11 April 2009

Coming out of the fog

Way back in my early adulthood (read: back in university) I imagined that my life would be pretty different. I'm not just talking about infertility, but I'm talking about how I actually lived my life. I spent my teenage years in a very boring, cookie cutter suburb and I rebelled against everything, although quietly. I still got A's, volunteered and was involved in my school life, but I also wore only black, dark red lipstick and listened to the Cure.

I never thought that my life would lead me back to the suburbs (and actually being happy!) with a perfectly reasonable job as a grade one teacher. Back in my early 20's I was convinced that I would be living in some sort of converted warehouse in a big city, Canadian or foreign I can't remember, married to some non-profit working science guy, still wearing lots of red lipstick and going to lots of artsy events.

I did get to live the dream of being an ex-pat in my relatively short time in Paris. I travelled, ate delicious food, drank too much wine (among other things), and hung out with interesting people from all over the world. I didn't have anything tethering me to any particular place and I did whatever I wanted. I knew in my heart that it was a temporary existence and that regardless of how blissfully happy I was in my tiny, tiny flat, that I would someday return to Canada to a "normal" life.

So what am I getting to here, you may be asking?

I have been struggling the past few days. Despite the beautiful sunshine and the promise of spring, I have so much in my heart and head that I have to sift through. Since my surgery on Tuesday I've oscillated between anger, absolute sadness to just numbness. I know that the news of my diagnosis is still so fresh that I can't possibly digest it all. I also know that my anger and frustration at the medical community is warranted. But in the end of it all I finally have answers. I can't dwell on the fact that the answers were very long in coming. As many of you have pointed out, stage 4 endo is not a sentence to barrenness, although that was all I heard when the doctor told me that he couldn't do anything about my messed up insides.

Waiting is something that I've always struggled with. I'm not patient, although infertility has taught me that I do not have any control over anything. I've learned so many things about myself and my relationship in the past four years of trying to make a baby, things that I would not trade for anything. I'm comforted in the thought that my husband has told me that regardless of whether or not we can have children he will be happy with just being with me. I pretty much knew that he would say that, but it was nice to hear nonetheless.

In the next few months I know that I'm going to be struggling with impatience. I will also be dealing with the side effects of L.upron -- honestly, I don't know how much crazier I can get, but it'll be interesting! Maybe I'll take up boxing or something to deal with the mood swings. I'm also looking forward to taking an official break from TTC. No drugs, probably no charting, no wondering that perhaps this month...

I know that I can't run away to the life that I thought I would be leading, after all I really like living in the suburbs and teaching grade one. I'm on this path for a reason, and I have to have faith in the fact that I can handle the struggle of becoming a mom. I do know one thing though: I have to stay away from Dr. Google in order to stay sane. No more looking up what laparotomy scars look like. No more searches about L.upron side effects. No more searches on pregnancy after stage 4 endo.

Instead I will focus on the positive. Here is my horoscope for today (although I really don't believe in astrology, it's always fun to read stuff that's good!):

Aquarius: A great source of tension and angst in your life is being eased. This weekend will be surprisingly enjoyable. Thanks to a stroke of luck what you have desired is about to come your way.

So there.


  1. I heart the Cure. :)

    I am glad you are feeling a little better today.

  2. I'm also glad to see that you're starting to feel better. The Cure always brings back good memories from high school and summers during college. I too dreamed of living in a converted warehouse or fire station (I think the fire station idea came from the show Spen.cer for Hi.re). I did end up marrying the non-profit science guy even though I dreamed of marrying the corporate type. Isn't it funny to look back at what we thought we wanted way back then? ;o)

  3. Lupron is not that bad :) I can barely remember it other than I made Ken open the windows at night. In January, February, and March :)

  4. We're so much alike, I too was the freaky little kid.
    Although, my life is much like I hoped it would be, I tried living the faster life, and figured I don't like it very much, and i appreciate the stillness of our little house not in the burbs and not in the city.
    Stage IV is not a death sentance, but, it's a lot to handle, and my diagnosis did scar and change me forever, so it's okay to feel that way too.
    Let's get together and I can talk with you about lupron, how afraid i was of going on it again, and how the sideffects really were not that bad this time around! Your doing great JB.

  5. Nooooo! Please, please shorten the worry list at least a little. As to the late diagnosis...I was diagnosed with Stage IV endo at the tender age of 22. I think if they had delayed years in figuring it out, I would be angry too. I can't blame you. But, you could have been diagnosed VERY early and still have all the same things...there are many who have. (Of course, it would have spared you a lot of years of suffering, and for that I'm so sorry.)

    Also, I should note, my doctors think that treatment definitely has a good chance (my own darker reflections are not medical in nature), and I'm sure it will for you too. You're also finally free of the inappropriate drugs, and hopefully a lot of the adhesions, which is all good news.

    Finally - laparotomy scars - well, when I was 22 and a size 4 (with a 27" waist! Days long past), if I hadn't been so groggy, I would have been beside myself over the scars on my perfect body. But perfect was an illusion; I had plenty of injury scars already. And I'll tell you what, five years later, the scars are not gone (they're about 3/4" long and shiny white). But one is about on the panty-line, so not seen (except by my husband, who thinks they're cool - boys are strange), and the other is hardly noticeable - I'd have to point it out, it just looks like a little dent from a stocking seam. It didn't ruin my belly button at all. They're almost cute - this isn't me being all rosy-eyed, either. I'm negative about darn near every aspect of the process, so if I don't complain about the scars, there's nothing to worry about.

    Post-op, by the way, is hard all by itself. You're limited in what you can do, tired, listless, sore, and you feel sick. That's how it's supposed to be - your body has been brutally attacked and is healing.

    One more thing: if I had to do it again, I would probably take depo instead of lupron. It's not the only option.

  6. That's so great that you're slowly coming out of the fog. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to move through your grieving faster. Take your time and you'll get there.

    LOL, I still love the Cure!! I grew up listening to them, my mom was and is such a huge fan.

  7. I'm living the bohemian life of sorts (I'm a musician and general oddball), and I'm also living the "normal" life (again, of sorts), in that unlike lots of my boho friends, I have an IRA, own a house, and don't get shitfaced as a regular hobby). These two visions aren't mutually exclusive. Perhaps this reconnection with an old desire is the beginning of a new wish that will lead you in a new direction.

    I hope this Easter time was joyful at moments. Or at least delicious at moments. :)

    And like the Easter story, sometimes our salvation springs from the darkest moment.

    I'll be thinking of you.