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Monday, November 11, 2013

change of plans


On day 31 of my cycle (Saturday), I finally ovulated. This cycle will be roughly 45 days long. Sigh. A reminder of how busted my body is. But the delay has given me some time to think. And there has been a change of plans.

This month I was planning to do my uterine biopsy for the beta integrin 3 test. However, I decided to skip it. The test is painful, expensive ($1,000) and in my case would likely be for nothing. If I take the test, it will play out in one of the following three scenarios:

1. Inconclusive. 30% of the tests come back inconclusive. If that happened, Dr. S would treat me with two months of Lupron Depot shots prior to a frozen embryo transfer (FET). This hormone therapy treatment reduces endometriosis lesions and pain. The hope is that the drug will also make my uterus more hospitable for the embryo to attach and give my body the sticky protein that could be missing due to my endo.

2. Negative. If I tested negative, I would do the Lupron Depot as described above. 

3. Positive. If I tested positive for the beta integrin 3, I wouldn't trust the results. My friend had two failed IVF cycles locally before switching to CCRM. Dr. S did a laparoscopy and found that she had stage five endometriosis yet she tested positive for the beta integrin 3 test. She was treated with two months of Lupron Depot prior to transfer and is now pregnant with twins. She attributes her success at least in part to the Lupron Depot shots.

That being said, I already know I have endometriosis and will have very few embryos to transfer. I can't afford to waste any. Keeping with my motto to "follow the path of least regrets", I decided to skip the test and just do the Lupron Depot shots to give myself the best chance of success. 

The only downside to the treatment is that it causes bad hot flashes and a fatty needle to deliver the meds. Since I'll be taking the shots in the winter, I'm not concerned because my body is always freezing. Silver lining is that I've heard that you feel amazing since it suppresses all of the horrible symptoms associated with endometriosis. I feel good about the new plan.

So my baby-making life will probably look something like this....
Early Dec - Start estrogen priming
Late Dec - Start stims
Early Jan - Egg retrieval #2
Feb/Mar/April - Lupron Depot hormone therapy shots
May - Frozen embryo transfer

And here's to wishful thinking...
A positive pregnancy test by my 37th birthday on May 25th, 2014.


39 comments:

Hapa Hopes said...

I'm a huge fan of using Lupron Depot before a cycle. Worked for me and I absolutely think Lupton was the key. Side effects weren't too horrid. Just remind yourself that it's temporary! Good luck!!

Sarah said...

A new year coming and new and happy things ahead for you my friend!! Looks like a great plan :)

Aramis said...

This is EXACTLY what I did for IVF#3 after my abnormal endometrial function test, and I just had my last Lupron Depot shot three weeks ago. I still wonder if I have some kind of endometriosis myself...I've never had ANY kind of period pain or irregularity, but I guess it's possible. We decided not do to surgery to find out, since I'm doing Lupron anyway. It makes total sense for you to do this given the scenarios you laid out. I hope it works for me and then you too!!

Melissa said...

Praying for you, girl. Praying for that positive pregnancy test by your birthday! :)

Mrs B. said...

Sounds like you are moving forward... how exciting. And great decision too. I have put something in the mail for you so I hope it gets there before your December cycle begins.

Ashley said...

Glad you have a new plan in action!! Lupron wasn't that bad for me - I used it prior and during my last 2 cycles. It just sucked getting 2 needles a day and mine had to be refridgerated. Wishing you the best with this new plan!!

JoJo said...

Sounds like a wonderful plan and I'm glad you analyzed this decision and decided to go with what's best for you. I will continue to pray for you in hopes that you do receive your birthday miracle!

Jennifer T said...

This may be a dumb question, but is the lupron depot shots strictly for endometriosis? What does it do to help you get/stay pregnant?

A positive pregnancy test would be the best birthday present ever! I'm hoping your 37th birthday is your best yet that it will keep you celebrating for years to come :)

Dream Chase said...

I think you're making the right decision. Praying all goes according to plan!! *hugs*

waiting and wishing said...

Wishing you all the best!

Sarah Goodman said...

have you had a laparoscopy? endo sucks :( im sorry my love. but im behind you 100% right along side you hoping for that positive for your birthday!!! xxo

Charity said...

Oh wow you have been making tough decisions. I am praying so hard that this journey will yield great results with a healthy pregnancy!!

Marcy said...

Sounds like a well laid out plan. I wish only the best for you and a silver lining of less endo pain is a good thing for sure.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I'm new to your blog, a friend of mine posted she liked it on FB.
I wish you the very best with your journey , but I felt like I needed to at least refer you to this blog post about Lupron from someone who has been down your path, so you can go into it eyes wide open and informed the best you can be.
http://www.singleinfertilefemale.com/2012/09/this-disease-the-treatments-available-and-why-im-allowed-to-cry/

conceptionallychallenged said...

I've been on lupron for 6 months for endometriosis, years ago, and it wasn't all that bad. I hope the shots make you feel better - and I hope so much that they'll help bring you a positive pregnancy test and a baby nine months later!

Emily said...

Seems like all roads may lead to the Lupron anyways, so I don't blame you for wanting to just save the $1000 for that test and just go for the treatment that will help everything. Looks like a good plan of attack! I do hope you get that bday present!!

bellehavendrive said...

This is an exciting plan! Excited for you!

Kasey A said...

Praying for that positive pregnancy test and that everything goes just as you have planned! I also don't believe in extra tests that would lead you down the same road and treatment plan regardless! Go with you guy! Wishing you the best.

Aubrey said...

I think that's such a great plan, Jessah. It's sometimes crazy how when we initially find out there are delays with our cycles that we get so bent out of shape and upset and frustrated (rightfully so - we've been at this long enough!), but sometimes, the extra time gives us clearer thoughts... and a better plan. Thinking of you all the time! xoxo

Amanda said...

I like the rationale... it seems like you know exactly what you need to do! We could potentially be cycling together too... maybe a week a part! Hoping that everything works out just as you've planned! Hugs!!!

shay said...

My dr doesn't even recommend the Beta 3 Integrin test. She says the research is too inconclusive so she doesn't want to waste the time or money testing. I think your plan sounds good.

And I'm assuming Lupron DEPOT is different than regular Lupron?

Vicki Sturgiss said...

Oh gosh, those of us who can have babies without any effort really do take it for granted. I hope it all works out for you and your dreams are realised. My 17 yo niece was recently diagnosed with endo, and it breaks my heart to read this and realise that this could possibly be her future one day. All my best thoughts are with you x

Kristin J said...

I just finished six months of Lupron Depot. If they will give you add back therapy take it! It will mean the difference between horrible mood swings and hot flashes, and tolerable ones!

Jess said...

Good luck with the Lupron Depot. The shots were fairly painless, so no need to be afraid. The hot flashes were manageable, although I highly recommend dressing in layers! I struggled the most with the night sweats, but a good fan by your bed will make all of the difference. Winter is definitely the best time of year to take on menopause.

Suzanne said...

That's so interesting. I sent an email to Dr. G yesterday to see if I could skip the endometrial biopsy and move straight to the Depot Lupron as well. I just think I would feel better about it. Still waiting for a response. I love that you're being proactive to give yourself the best possible outcome!!

2014 is surely a big year for us!! xoxo

Laura Rahel said...

Holy goodness, such a long process! I think that when Stephen and I get married and start ttc (instead of merely not preventing) an endo test will be the first thing I do. I've been suspicious because of how painful my cycle usually is (crying, ruled up in a ball, throwing up in pain.) my HSG determined "unexplained infertility" and I declined to continue on the road of surgical exploration because I was going through my divorce and it was no longer relevant back then. I hope the Lupron depot shots help with everything friend!

Mrs. Lost said...

I think that I only had one hot flash on Lupron, but I did gain a few lbs. Mine was in the fat so my needle was tiny, I'm assuming yours is in the muscle? Good luck!! Wishing you the best

J and A said...

Sounds like a good plan. Thinking of you and I think that's a great birthday wish. I will wish for that for you too!

Ashley {Life on the Parsons Farm} said...

Oh my gosh. I have to go back and read more of your posts. I suffer from infertility as well. We decided to adopt rather than go through IVF. Our plan is to adopt another (boy this time) and then try IVF if God hasn't decided for us to have a viable pregnancy before then. My story is on my blog. Feel free to check it out.

Always Maylee said...

I like your decision. I think it's definitely the path of least regrets and I think you are giving yourself a great chance of success. Best of luck my friend!! :)

xo, Yi-chia
Always Maylee

Sillymama said...

Great plan, Jessah!!! Good luck!

Mrs. E said...

It sounds like you have a really good plan! Crossing everything for you.

InLimbo said...

What a great plan! Totally makes sense to skip it, very convincing. You may have just convinced me to do the same! And love your positive outlook. Pregnant by 37 - this is your time.

Amber said...

I like the new plan. In each scenario you seem to end up doing the Lupron anyway, so why not??? I especially like the part about the positive thinking at the end, with the positive beta :)

Holly said...

I like it!! It feels so good to have a plan! I took Lupron for awhile with each IVF cycle and found this funny image on pinterest that said something along the lines of "Lupron, a free visit to the tropics" cause of the hot flashes. Lol there are some cold winter days I wouldn't mind them :) Wishing you the best and that Lupron kills all the symptoms!

Kelly said...

And I've complained about our schedule. I feel for you hon! I wish you all the luck in the world and I hope this works for you! Good things are coming! I just know it! :)

JenS said...

You absolutely have to try everything you can. Sounds like you have a good plan. I hope Lupron is kind to you. Fingers crossed this will work for you.

Alicia said...

The path of least regrets - yes! Thinking of you!

Kacy said...

I just finished six months of Lupron in August. I did it throughout the heat of the summer but luckily I didn't have any hot flashes. Everyone responds differently but it will help to take all of the vitamins they recommend as they will help with some of the side effects. The shots don't hurt, especially if you have had your blood taken many times like I have (which I assume you probably have). Good luck! Kick some endometriosis butt! I just recently started my own blog, I am fairly new at this but if you'd like to read it or have any questions about Lupron just ask! :-)
1stcomesloveblog.wordpress.com

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