is supposed to be a "faithful" and "charitable" place to worship? Then again, there has been no worship in that beautiful building since Msgr. Doran left last February. It's just been a case of "get in, get out, get it done quickly and get the collection in". We've all felt it. Some of you have even said it privately. I was just the one who vocalized it, openly. And I got punished for it.
Whether or not you decide to stay at Sorrows is, of course, your choice. But, know that there will probably be more changes in the horizon, and they more than likely won't be good ones, given Emery's track record. If you can deal with it, and still feel as if you're still worshipping (since isn't that why there is music at Mass? To enhance and supplement worship?), then I give you a lot of credit. I wish you all of the best that life has to offer you, and those of you who want stay in touch with Sean and I, will hopefully do so. But, I can no longer be a parishioner in a place that was once unique and has now become just like every other parish. As much as Emery likes to say that he is celebrating "diversity", what he's doing is conforming to mediocrity by taking away the richness of the music, which allowed me to worship in a way that I hadn't felt in years, and which was also what kept me there for as long as I did. Whether that means that I find another Catholic parish that will fill that need, or make my way to a faith that will be truly "of and for the people" is my own journey to begin.
Please pass this on to anyone of importance that I may have missed in this email.
Thank you,

Am I upset? Sure-for a long time, this was my second home. I loved singing there. I loved the sense of community I felt there, not to mention the quality of music we did there (which is NOT the norm in most churches). But, really, it hasn't been the same there for a long time, and it created stress in my life when I didn't need it. It, quite simply, wasn't worth the money. Sure, I can always get another singing job, but I think I'll take a nice loooong break first. As for where to go to church.....well, that's a bit harder to delve into. I think that my expectations of the Catholic Church are too high, but I'm not sure switching faiths is the answer either. I guess I'll have to slowly get my feet wet and go to other parishes and see what calls to me.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Okay, so here's the down-low on what happened with M.....

Just a recap: M is (or was, I suppose) my best friend growing up. I've known her forever, and we were each other's MOH in our weddings, I'm her daughter's godmother, blah blah blah. You can read some backstory here, here, here, here and here. Oh, yeah, I forgot about this one.

So, to summarize, she's a bit of a Bridezilla. It's a second wedding (although her fiance's first), and they're inviting almost 300 people to the wedding, and doing it like it's the first time all over again. Which is okay (and not for me to judge, btw), but it's almost as if she's trying to forget that she already did the same thing ten years ago, albeit it with a shitheel.

Well, as MOH, my responsibility (according to that damn bridal etiquette) was to plan and host the bridal shower (that yes, she was still having, even though they both live together and have what they need). I was planning the shower with M's mother. The only thing that M wanted (or at least, what I was told) was to have the shower close to her home, so that carting gifts and such wouldn't be a pain in the butt, which I thought was fine. So, I picked a restaurant that was close (and I happened to know that she liked, since we'd eaten there numerous times), got a guest list from her mother (since the shower was supposed to be a suprise), who got it from Sexy J, and, with her mother's approval, put down the $200 deposit back in March.

Well, at the beginning of last month, I happened to call M's mother because I had a question about the invitiations (I was trying to do the invites myself to save some $$, plus I like to be a little creative), and I find out from her mother that there were going to be 20 extra people invited. Which the restaurant couldn't hold. Now, at the beginning, her mother and I went through the guest list we received and I was told who was invited and who wasn't (plus, Sexy J told me that anyone with the last names "Blah" and "Blee" should be invited). Her mother told me that it was only for family, and close friends, but NOT work people. Her mother also told me that it was a second shower, so it shouldn't be bit. Needless to say, this threw me for a loop.

So, she asked me if the restaurant would hold that many people, and of course I told her no. So, she said that M mentioned another place (which is MAJORLY expensive), and asked me if I could get my money back from the first place. Of course I was really pissed off, and I felt like I wasn't getting the full story, so I called Sexy J. I then get a SECOND story. He told me that M's mother let it slip where the shower was after M added the extra people to the guest list, and M said that she didn't want it there, she wanted it at the other place. So I told him that, as a SUPRISE SHOWER, she doesn't really get to choose where the shower is. He then said that he doesn't want to get involved, it's none of his business, blah blah blah. Then, getting pissed off, I called M.

She tells me the same story her mother does, but then I told her what her fiance said, and of course she changed her tune. She said that she didn't want the shower at the first place because it doesn't have parking (there are three parking lots within walking distance), and if they HAD VALET SERVICES, then it would be okay. Well, they didn't have valet, and I didn't think that parking was that big of a deal to say that we shouldn't have a shower there. I pointed out that the deposit was already put down (with her mother's okay) and it would've been nice to know that earlier. So, this was going back and forth for about three days-in the meantime, I called the restaurant about the refund AND called the other place-and then on Saturday, her mother called and asked about the deposit. I told her that the restaurant told me it was non-refundable, and she said that we would have it there, then-case closed. So, she calls M and tells her that.

M told her mother that if her bridal shower was to be there, she didn't want one at all. She'd do something on her own. Her mother called me back and told me that, and I lost it.

I told her mother that I had had it, I didn't want anything to do with the shower, or the wedding at that point. Then I called M and left a message on her voicemail, calling her a selfish, spoiled bitch and that she was lucky she was getting a second shower AT ALL, and that people were trying to do something nice for her and she was shitting all over it. I said I was through.

It was two years coming. I was at the end of my rope.

So, she called me back and we argued for about an hour. She told me that I didn't have to be in charge of the whole thing, and that "everyone else thinks you're running the show" and that I wasn't involving anyone (which wasn't true-her mother and I were planning the space, and everyone else was doing other things-how can people who don't live local to her know of any LOCAL PLACES). She kept going on and on about how people had to pay for parking, and that parking is hard to get sometimes, yet she kept asking about valet parking (although I did point out to her that it was a bit hypocritical to bitch about paying for parking in a public lot yet expecting people to pay out for valet). She said that OF COURSE she wanted me to be in her wedding, OF COURSE she wanted me to be her MOH, but OF COURSE she wanted what she wanted-it's her day, after all. So, she gave me the weekend to think it over, since she said that she didn't want me to make a decision based on being upset and angry.

So, I thought about it, and I felt upset, sure. I felt shit on, and I felt like I was being played (which I told her) and manipulated. But, I was wondering to myself if I overreacted, and lost control when I should have kept my head. Of course, she's my friend, and when friends argue, we say things in anger we don't always totally mean. So I was prepared to concede-NOT to the shower, but to say that you're my friend, it's your day........and I want to be a part of it.

Well, on Monday I went to her house, and we talked. She told me that she made some decisions:

1. She put Sexy J's sister in the wedding. She originally was in the wedding, but then pulled out after we went to look at the dresses, on the excuse that I "was running the show" (she didn't know that M and I had gone a few months ago to dress shop and found the one she wanted, so I was pulling out the dress and showing it to everyone, and I guess she didn't like it), but in actuality, it was because she was having issues with her brother. So, they apparently made up and she's now a bridesmaid.

2. I'm no longer MOH, but simply a bridesmaid. Her reasoning was twofold: one, because I hurt her feelings by telling her off, and two, because she felt that she put too much pressure on me, given everything I've been through this year (IVF letdown, my grandfather's passing, being elected to get grandma from Boston), and she felt that it was partially her fault.
She told me that she feels as if I've changed and that I'm so stressed out all of the time, and that the "old me" wouldn't have normally reacted the way that I did. She also said that it was more important for me to be her daughter's godmother that it was to be her MOH, ultimately.

She said that it would take "a long time" for her to get over what happened, and that her fiance doesn't feel as if I like him (which isn't true) and he's not overly fond of me right now (her exact words were: "Well, he really likes Sean, and stuff, but it's not like the four of us are going to hang out together right now, but if he saw you out in public he [J] isn't going to be nasty to you, but he isn't going to go out of his way either"-nice, right?).

So, there's the story. I'm pretty much out of a 30 year friendship and a deposit I can't get back. Great, huh?

Like I said, this has been brewing for a few years. Yes, I was wrong to lose control-I could've handled it better. But, ultimately this pretty much opened my eyes about her and our friendship. Since her seperation and divorce she's become more and more self absorbed, and has less and less to give to others. Maybe she's always been that way and I didn't realize it, or maybe it's a result of the divorce, I'm not sure. But, the fact is, our friendship changed about three years ago, and it's sad.

People think that I'm insane for even agreeing to still being a bridesmaid, but I have two reasons. Firstly, I already bought the damn dress, and it was expensive. Secondly, I refuse to take the blame for this whole thing (which I told M-I told her that I felt that I was being punished for losing control when this whole thing wasn't my fault, since I was doing it with her mother's approval. She told me that she wasn't punishing me-in fact, if she was punishing me she would've cut me out altogether), and by being in the wedding shows that I'm the bigger person. I was told that if I came back that it would be as if it were forgotten, nobody would mention it, and if someone did, then she'd "take care of it". However, if one person does, then I'm out of there.......and I don't care if it is the night before the wedding. My father seems to think that she's going to skip out of the friendship once the wedding's over, which is probably true. But, at least I know that I did my best, you know?

I feel as if she really didn't expect me to agree to being in the wedding, since she asked her fiance's sister to be in the wedding again....four months before wedding, mind you), so now she has to deal with it. Actually, she called me last night and left a message that the dresses were in (quickly said), and it was the first time in three weeks that she's called me, and of course, all she talked about was the same things: herself, the wedding, her kid, and her ex. She didn't ask me about my vacation, she didn't really ask me about anything (I offered of course-I told her about the church job, and she sort of reacted). Nothing has really changed, I guess. She's probably still pissed off, and that's fine. But, I'm not 8 years old anymore, and I refuse to beg and plead with her to still be my friend. Perhaps if she bothered to really ask how I'm doing, and actually listen, then maybe I'd be more upset about it. Yes, I've changed-I can see that, Sean can see that; but, given what I've been through, how could I be the same person? And, since she's not gone through IF (although she tried to compare herself to me, I shot that down right away and very firmly told her that we most certainly did not have that in common), how can she understand? Really, I don't expect her to understand, but I did expect her to be there as support, and not just to give me my shots. Hell, anyone could do that. Quite frankly, she was not there for me emotionally when I needed her. However, she's not the same person either. Of course, she wouldn't want to hear that, but it's true. Our experiences shape our frame of mind and our personalities, and she's not immune to that. I guess the difference is that she's allowed to be selfish and I'm not.

That's the thing about myself that I don't like-I always expect too much out of people. I expect them to treat me like I've treated them, and it usually doesn't work out that way. Maybe I'm too giving of a person, maybe I let people get away with too much, I'm not sure. I'm the type of person who will always go the extra mile for my friends, and will go out of my way to do something that they'll enjoy. I'm that dorky person who'd rather give gifts at Christmas rather than receive them-I like to watch people open gifts and see their enjoyment. Many times, it's not reciprocated. And, I don't do things because I expect it in return, but I do expect at least SOME thoughtfulness. Some respect, really. Perhaps I need a thicker skin, or perhaps I've learned my lesson finally-it's not worth it to be kind or to go out of your way. Not when you get shit on for it.

Oh, and the funniest thing about this whole thing? I got the shower invitation in the mail while I was away. It's a "surprise" (yeah, right) shower and it's going to be held at a restaurant that's about 50 minutes away from her house. So, how is that doing what the bride wants? It's so not my problem, because I decided I didn't want anything to do with the shower. Since I'm not getting my deposit back-why should I put out more money that I obviously don't have? Especially since I'm not working this summer at all now? I feel even more stupid that I turned down a summer job partly because of planning the shower and needing the time to do last minute things-stupid me, huh? I wonder if she would've done that for me.....probably not.

This morning's conversation really brought it home to me-it's not worth it. It seems that God is cutting the toxic parts out of my life, and, although I didn't really need the drama surrounding it, it's got to be for a reason, right?

There HAS to be a reason that everything is falling down around me. At least, I need to hope so.

Monday, July 07, 2008


Hi everyone...

I'm still here. There's been LOTS of drama going on since my last post, plus we finally went on vacation (just got back late Sunday night), so I've been a bad, bad blogger.

Here's a summary of my life since we've last spoke:

1. The shit hit the fan with M and her wedding. Her mother and I were planning her shower, her mother blabbed as to where it was, M didn't want it there and pitched a stink, and I lost it and said that I didn't want anything to do with it-the shower, the wedding, nada. I got into a huge fight with M, said lots of shit that's been pent up for years, and then, three days later, I was "demoted" as MOH and made "just a bridesmaid". We haven't spoken for about three weeks, and I'm not about to make the first call. More on that later....

2. On Father's Day, I lost my church job, after being there for 11 years. I was fired by the Pastor, with the new Music Director sitting there-actually, the MD let the pastor do the dirty work. The reason? Well, on June 1st we did a special Mass celebrating Cardinal McCarrick's 50th anniversary being ordained a priest. We all knew about this for 4-6 weeks, rearranged our plans, etc. Well, at the last minute, he brought in 5 "ringers" (that's professional musicians who come in and sing/play)-and they showed up an hour before the Mass. People were pissed off (me amongst them, since I didn't know about it beforehand and I was a section leader-go figure), I was pissed off, and after the Mass I spoke to the MD and told him that people were displeased. Personally I don't have a problem with ringers-hell, I've done it myself, but I do have a problem when they come in with no rehearsal time with the group. It sends a message to the group that the director doesn't trust their musicianship, it undermines and it causes bad feelings. Well, I guess he didn't like that I said something, because two weekends later, after I cantored two Masses, I was "spoken to". So, I'm out about $1300 this summer. Which really sucks since I didn't take a summer job this year due to planning M's shower.......more on this later, too.....

3. Sean and I just got home from a cruise to the southern Caribbean, and it was AWESOME. I really really needed the break, and I relaxed, ate LOTS of food (although I still fit into my clothes, so it's ain't ALL bad), and forgot about life for a week.

4. Oh, yeah-I'm still infertile. I'm due for AF on Friday, and started that yummy brown staining this morning. I'm still doing acu, and added herbs (tea and dong quai) this month. I really don't think that they worked, but perhaps my period won't be a horror show.

So, that's it for now. I'll post tomorrow about #1 first, since it's a doozy.....

Friday, May 09, 2008

That Nasty Hope Thing

So, I'm sure that if there's anyone out there still reading this drivel, you perhaps might be wondering whether or not I'm still here.

Well, I am. I have thirty-gazillion posts running through my head, but have yet to actually put anything down. Why? Well, partly because I'm a right lazy bitch, partly because I really have had no time to blog due to spring concert/end of the year junk, and well, if I'm to be completely's really the "same shit, different day" kind of post. I mean, how many times does anyone want to read "I'm here, I'm still infertile, I'm an emotional mess, blah blah blee....." I suppose it gets kind of old. However, that's my life right now, so really, there's no reason to sugar-coat it, I suppose.

I miss the person I used to be. I'm slowly getting my snarkiness back, but the bitterness even amazes me sometimes. And, it comes on at totally random times, which doesn't make me the belle of the ball lately. I don't want to be the Bitter Barren Bitch that I am. I want to be able to enjoy my life, whichever fertility road we end up taking. So....why can't I?

My head is a jumble of things-should we cycle again, or not? Will it work, or is it a waste of time? If we decide that the ART route is finished, then what happens next? Are we ready to throw in the towel completely or should we try other options? These things fill waking hours of my day, and at inopportune times-like in the middle of a rehearsal, teaching a class, or just at home watching TV. I want to turn these thoughts off, but I'm finding I can't. And that frustrates the hell out of me, because I don't want to be defined by my infertility. I want to be me, but I'm not sure who "me" is anymore. I got married at 27 (almost 28), at a time in my life where I just starting to figure myself out and becoming more comfortable in my own skin, and then, a year later, we were thrown into the infertility merry-go-round, so now I'm not sure if that person I was 6 or so years ago was really me or not. All I know is that the person I am now is never how I envisioned myself. And, I also know that I don't like it.

How do I change it? I have no idea. Perhaps a part of it is coming to terms with things as it relates to my fertility, or, lack of it. Does that mean that I give up hope? Or, perhaps "hope" (that nasty bitch) is clouding my judgement and keeping me from being realistic. Then again, being realistic isn't all it's cracked up to be-you run the risk of over-thinking the situation. So, the question remains-how do you know when you're done?

Well, there's a question for you (if you're still out there)-how do you know when your "hope" for a situation, whether it be infertility, or anything important, becomes more idealistic than realistic? What defines the "breaking point" for you to change your outlook?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Still here

Yeah, I'm still here. There really isn't much to write about, at least reproductively speaking.

Well, I mean there IS a whole lot, but then you'd think that I'm ten sorts of crazy, but trust me, I'm sure that you all will hear it in short order. I go back to Dr. Pipsqueak on Monday morning for the "Big Fat Failed Cycle" appointment. I'm not sure what I'm going to hear from her, but I'm sure that it'll be something that I'm not prepared for (since that is pretty much my MO for infertility), but we'll just have to wait and see.

I thank all of you for your thoughts, prayers, bitching and screaming along with me. Your support is so appreciated-words can't truly express that. There's been A LOT of shit going on here-the failed cycle, my grandfather's death (and trying to get my grandmother back here to live with my parents), and, now yesterday we had an incident in school (if anyone is in the Tri-State area, you probably know what I'm talking about).

I was there yesterday, and it was frightening that this happened in our school. It's scary that, in the world we live in that this should happen.

I just don't know what else to say, but I'll be back.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008



Go fucking figure. Stop meds, wait for AF, rinse, repeat.

I hate my body.

That is all.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

9dp3dt-When it Rains, it Pours

Yeah, yeah......still BFN......can't help myself. I've started cramping this afternoon, however, so who the hell knows what is going on.

However, we've been given some sad news last night. My 96 year old grandfather died last evening, in my grandmother's arms. He's been ill for a long time (a series of strokes, surviving stomach/esophagus cancer), but it was still a shock to get the call last night.

We've been frantically trying to figure out how the hell we're getting to Boston (and where we're staying) for the wake/funeral. Flights are fricking expensive as hell, and of course hotels aren't much better there (staying with relatives isn't an option, as they live in the North End). The services are set for Thursday and Friday. Thursday also happens to be beta day. I'm thinking of calling the RE's office to see if I can come in tomorrow for my beta instead-I'm not sure if one day or not will make a difference. We're probably not flying out until later Thursday morning, so I could feasibly still go to the RE's office. But, if it's a BFN, and I don't know about it, then I still have to travel with injection supplies on the plane, which would blow big time. Not to mention having to spill the beans to my parents, who didn't know we even did a cycle. Not really a good time to explain it all, is it?

So, as I mentioned, there's lots of things to arrange. It's keeping my mind off of whether or not any embryos are alive in there.

My grandfather isn't even my biological grandfather-my grandmother married him four or five years after her first husband (my dad's father) died. They were introduced by his sister, who was a friend of my grandmothers and lived in the same development in Florida. He married for the first time in his late 60's, and it was to my grandmother. He had no children. So, he got a ready-made family with us. And he always treated us as if we were his own. He bought me my first car, he made it possible for both my brother and I to go to whatever college we wanted to, debt-free. If we had wanted to go to law or medical school, he would have made it happen financially as well. Yes, he was extremely well-off, but he was the type of person who was generous and did it of his own free will, and with a glad heart. If it weren't for him, I probably wouldn't be where I am today. It's because of him that I went to Seton Hall, where I met Sean, where I got my degree and eventually went into education. So, you see, I owe him a lot. He was a wonderful man-he had a great sense of humor, with a thick "Nahth End" accent, intelligent as hell and loved having a good time.

I'll miss you, grandpa. Thank you for being who you were. You will be missed dearly.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Still BFN. Yeah, I'm a bit of a glutton for punishment, aren't I?

Easter was okay-we had dinner at G&A's, with other friends, and had a blast (and awesome food, too). I went to bed last night with a slight headache that woke me up at 3:45 this morning, which Tylenol has subdued from blinding to a dull roar. I didn't get back to sleep until almost 6am (due to the headache and the slight nausea that accompanied it), then had to be up by 9am because I made an appointment with my GP for a physical (duh-what was I thinking??). So I got to sleep for a few hours this afternoon and now I feel sort-of human.

As for the "are we or aren't we" symptom front.....well, I was really crampy Friday and Saturday, then Sunday evening when I used the toilet there was a pink stain on the TP that had some EWCM-like substance in it (c'mon, doesn't EVERYONE check their TP obsessively during the 2WW like it's a treasure map? Or perhaps it's more like looking at one of those hologram paintings, where it changes as you walk past's a fruit! It's an elephant!..). Now, nothing. The crappy headache is a new development-it's on my right side, in my eye, and running around my head to my neck, with a runny nose ONLY on the right side, so I'm assuming it's a sinus thing. Oh yeah, and my BOOBS-holy SHIT! They KILL right now! I don't remember them hurting this much before-it actually has woken me up in the middle of the night as I turn over in bed. It actually hurts to lie on my side in bed-it feels like there are two huge boulders under my skin. The only time they don't hurt is when they're firmly encased in my bra. Which I'm seriously considering wearing to sleep tonight to see if it will help. Ouch.

Let's not mention the usual chemically induced greasy hair, acne on my shoulders and back (another new one) and progester-rage. I've forgotten just how much fun this drug is. And, sick as it sounds, I'll gladly take it for another three weeks if the beta is positive. Sore ass and all-I'll have a big motherfucking smile on my face the whole. damn. time.

So....I have NO ideal what the hell is going on. I'm not scheduling anything past Thursday in relation to my PIO shots (Thursday is beta day), just because I'm a superstitious fool. Do I think I'm pregnant? Honestly, realistically....I don't know. In my heart there is this little voice that tells me not to give up just yet, that it's still waaay too early to know for sure. The only time I got a BFP on an Evil Pee Stick of Despair it was the day before my beta. I'm really trying not to obsess, but well...we've all been down that road before, right? I'm just trying to fill my time so that I'm unable to obsess too much.

More later-time to make dinner, and I'm starving-damn progesterone! You're ruining my diet! And, I've got a lovely loaf of good Italian bread that I got with our pasta dinner. Which I plan on devouring.

Infertility really really does suck.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I took an Evil Pee Stick this morning.

Yes, I do know it's too early.

It was snow white. One line. No more trigger shot in my system.

Now the real waiting begins. The part that could be my undoing. The part that is the worst.

T minus 4 days until beta day.

That is all......

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

2dp3dt-Deja Vu

Well, here we are.....again......for the eighth (yep, I counted) time.

So, what have I been doing? Well, school lets out tomorrow, so with the short week I've been busy, not to mention the weekend at church (I have another rehearsal tomorrow night). I've been really good about sitting a lot, drinking water and taking it easy, but it's been hectic.

As for how I'm feeling.....well, pretty good. I'm bloated and want to eat everything in sight, but really, I'm amazed at how well I feel. I guess this is the norm with an IVF cycle, but for me, it's nothing short of amazing. I remarked to Sean last night that the last cycle we actually had with a fresh transfer was over two and a half years ago, which is mind-blowing to me.

I am still a bit crampy-it's more obvious when my bladder is full, but I'm not sure as to whether or not this is normal (I'm assuming it's from the progesterone, that rat-bastard). My ovaries seem to have calmed down, and I can't feel them like I did the first few days after the retrieval. I go in for a hormone check tomorrow morning, then I've got a week to go until beta day. I also have to find out if the four embryos left were able to be frozen or not.

I've also been going to my acupuncture appointments-I had one this afternoon, and one Thursday, and I think that it's really helping me relax more. She's been treating me as if I'm already pregnant, so nothing in the belly, but in my ears, legs, inside of the wrists, in bewteen the eyes (!) and in my scalp. It didn't hurt, and I even got to take a little nap while on the table. I think, no matter what the outcome, I'll still continue with acupuncture-I've found that I actually like it.

Then again, I'm also having a two and a half inch needle shoved in my ass every night, so what the hell do I know.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Nice Surprise

Just got home from the transfer. We transferred in three great looking embryos-one 7-celled and two 8-celled. Both the Dr. Smiley and the embryologist (who also happens to be her husband) both feel that they were really nice, so now we hunker down to wait.

The surprise came when Dr. Smiley came back to see us before the transfer, to tell us that, although we were told on Friday that we only had 5 embryos fertilize, they were surprised to find yesterday that two more decided to fertilize. They're slow growing, but are looking okay. So, we've got 4 that they're watching, and will possibly freeze........let's hope so.

Let the waiting begin.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Perhaps, I SHOULD have worried.....*updated*

Just got the call, from Dr. Pipsqueak herself.

5 fertilized. Only 5. They're recommending that I transfer 3 embryos. She said that it "looks good, but it's still early". There is a chance that I'll have a 5 day transfer, but I won't know until Sunday morning (the day of what would be the 3 day transfer).


Why do I get the feeling that this is going to TOTALLY suck? Why can't something go my way, for once in my life?



Transfer is set for Sunday at 12pm (also known around these parts as "high noon"). I'm to be at the surgery center at 11am with my big-ass bottle of water and ready for anything. If it ends up being a 5 day transfer, they'll call me on Sunday morning......nothing like waiting until the last minute, huh?

Of course, that means that I'm not singing the last two Masses on Palm Sunday....oh, well.....priorities, you know.....

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Perhaps I shouldn't have worried.

24 eggs retrieved. As to how many are actually mature and have fertilized, we'll find out tomorrow.

It would be nice if I were able to make it to a 5 day transfer, wouldn't it?

I feel pretty good-sore, but not really bloated. No bleeding. Hey, is this what it's supposed to feel like when you're not hyperstimulated? What a frickin' concept. I'm still drinking a shitload, just to hedge my bets.

Okay, back to bed......more news (hopefully) tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Day 9...Hoo Boy....

Nurse Blondie's instructions for tonight, as follows:

Take HCG trigger (10,000iu) tonight promptly at 10pm, come in for monitoring tomorrow, then be at the surgery center at 8am Thursday.

We're on our way. To say that I'm scared shitless is an understatement.

Today's wanding showed my lead follicles at 18mm, with the rest hanging out at 15-17, and the smallest ones at less than 10mm. So, there seems to be enough follicles for ER-hopefully they will be mature eggs, though. My E2 jumped up from 1400 to 2000 (from Sunday to Monday), so I'm to assume that today's numbers were over 2000. I was told with the last cycle that they won't do a transfer with any numbers over 4000, due to the OHSS risk, so I guess I'll know tomorrow what the final count is.

Please God, let there be enough eggs that are good this time. Also, not bloating up like a watermelon and feeling miserable would be a bonus, too.

Please please please let this work out.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Stims, day 8-Brewing Follies

And, on today's episode of "Follicularly Yours".....

Watch as S goes AGAIN for morning monitoring to be told that her E2 has risen from 400 to 1400 in a matter of two days, and has her Follistim lowered yet again from 75iu to 50iu....

Yep, today's date with the dildocam showed a buttload of nicely brewing follicles-the largest being 15-16mm, a whole bunch measuring 12-13mm, and the rest measuring <10mm. Dr Smiley is doing monitoring this week (I so totally love her in a non-romantic way!), and she mentioned that we'll probably have the retrieval being from Friday to Sunday, depending on when we trigger. I'm hoping that it'll be earlier rather than later, because I'm supposed to sing the WHOLE DAMN WEEKEND for Palm Sunday, and it'll totally suck to have to get a sub. I have the feeling that it will be earlier, given the phone call from Nurse Blondie telling met to lower my dose, rinse, repeat, and see ya tomorrow in the clinic. The other plus is that Dr. Smiley will be doing my retrieval (YAY!), which is cool (as cool as someone sticking a 12" needle through your cooter into your ovaries to suck eggs out of your body can possibly be, I suppose). I'm actually feeling pretty good, which is a definite change from past cycles. Usually, at this point I'm a bloated, hormonal, uncomfortable mess, so I consider this a definite improvement already. I'm just praying that my E2 doesn't start to get out of control, but I have faith that the RE's are on top of the whole situation. Hey, did I mention that I'm going to do acupuncture again? Yah, except this time it's not with a blind acupuncturist (not that there's anything wrong with that, btw.....okay, it DOES sound a bit odd, doesn't it?)-the hospital affiliated with Big Important Clinic has an outpatient center that has, along with the usual mammograms and MRI's, an alternative wellness center. They work with a lot of BIC's patients who are going through IF treatment, and will work around the transfer times to make sure that you get your treatments in. They seemed very nice on the phone, and I go tomorrow afternoon for my consult. Hey, if anything it'll relax me a little bit, so I'm up for anything at this point.

So, about the whole PCOS thing..... I am planning to speak to the RE's about either getting further testing or going on Metformin-everything I've been reading is indicating that taking Met not only improves IF treatment success, but helps in possibly preventing miscarriage. If I'm lucky enough to get knocked up this time around I'd like to hedge my bets, if possible (and, if it's needed). It's a lot to process, really, but in a lot of ways it makes a lot of sense. Perhaps it's the "missing link" for us...who the hell knows. As long as it gets me pregnant (and keeps me that way), that's the important thing, right?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Stims, Day 7-Slow and Steady Wins the Race?

I've been staying on my 100iu of Follistim/10iu of Lupron for the past six nights. At my monitoring appointment this morning, after seeing my follicle count (three or four at 15mm, then a shitload less than 10) and being told that I'm to be seen daily from this point on, I asked how my E2 levels looked. Dr. C told me that it was over 400, which she was happy about, but she knew that this is the part of my cycle where my E2 levels start to take off, so she wants to be very cautious from this point on.

She must have made an accurate prediction, since the call from the nurse informed me that I need to reduce my Follistim to 75iu, stay on the same dose of Lupron, and that they'd see me in the office tomorrow morning.

Now, I did ask her this past week about the PCOS comment she made at my suppression check, and had a VERY interesting conversation. Apparently, I'm on the "PCOS spectrum", as far as BIC is concerned. I may get AF every month, however, my cycles tend to be on the longer side, I have gained weight that has seemed to collect around my midsection, have had some hair grow in odd places since I stopped birth control almost six years ago, the acne, and my ovaries present in a "classic" polycystic pattern (called PCO-polycystic ovaries), especially when stimmed (like now). Great, right? So, I asked her why nobody has ever explained this to me in the gazillion years we've been TTC, and she said that, with PCOS, not everyone has the "classic" signs of PCOS-you can have a few of the symptoms that could easily be explained away by other things. Unfortunately, for me, my ovaries and the way they react to Lupron and FSH are the main sign-my ovaries kind of looked like this at my supression check.

It freaks me out that, after all this time, my shitty ovaries are part (perhaps a BIG part) of the problem. It's looking like it ain't my shitty tube that's the issue, but my ovaries going haywire. I'm trying to get as much information about PCO as I can. It does make sense to me, though, so I'm not disagreeing with it at the moment.

I'm just hoping that this doesn't get all fucked up-that this cycle will be the right ingredients of science and luck. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Let's hope so.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Who Says Drugs Aren't Fun?

Yesterday I began my Follistim shots (100 iu), and HOLYMOTHERFUCKINGSHIT, I totally forgot how much they sting! Yah, it was like a shock as I was injecting it, and you could hear the "owowowowowowow this FUCKING HURTS" from around the corner last evening. It makes the Lupron look like a piece of cake.

So, I got up at the BUTT CRACK of dawn yesterday to be at BIC (sign in time was 5:58 am) to be drained of a vial of blood and a turn at the dildocam. The doctor on monitoring yesterday morning had an ultrasound tech with her for (what I'm assuming) is training, and as I'm getting violated probed, the RE indicated my Lupron-shrunken ovary and casually says, "And here you can see the classic PCOS follicle formation...." Uh....what? PCOS? I don't HAVE PCOS! At least, nobody told ME that I have PCOS! So now I'm having a mini-panic attack and will have to address it with her tomorrow at my first follicle check.

Okay, so........can we talk about how much the Lupron SUCKS this time around? I mean, really REALLY blows big monkey chunks? I was on 20 iu to start (I dropped to 10 as of last night) and wow....I really got the side effects this time around, especially the headaches. Luckily, last week's bout with the flu masked them for the week, feels like my head is in a vice ALL THE DAMN TIME. The Tylenol that I'm taking is doing absolutely nothing for it, either, and that (and Sudafed) is basically the only thing I can take at this point. I'm starting to think that the only cure for this is to repeatedly bash my head against a wall (taking a running start, of course), but then I'd have to explain the bruises and then Sean could possibly look like a wife-beater, and then I'd have to bail him know the scene. I remarked on the Lupron Suckfest to Nurse Blondie yesterday afternoon when she called to give me the go-ahead on the FolliSTING, and she said that it would "get better soon"........well, WHEN!?! ARRRGH.

Oh, yeah.....I'm also having random moments of complete insanity mood swings as well, which is super fun for Sean. He's taken to tiptoeing around the house and rarely speaking above a whisper when around me, which is starting to make me feel like I have some incurable disease and annoys me even more. And the GAS..............let's just say that, thanks to me, we've been saving on heating costs the past two weeks. I'm also afraid to turn on the stove due to a gas explosion.

It should get better, right? I don't remember it being this bad. I'm chalking it up to the larger doses of Lupron, but I'm going to lose it if I have to feel like this for the next 7-10 days.

Hopefully it'll get better......soon....

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'm Alive.....

This morning is the first time since Saturday that I've woken up and felt somewhat human. Not like a piece of sludge, which has defined basically the last five days. I've forgotten just how shitty the flu actually is-I haven't had it in YEARS, and boy, it SUCKS. Poor Sean-he was such a good nurse, despite my moaning and bitching and lying in the fetal position on a sweat-soaked bed (yeah, can you say "SHITTY PATIENT"?? I know you can!) and calling for my mommy (yeah, I did that too-I have no shame). I'm still really tired and achy, though. And, suddenly my nose has become a mass of sticky, yellowish snot (sorry for the graphics there) that's making me really glad that I'm seeing the doctor this afternoon, since I'm probably getting a sinus infection on top of it all. Ah, well, I haven't had my yearly sinus infection yet, so I guess I'm well overdue.

But wow, that was a bad one. I haven't been that sick in a long time. One of the positives (besides missing work this whole week-no church job, no sick kids....YAY!) is that I lost FIVE pounds! Considering I subsisted on a diet of 4 pieces of toast, three cups of tea, water and a bowl of chinese chicken rice soup in the five days I was really bad, I can see why. *Sigh*-I know it'll come back on again, especially since I'll be starting stims once I get my Luproperiod. Which should be soon, since I've starting the brown sludgy spotting. I just need to make sure the doctor knows so if I need drugs she'll know what to prescribe.

So.....yeah......I'm seeing a new GP today. I've been meaning to switch for AGES, since my original docs (who I LOVE) are really really too far away for me to get to. Like, over an hour away. Which not only makes it inconvenient for appointments, but if I ever needed to be admitted to a hospital, I'm screwed. So, luckily my health insurance doesn't require that you declare a primary doctor, so I can go to anyone. My regular twatotologist's wife is an internist, and when I went to him back in October he gave me a referral. I did intend to make a well visit appointment, but you gets in the way. And, now, here I am.

Okay, I'm off to have the first real breakfast in about a week-more than toast, that is. Eggs! Coffee! Oooh....can't wait.....

Watch, my stomach will probably rebel and I'll end up in the bathroom today. But, it's worth it.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Here's the mathematical equation for the day, folks:

20cc of Lupron + the flu=one miserable person.

Yup-I've got the flu. I didn't feel great on Saturday night (scratchy throat), but I thought that it was allergies, but then it hit me full force yesterday morning. Ever try to shoot up when you've got a fever of 101 degrees? Yeah, it blows. At least I really didn't feel it, due to the achy feeling that's running throughout my body. I mean, even my TOES hurt. Sheesh.

Well, at least I'm not feeling the Lupron side effects as much-I guess the flu cancels them out. So, instead of hot flashes, I've got the chills. I'd rather have the hot flashes, honestly. This just blows.

Watch......I bet I'll even get my period this week. Just to make it even MORE interesting. Because that's the kind of luck I have.

I'm off to re-dose myself with meds so I can crash again.....

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My (Lupron) Buddy and Me

My sorry ass got up at 4:30 this morning so I could make it to BIC in time for my appointment this morning. Of course, when I got there I was told that it would be bloodletting only, and no date with the CrotchCam, which slightly annoyed me because (a). I obviously didn't have to worry about the grooming status of my poonanny, and (b). I COULD HAVE SLEPT LATER. Sheesh. But, there is a plus side to this-at least I didn't have that "slimy cooter feeling" that you get after a date with the Wand. I mean, flowers, candy or a nice dinner, just that ever-so-slightly slimy "morning after" feeling from the gel. I might as well have someone leave cab money on the bedside table as they walk out the door.....but I digress.

Hey, at least they WARM the damn gel first. You've got to be grateful for the little things when you do an IVF cycle.

Anyways, I got my blood drawn, got my protocol from the nurse on call this morning, and got my phone call telling me that tonight's the night to start my BFF, Loopy Lupron. 20 lovely units to be shot into my slightly less poochy abdomen. I'm SO looking forward to the hot flashes and headaches that will surely be here soon. But, we do what we must, right? Since I don't have a choice I'm just going to make Lupron-ade from my Lupron. Minus the syringe, of course. Unless I use it as a stirrer.......nah.....never mind.

So, the only snag in the cycle start is that I got a call from my IVF Coordinator, who confirmed that my twato sent my PAP results.....but that I didn't have any signed consent forms on file for this cycle. Figures, right? I mean, WHEN does a cycle go smoothly for me (or anyone else, for that matter)!? I was freaking out that I wouldn't be able to start my injections tonight, but she's going to fax me the consents tomorrow and I'll haul ass up to a friend's house to do the notarization (he's a lawyer-yay!). Whew-I thought I was going to have a stroke when she told me that, but it'll work out.

I've also decided on doing acupuncture again for this cycle, albeit with a different person. Not that I didn't like the last guy, but I want to try someone different, perhaps someone with more experience with infertility. The fact that I want to willingly subject myself to MORE needles is just proof that I'm really messed up in the head. Or that I have a needle fetish? You decide.

Well, I'm off to shoot up-perhaps I'll have a last glass of Chianti beforehand-it'll hurt less (and I'll be less inhibited, who knows). At least, that's my excuse right now.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Back on the (ART) Bandwagon

We've finally made our decision-it's time for IVF#4. I go on Tuesday morning to Big Important Clinic for bloodwork and a wanding (ah, Follicular Lurve I've pined for thee!); if all goes well, I'll start Lupron that evening.

I am, quite honestly, scared shitless. It would be different if it were our first cycle-full of the optimism that it will surely work and we'll end up with twins and everything will be picture perfect, blah blah blah. Three IVF cycles, numerous FET's, and a lot of heartache later, Sean and I both know that there's no guarantees in this. We're both a bit jaded about it all; in some ways, we're sort of going through the motions with this-perhaps it's because we're unsure of the outcome (ie. a baby) or maybe it's because we've been through this before and we're used to the drill....I'm not sure.

That doesn't mean to say that the old whore named Hope isn't peeking her gnarly head through and pushing me along, because her saggy ass is definitely making her presence known. I've lost weight (a total of 14 pounds so far), have been eating healthier, am contemplating acupuncture again during this cycle and have made a solemn vow that I will absolutely let NOTHING stress me out at work. Not that this has any bearing whatsoever on the outcome of an IVF cycle, but I like to hedge my bets.....just in case. Hey, you never know, right?

I realized this morning that every single time I've cycled or done a FET, there was someone else in my life who was also cycling or TTC. Inadvertently, I ended up being somewhat of a "pregnancy magnet"-every single person (and I'm not kidding) ended up pregnant and had successful deliveries, and I ended up with BFN's. This time around, there is nobody that I know that is either currently TTC, either with ART or au naturale; it's just me (and those of you out there who are currently cycling). A sign, perhaps, that this could possibly work? I don't know. What I do know is that I'm as ready as I'll ever be, and I'll do everything in my power to maximize our last chance at this. The doctors are prepared (daily monitoring-what fun!), and I'm as prepared as I can be.

Let the games begin!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I Am So Boring as Hell I've got one of my resolutions down, at least. I've lost a total of 10 pounds so far. It actually might be more, but because I'm a little bloated due to the imminent onset of the Red Tide-I haven't actually weighed myself in the past few days, so as to not get frustrated. But, I feel great-AND I'm fitting into clothes that have been sitting in my closet, so it's like getting a new wardrobe. As for the "mental health" portion of my promise......well.....that one's harder to work on. It's not as if I don't want to; it's just that I'm not sure how to proceed on this-especially since I don't exactly want to broadcast that I'm seeing a therapist. I'm not ashamed, but it's private, you know? So, I think that tomorrow I'm going to call my RE's office and ask Nurse Blondie about it-my clinic has a counseling staff-and see where it gets me.

So.....what else? Well, other than waiting for the Red Tide to show up-nothing is going on. Which might be a good thing, but quite frankly it's a bit boring (and is also why I haven't been updating-I mean, does anyone REALLY want to hear all about my recipe for tomato-cilantro soup that i found on a low-carb blog? Or how my belly and ass are getting noticeably smaller?'s like watching paint dry, and I wouldn't put anyone through that).

Yah-I'm boring right now. But, I really think that it's the calm before the storm, and I'm taking full advantage of the quietness right now.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Thanks to everyone for the kind words about the Church Job Drama. I really don't think that it's going to improve any time soon, but I'm just going to try to hang in there, until I can't deal with it anymore. Unfortunately, Sean did decide to leave, as of this past Sunday, as well as G. It's sad, and it will be really weird not having them there, but it will end up being okay. I hope so, at least.


I'm not usually the type of person who buys into the whole "New Year's Resolution" thing-more often than not, you usually are really diligent about whatever you're giving up or doing, then.....well, you fall off the wagon, right? But, I was really excited about seeing the door hit 2007 right smack in the ass. Let's recap 2007 with the following equation, shall we?

4th FET BFN + a repeat HSG with suprising results (an open tube-yay!) - a negative DNA/karyotyping (which was originally lost) - a negative thrombo panel - a gazillion pregnancy announcements = No Baby In My Belly.

So, on New Year's Eve I decided to make a promise to myself-to change my outlook, in preparation for IVF #4.

In keeping with this, I've decided two things:

-I'm going to make a definite effort to lose weight and get healthy. I've gained almost 30 pounds since starting the IF journey, and I can't stand to look at myself in the mirror anymore, especially since I can't fit into any of my clothes. So, I began doing the Be.ach D.iet today (I've done it once before, and lost a TON of weight) and, starting next week, will be hitting the gym to get fit.

-Since I'm going to heal myself physically, I've also decided to heal emotionally. As in, I'm seriously thinking about seeing a therapist with a focus on IF. I'm starting to realize that I can't really handle this all on my own-I'm the type of person who feels that I don't need any help, that I can do it by myself. However, we all know that IF isn't exactly something you can easily deal with. I'm really starting to think that perhaps I'm depressed (no....really?, you're thinking...). I need someone who can help me deal with all of this soupy mess that is inside my head. The hard part is finding someone, though; so if anyone out there has any advice (or even know someone here in NJ), that would be great help.

As I said before, this "healing" is all the prep for IVF#4, which will be probably be starting sometime after I get my January period (I'm on CD 5 now); so, we're probably looking at a March retrieval and transfer. I feel as if I'm boxer training for the Heavyweight Title, and I have to train so I can be the best. In some ways, I'm training for the fight of my life.

If I lose this time, that's over. Do not pass Go. And I don't think that I'm ready for that yet.

I still have some fight left in me.