Winter is hard but it has it's own beauty. It may stretch my abilities to find it, but it's still out there.
This week I've had to stretch my abilities to see the beauty in my life as well as in nature. I had my follow-up visit with the fertility specialist and was given some news that was very hard to take. I wrote about it in my personal blog, which is like my journal. It's very personal, but I feel like I should share some of that here. Keep in mind that I don't like complaining or talking about sad things, but it helps me to share it and I hope that in some small way it can help someone else out there too.
You have been forewarned..... this is long...................
The last few months have been a roller coaster for me. Finding out I had cysts, then finding out they were endometriomas caused by endometriosis, then that I had them on both sides, and then that I had scar tissue and blockages. With every hit I was devastated for a little while, then I found my footing and I continued to hope and press forward. My level of hope and peace has gone up and down and all over the place, but I've never lost it completely. I am still not giving up.
Yesterday I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor since having the dye test and MRIs done. I thought I knew what to expect, but it turns out that once again I was surprised...... and not in a very good way. The first thing the doctor told me yesterday was that after talking with the radiologist who looked at my MRIs that my disease is so advanced that even extensive surgery would not be much of a help. My case is the worst that the radiologist has ever seen. There are so many cysts in there that removing all of them would be impossible and it would cause a lot of damage. My chances of conceiving naturally after surgery would only go up 2-4%. And as my chances of conceiving naturally are almost non-existent already, that is not good news. That was a shocker. I was kind of expecting that the doctor would recommend me for surgery and then I'd be able to move on and get pregnant. But not so. The endometriosis can grow back after being removed, so even surgery cannot fix this.
At first I couldn't really understand what was happening. I was hearing what the doctor was saying, but I couldn't really grasp what it all meant. Was this really me sitting in this doctor's office? Was this really me she was talking about? I couldn't really believe it. It was unreal. But this doctor is the kindest doctor I have ever met, by far. She teared up as she was giving me the bad news and I could see that she truly felt my pain and knew exactly how hard it would be for me to hear that. It touched me that a doctor would cry for me. She is one of the tender mercies I have in all this mess.
She next explained that the best possible chance I would have for conceiving would be with In Vitro Fertilization. Once again I was blown away. How could I be a candidate for such a huge and complicated and expensive procedure? I never imagined I would EVER be in such a situation. My son came exactly when we wanted him to and I had always assumed since then that I would never really have to deal with infertility. I thought I already had enough health trials and I would be good there. But not so. The Lord has a whole different plan for me. One that is scary, but it is a plan and there is hope.
At first I didn't know if we could even consider IVF because it is so notoriously expensive and most insurances do not cover it. But once again, the Lord has provided a way, a tender mercy in all of this. Our insurance does in fact cover it. Such a blessing! We have a $15,000 lifetime limit, which means we only have one shot at this, but it is a chance. It is a way.
So even though I am scared and we haven't decided absolutely and completely to go for this, I feel like the Lord has provided the right conditions to make it work. I found the right doctor right off the bat and we have a way to pay for it. I feel like I cannot pass this up. But the unknown is scary. We are trying to find out all we can about the process. We are praying like we've never prayed before.
My heart is full of gratitude to be married to such a strong man of such unshakable faith. My husband never wavers. He never cries either, but that doesn't mean it's not hard for him too. He is able to think through problems logically when I am overwhelmed with emotion. It's a good thing I have him. This trial is hard and stressful, but it is bringing us closer together. I don't know if I've ever appreciated my husband like I do now. He sacrifices so much for our family.
So for now the plan is to get me on some medication to stop the Endometriosis from growing any further and hopefully get it to shrink a little. That means I have to take meds that stop my cycle completely and basically put me in a temporary menopause- that does NOT sound fun. I can imagine the side effects I will have. But it's necessary. I can't go on with this pain any longer and stopping my cycle means stopping the pain. I'll have to do that for a few months and then we can move ahead with IVF.
A few months ago my husband gave me a priesthood blessing that told me I would overcome these problems through my faith. I am doing my best to move forward with faith. It's either do that, or just sink in despair. That sounds even harder. So thank you friends and family for all of your prayers and your support. I could not possibly do this without my good friends and family and the help of the Lord, of course. He really does make it possible for us to do things we never thought we could.