Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Emotional Week

To say this has been an emotional week would be an understatement. I don't think my body can keep up with replacing the flow of tears that keep falling from my dumb face.  Where do I even begin? Lets go with tears of joy and leave the sadness for the end so I can at least make some sort of half assed make shift sense this time.  I will add minions. Because they just make things better.

Tears of Joy.
I had the privilege of taking another military spouse to her IVF transfer this week.  If you're not familiar with IVF(what D and I will be doing next) you can click here for a brief summary on the science explanation. What you don't read about is the emotional, financial and physical explanation of what goes into just one fresh cycle.  Many of these are repeated. If you are blessed you will only have to do IVF once. Most are not.  If you are extremely blessed then your insurance just might cover the costs.  Good luck with that.

I can attest to the repetition and finances for the simple fact that the girl I went with was one of those women. This isn't her first rodeo.  I have to apologize for when she discovers this post.  She is very humble in her struggle. Where most women would have fallen or given up on this journey she is still pushing on.  So forgive me M and my big mouth and my over emotional blog post.  You can skip these next paragraphs if it makes you feel better but I. Just. Can't.

You see the thing is I do not think people get it when I say how truly strong some woman actually are.  I am talking about the ones that are humbling, the ones who put on a straight face despite the cards they are dealt. Who never give up. Who always keep their faith first. Lastly, the ones that are so grateful at outcomes which most would deem unfair and an outrage. Infertility or not. I applaud you.  

My dear friend M, her husband a Marine who is gone like mine until fall, had her second fresh cycle of IVF this week.  Lets see, shes only been trying to conceive for ten years now. No big deal.  Her first round of IVF was successful and she made it to 5 months of her pregnancy but God needed another angel by his side. So next came rounds 1 and 2 of an FET.  This is another complicated process where you have left over embryos from a fresh cycle and those are then frozen and later thawed to use in this "FET"(frozen embryo transfer). Again shots, drugs, testing and more money.  Sadly both ended in early miscarriage.

Now lets fast forward over a year and get to this week.  It was such a privilege to be part of such an intimate and special day.  We both cried when the medical receptionist told us "one made it."  

To think that a women goes through months of shots and fertility medicine and spends tens of thousands of dollars and more on this one cycle is mind blowing.  Yes I've been trying for 5 years and yes we've spent a few thousand on IUIs and procedures.  But this, this was overwhelming.  To think I will be in her shoes soon was a wake up call.  I have never been more ready and excited for it to happen but at the same time I am so.....well...just scared.  

Back to her one $13,000+ dollar embryo.  Tears of joy over one out of 13 making it.  If she was angry or upset she didn't show it.  When I heard one, to be honest, I was heartbroken.  She was thankful. And I was thankful to be there.  I went in with her to watch them do the transfer. Heck, I actually video tapped. Not her vagina...lets be mature people. I wasn't with Farrah Abraham from teen mom. The actually screen shot video of the embryo. It was amazing and surreal to say the least. There was more crying and more laughing as we waited for the nurse to say we could go.  I am forever changed and inspired by my experience.  To say I came out of that clinic with a new perspective on life would be accurate.  So thank you M, please do not let your Dominican side come out and punch me in the arm when you see me next.  I am a wimp. And you are a warrior.

Prayers for her during this time would be greatly appreciated.  As we all know nothing we do is a guarantee and its in Gods hands not ours.

I would like to add in some excitement.  If you haven't seen my link on the main page this is how I feel about this website.

Please go to to check out their site and see what they are doing for infertility. And just how you can help. If any of my posts have reached out to you and left you wondering what exactly you can do to help? This is what you can do. I am telling you now.  Go to this website.  Copy and paste it into your browser and save it in your bookmarks. If you really "don't have time right now."  I am judging you if you never go.  The least you can do is share it on social media even if you do not donate 5 dollars or buy a little print or a piece of Origami Owl jewelry.  Women like myself and like my dear friend M above would love to be supported and feel much less stressed about wanting to have a family and being able to support that family when the time comes.  So please don't take this lightly it is very important to me.

This has been a big one this week. My dad has been going through major testing on his brain. He has been experiencing excruciating headaches that leave him sick and on a lot of medication.  For months he has had his head looked at.

Sorry I couldn't resist.
So, at any point he may or may not have an aneurysm or stroke. Lovely. They are still doing a lot of testing and have came up with nothing conclusive at this point, still leaning on hereditary issues.  This is the man that never sits down.  He is always going and always working on the next "project."  Yes that character trait is passed down.  I am my fathers daughter.  We are hoping they find some solid answers soon.  Prayers for him and his ole' dome piece.

Tears of sadness.
 I was going to post a link. But most of the time when people do that no one goes to the link.  I know I don't. I am lazy.  I have no shame.  So instead I will copy and paste this story from my sisters Facebook from a year ago. If you have time to read it get some tissues. If not...make time. My furry nephew is worth the 5 minutes.

Romeo's Story

October 18, 2012 at 9:27pm
I write this post with a very heavy heart, as my beloved fur-baby of 11 years, was diagnosed yesterday evening with Nasal Cancer. Our lovable black lab, appropriately named Romeo, started with bouts of sneezing/nose bleeds out of one nostril back in mid July. After realizing it wasn't just allergies or an irritation from something he snorted up from outside, we took him to the Vet. We learned it was a tumor. The tumor was obviously irritating his entire nasal canal, which would cause him to violently sneeze and then cause the nose bleeds. Our trusted vet of 11 years, recommended we have it removed...immediately. "If we don't?"- I asked .... "Well, the tumor would most likely spread & the symptoms would worsen....& Romeo would most likely only be with us for a few short months” ((a few months….!? my heart broke)). I didn't hesitate another second and the surgery was scheduled within two days. After all the blood work was completed and 2 different x-rays were done, I ordered the surgery to have the tumor removed. I was scared. However, I felt confident in our Vet and his abilities to remove the tumor. I was hopeful and figured things would be just fine. I prayed they would be just fine.

This is after the fact that Romeo just recently (May ‘12) had a small, benign cyst removed from his front right leg. He bounced back after surgery & was completely fine. Actually, he was more active than before the surgery and his arthritis symptoms seemed to almost completely disappear. I was hoping this 2nd surgery would go just as smoothly.

Well…. the nasal surgery was 2 weeks ago, and Doc was able to remove Romeo’s tumor. Most of it. It was attached to his septum and went pretty far back into his nasal cavity. A few days after the Surgery, Romeo seemed to be back to his normal self. Trotting through the front door to eat & get treats after going outside to do his thing. We continued our evening walks & our normal daily routine. He did sneeze a few times within the 2 week period, and although it scared us a little, we figured it was normal/just still irritated from the surgery. Things are looking up…he’s fine, I kept telling myself!

However, at his 2 week post-opt checkup yesterday………the biopsy results revealed…. it is indeed nasal cancer. Which of course has some big, annoying fancy name that I didn’t write down. Why would I? I hate it. I hate cancer. I’m bitter. This isn’t fair. He’s fine… or so I thought.

Romeo, like many other great Labradors, is the best dog and friend I've EVER had. He's been by my side the last 11 & ½ years, first getting me through high school, breakups & college stresses, multiple moves, & many selfish moments. He was by my side through my parents’ divorce, he moved into the first apartment I've ever had on my own, he welcomed both Shadie Cat & Jade into our family with open paws, he proudly walked down the aisle at our wedding, & made it through the hectic home building process with my husband & I. He’s literally been there through it all…good & bad, wagging his tail the whole time. He's such a gentle giant, a total flirt and complete sweetie pie. In all of his 11 years, he has never had a bite nor growl for anyone! Not even his pesky 3 year old min-pin sister who bites and pulls on his ears and drives him nuts! And I can’t forget the nieces & nephews who have grown up with him and crawled all over him & rode him like a horse….literally. Everyone that meets Romeo, simply falls in love with him. He truly is a wonderful dog. I've raised him since a pup (with the help of my Dad when I was still at home/college)... and he is like my child. Probably more spoiled than most children…sadly. No matter how I try and prepare myself for it……’s impossible and heartbreaking to imagine my life without the big ol’ lug around.

After leaving the vet yesterday…my husband & I have decided that because of Romeo’s age, the side-effects, no health guarantees, & deeper financial burden, that we are not going to pursue Radiation or Chemo for his nasal cancer. Actually, my vet assured me we were doing the right thing by just simply enjoying what time he has left with us.

Romeo is on a low dose of Tramadol for pain & to calm the sneeze attacks when they come. We will continue to give it to him to make him comfortable. The hardest part about this terrible disease... is the fact that he is lively and in good health otherwise…and not knowing what the future will hold. I do know his whole heart and mind is still with us. If you met Romeo, and didn't hear my story you would never know he even has cancer. He’s just a happy old dog that enjoys laying at your feet and rolling in cow manure every once in awhile. We walk daily, and lord you should see his ears perk up like a puppy when we get out the squeaker toys. He currently eats normally and is on no other medication than the tramadol. I’m confident at this point he is comfortable and happy. Thank you for listening to Romeo’s story. It helps to get it out and I hope I can help others, who may, unfortunately be in this same situation. Prayers and support from my family and friends have gotten me through this so far. I've learned a lot of this page also & i am going to try some of the vitamins that were recommended! Thank you all! God Bless!

Oh Romes.  This big ole lug is the best dog I've ever known. Better than my own? Yes. This week he took a turn for the worse. Sadly the cancer is not letting him eat. He has fought almost a whole year against it but now my sisters biggest fear is upon us.  I have cried all day thinking about not having him in our family. Not having him around for Max to growl at when we show up on trips to PA.  Or the little dogs to romp all over him as he lays quietly on the floor.  Or when we cram all the dogs together and trick them with treats and high pitch voices to take a semi decent fur children photo.  He is not "just a dog" to those of you with no souls.  My breaking heart and abundance of tears can testify of how greatly he will be missed. So if you have extra prayers you can send some to my sister for peace and comfort as she has a rough weekend ahead.

Till we meet again old boy. Love your Aunt Rachel.


  1. I am in tears. Let's start from the beginning. I am so glad you were able to be with M on her transfer day and experience it. What a truly amazing friend/sister you are. Second, your dad has always been a sweet man. I am so sorry this is happening. I am praying they can determine something soon and that things do not get worse. And third, Romes. Romeo is THE sweetest dog I have ever met.. and has been since day one many years ago. I read his story last year, again a couple of months ago, and I had to read it again today. So, so sad. He is going to be missed by so many. I am so sorry. Please know that I will continue my prayers plus some. Sending love and hugs. <3

  2. Wow! It does seem like you're had a very emotional week. Sending positive thoughts for your friend and her embryo. Thanks for sharing the infertility fairy site! It is so hard losing pets...mine is like my baby and losing him will break my heart. So sorry for your loss.