In-Vitro: Lucky 21

In early 2007, Emily and I were thrilled to discover that she was pregnant.  It was particularly unexpected, because although we had been trying for a few months, the odds of it happening naturally were slim due to my chemo in 2003.

Sadly our little “Peppercorn” didn’t make it past the eighth week in the womb.  So after a few more months, we decided to start fertility treatments.  A year’s worth of IUIs were unsuccessful, so at the beginning of the summer we started IVF – In-Vitro Fertilization – and the real fun began.

Six years ago I was needle-phobic like you wouldn’t believe.  I had often thought to myself that given the choice between dying from cancer and going through chemotherapy, I would pick the former option.  Little did I know that would be stuck dozens of times myself, and that I would actually end up giving shots to my wife.  But here we are, some 40+ injections later.  At the beginning of July Emily started on Lupron (which halts the ovulation process), and a week later Follistim (which hyper-stimulates the ovaries),  all in an attempt to create as many eggs as possible for fertilization. With regular blood tests, she was getting stuck 3 and 4 times a day.  Even with my newly-developed tolerance of needles, if the roles were reversed, we would be adopting 🙂  She’s a stud.

Anyway, yesterday was retrieval day – we went to the fertility center and they removed all the developing eggs – all 21 of them!  The average number is between 12 and 15, so to have that many was a big relief.  A call this morning revealed that 19 eggs matured, and of those, 13 were successfully fertilized.  Now, that doesn’t mean we’ll have 13 embryos to transplant, as some will not survive.  But on Tuesday we will implant two or three strong ones and hopefully there will be a few more that we can put in cryo-storage for implantation at a later date.

At which point will begin the longest two weeks of our lives as we wait to see if Emily is pregnant again…

My my, how the time do fly

So… no posts in over two months. Let’s hit the high points:

  • Still cancer-free – had my latest round of CT scans and X-rays this week, everything is looking good.
  • Still married and working on an addition to the family.
  • Another nephew is on the way (18 months ago I had none – now I have seven – almost. And a niece.)
  • My mom is officially retired.
  • My wife has a blog… or at least the start of one 🙂
  • Thinking of buying a new car, but need to sell the Celica first (now that I finally got the “check engine” light to turn off)
  • Took a couple of trips up to Chicago to visit the in-laws and hang out at the lake.
  • Been trying to get back in the habit of running… it’s a struggle.
  • Pluto no longer a planet? What madness is this?
  • Desperately need to mow the yard.

Anything I missed Molly? 🙂

OK, so I lied.

One *MORE* thing…

The reason I’ve had time to write much more this weekend than I normally do is because Emily is in Miami with her family. It’s 56 and overcast here. I’m not jealous. Not at all 🙂 But at least I’m able to get my guest list together, finally get around to doing my laundry, and watching Jessica’s Firefly DVDs. What a good show… can’t wait to see Serenity this week.

Honeymoon stuff

I’ve been doing this blog stuff on and off for 7-8 years, before it was even known as “blogging”. Often I’ll think back and wish I had written more as big events in my life were occurring – the whole cancer thing comes to mind – so I’m going to make an effort to journal the wedding process as much as possible. ‘Cause, y’know, it’s pretty much the biggest thing that’s happened in my life to date 🙂

Emily and I have talked a bit about where we want to go for our honeymoon – the idea of an all-inclusive resort such as Sandals Resorts has come up a couple of times. So I started poking around on their site, and quite a few of their establishments are already sold out for the first week of next year; particularly the nicer ones. I’m sure we’ll find something perfect, it was just a little surprising that they were booked solid already.

One set of suites that was already sold out looked really nice. Unfortunately they were called the “W.J. Clinton Suites”, which would just seem somewhat… wrong. Though our new home will be on Clinton Lane as well, so maybe it’s an omen. I hope not. Why couldn’t it be Lincoln Circle or Reagan Avenue? 🙂

Speaking of the house, I have to talk to my apartment management this week and tell ’em I plan to break my lease. In a bit of short-sightedness on my part, I re-upped for a year back in August. I have a feeling it’s gonna cost quite a bit to break it…

Just a small news item…

Well, it’s taken almost 33 years, but last night I got engaged! I proposed to Emily Tropp, my girlfriend of nearly a year, and much to my relief, she said yes. OK, so there wasn’t much doubt in my mind what her answer would be, but still 🙂

I’ve hesitated to write anything about her on the blog, because it’s just a little too personal; then again, I have had no problem going into explicit detail about my cancer experiences 🙂 But I wasn’t sure how things would turn out with the relationship, so I didn’t want to make a big public deal about it (of course, most of the people who read this have known about it from the start…). And there was the silly idea of jinxing it – you talk to much about something, and build it up in your mind, just to have it fall apart. But at this point, I think we’re past that (I hope!)

We were “matched” on eHarmony last September – yeah, the one with the really cheesy commercials. It isn’t that strange for me since my life is basically on the internet anyway; but she had only tried it for a couple of weeks. I think I initiated communication, which was unusual because she had no picture up at first; I never did that, because usually no picture means a face only a mother could love. But once we finally went out in late October 2004, I was more than pleasantly surprised 🙂

I am very lucky to have her… most people would’ve bailed by now; she’s put up with my many quirks and depression issues over the past year, and is fully aware of my cancer history and problems that could arise down the road, but has stuck with me regardless. Which is definitely a rare thing, and just one of the many reasons I think she’s so wonderful.

Currently, we hope to get married in early January, possibly on New Year’s Eve. If all goes well, the wedding will be at Brentwood United Methodist Church, and the reception at the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville. But it’s all still in the early stages, so we’ll see how it goes.

We’re going to be buying a townhouse in Spring Hill; it’s currently being built, and should be done in December sometime, which is perfect timing.

It’s all still very strange, and a bit scary as well. But exciting more than anything… I still have to remind myself that I am no longer single (well, figuratively speaking). I imagine by the time I get used to the idea, I’ll be thinking how strange it is that we’re married! 🙂 A perfect example – I keep wanting to type “I’m engaged” and “I’ll be married”. It’s no longer “I” but “we”!

Regardless, very fun stuff… I’m sure these next 3-4 months will seem to both drag on forever and fly by at the same time.