Oct 16, 2010

Here We Go...

I got the referral two days after the last call I made to Tricare. That was a pleasant surprise. I called to make the appointment and they directed me to their website to download a questionnaire. It was six pages of medical history with a menstrual and reproductive emphasis. Thank goodness for the FMC iPhone app. Yes, there's an app for everything. It really comes in handy when I get asked all those questions. I don't have to calculate anything. Just enter the data and the app does it. You can save all kinds of data when it comes to the female reproductive system.

Roger and I went to meet the fertility doctor on Friday. It was just a new patient consultation which took about 30-45 minutes. Dr. K.M. Kavoussi was really nice. He definitely knows his stuff, but he does this every day. He reviewed my forms before he saw us and got straight to business. He asked a few specific questions then let us know how he starts the process. On the first day of my next cycle I have to call the office to schedule an HSG for 5-6 days later. He did say I would need to take four ibuprofen one hour before the procedure because it would cause cramping. Something to look forward to. Then on the second day I have to go get blood drawn for a bunch of lab tests. He wants to check my metabolic panel, lipid panel, CBC, estradiol, FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels. The HSG and the lab results will tell him if I will need any assistance getting pregnant. If those are normal, then we can go through with just an IUI.

But since my cycle is currently 24-28 days in length, ovulation can not accurately be predicted so he suggests using Clomid which is an ovulation stimulant. That used to scare the heck out of me because 1) I don't like to take any drugs unless medically necessary especially fertility drugs because 2) I am not keen on the idea of having multiples. Although if we tried naturally and multiples occurred I would be okay with it because it was obviously meant to be but I wouldn't want to try for multiples. Again, if that happened I'd have to be okay with it, but one baby is scary enough for me I can't imagine multiples. If you read the link to Clomid above, in the clinical trial the rates of multiples were 7.98%: 6.9% twin, 0.5% triplet, 0.3% quadruplet, and 0.1% quintuplet. I know quite a few women who have used Clomid and conceived on the first or second attempt most of those being natural conception. Clomid is a pill taken once a day for five days so ovulation can be precisely timed in order to perform the IUI.

Dr. Kavoussi suggested only trying IUI 3-4 times, which is all we think we would want to do anyway, before going to IVF since we have nine vials frozen at the cryobank. Of course right now we don't think we want to go through with IVF. But we'll address that if we need to. Since we were so unaware of the process ourselves, we thought we would share it here so others can learn. Not a lot of people share their fertility issues so I had no idea what the process entailed. We live our lives like an open book so others may be helped by our experiences. So the next update on this will be after the first week of November. And all prayers are greatly appreciated. We are excited to go on this adventure. Here we go...

Oct 7, 2010

Referral Take Two

Well, I spoke with Tricare today and turns out there are several in-network fertility specialists in Austin including the doctor I requested the first time. The person I spoke with said she is not sure why the last person I spoke with told me otherwise. I am not surprised by this at all. It comes with the territory. I would not expect any less from Tricare actually. At least she was really nice and we had a few good laughs together about it. So another referral will be sent to me in a week. We'll see who I get this time. I wonder if it will be for the doctor I requested or someone different. I'll let you know here. ~ Holly

Oct 5, 2010


The results from my blood work, echocardiogram and MRI on Monday are in. We met with the research nurse, nurse practitioner and Dr. Conrad this morning and all the tests look good. Dr. Conrad says that the MRI did not show much growth of the tumor this time as we've been seeing in the past few months. He said it looks a little plump in areas, and that my head was in a slightly different angle (which is the case for every scan), but this scan was overall stable. I have had minimal side effects and they seem to be pleased thus far. I will continue on the study for two more months and will come back to MD Anderson in eight weeks, which puts our next visit in early December. Between now and then I will have blood tests every two weeks in Austin so that MDACC can make sure my blood counts are safe.

I'm typing this up on my phone while we are waiting for my $10,000 chemo drugs. It's been an hour and we are getting hungry! But as soon as we get the meds we'll be back on the road to Austin and can finally get some lunch. Thanks again for thinking of us, praying for us and supporting us.


Oct 1, 2010

First Referral & Another Prayer Request

So we received our first referral in the mail today from Tricare for a fertility doctor. Funny thing is, Roger googled his name and he retired earlier this year and is no longer practicing. I called the phone number listed and it rang until it cut off. So I get to call our insurance again tomorrow to ask them for a referral to a fertility doctor that is actually still practicing. ~ Holly

Also, we are asking for prayers for our dear friends Eric & Brea who are at MD Anderson Cancer Center this week themselves. You can read their blog at "Giving Cancer the Finger". Okay, that's not the name of their blog but we like that title better. Thanks!