Sunday, October 25, 2015

Surrogate application

I have to say the hardest part of needing a surrogate is that our entire fate rests on someone else. And the part that pisses me off the most is that I would probably be able to get pregnant tomorrow if we tried. But we can't. And I hate it.

We haven't gotten any takers on a surrogate. I'm not totally surprised. We had 2 volunteers. Much more than we ever expected. But it is still hard- it feels like rejection. We are still hoping that our surrogate is someone we know but it is looking more and more like it won't be.

Our attorney's office matches intended parents and surrogates. After our bad news last week I asked how we could get in that program. I was sent an 13 page application. We have to narrow our lives into 13 pages and hope that it is good enough for someone else to pick us. There are 2 potential surrogates waiting to be matched. I have no idea how many intended parents there are.

My fear is that once they read that I have a potentially fatal illness they won't pick us. I feel tremendous guilt for being the one whose fault is that this is happening. I talked to Mackenzie last week about how she would feel if she never had a brother or sister and she said sad. I asked her why? And she said because I'll be lonely. She's all ready lonely. Some nights I'm so sad I can't even face her. It's not fair that this is the life she was born into.

I feel like we are going through the grieving process. Like we just have to accept that we are going to be a 3 person family and that is that. There are a million worse things that could happen to a family. And I know Mackenzie is beyond loved by not only us but friends and family as well. She will never want for love. But I know how it feels to be lonely. How it feels to not have someone to talk to who understands what you are going through. That's my life since I was diagnosed.

Mackenzie asked George a couple weeks ago if I was having surgery after she overheard my mom and I talking. Later I asked her if she had any questions and she said no. About 2 weeks ago she asked me if surgery would hurt when they cut my belly. I asked her why she thought I was having surgery on my belly. She said she didn't know she just thought it was. This weekend, after thinking about that conversation for the last 2 weeks, it occurred to me that she might think I'm pregnant. So I asked her if she thought I was pregnant and she said she did before I told her I wasn't having surgery on my belly. I asked her why she thought that I was pregnant and she said because I was having surgery and because I've been going to the doctor a lot. I felt so awful that she probably got her hopes up thinking that a baby was coming soon. 

Speaking of me being pregnant- I've known for 3 years now that I might not ever be able to be pregnant again but it hit me really hard recently, especially after learning I need to go into menopause. I know I am beyond lucky to be able to experience one pregnancy but man, it's been a hard pill to swallow. It is so hard to see pregnancy announcements and baby bumps because I want that for us. I pray that we will one day get to expand our family but it is SO hard to remain hopeful. 

We are almost done with our application. The hardest part is writing a statement to potential surrogates. It's hard to summarize everything we want to say in a short paragraph. But the easiest part for me was describing George as a husband and father. And of course I liked seeing what he wrote about me!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

New news

Last Wednesday I had 2 doctors appointments- 1 with my GP for pre-op screening and 1 with my oncologist for my yearly check up and Thursday I had my pre-op appointment with my plastic surgeon.

My appointment with my GP was good- I got some tests run including an EKG. It's weird to be so young and have had so many tests on my heart all ready. The appointment with my plastic surgeon was good too- we just talked options and a little about the surgery. It is supposedly easier than my mastectomy so I'm hoping that is true. My surgery is supposed to start at 7:30 am so hopefully I will be home by the time Mackenzie gets home from school.

At my oncologist I got blood work (which was good) and waited FOREVER for my appointment. When I was finally called back and met with my oncologist she told me that since I saw her last year there has been a new study that shows that younger women who have breast cancer who go into menopause after treatment fair better then women who don't. I'm not in menopause. I have 2 choices- take a medication called Lupron monthly via injection until I go into menopause myself or have a hysterectomy. 

I always assumed once we had another child I would have a hysterectomy. I always felt like it would help my chances of survival but I was surprised it is now being recommended to all young women. I'm going to start with Lupron and then eventually have a hysterectomy and just get it over with. I can't see myself getting monthly injections for the next 30 years. 

We also had a friend volunteer to be our surrogate a while ago and we have been slowly going through the process with her. We were really hopeful because she would have been a great surrogate and we all agreed on everything we talked about. Then Wednesday night we found out that my doctors office disqualified her. Not for anything she did or that could have been changed. Just that which ever program they follow limits the amount of births and c-sections a surrogate can have. Which is information I wasn't given 6 months ago when I asked what the qualifications were. 

So obviously Wednesday night wasn't a great night. I think it was harder to hear that our friend was disqualified more than it was to hear about having to go into menopause. But I guess our plan now is to do egg retrieval as soon as possible (after reconstructive surgery on November 2nd) and then start Lupron. 

Which brings us to our next topic- WE STILL NEED A SURROGATE. The new qualifications we received said that she must be 43 or younger, BMI under 35, have had 2 c-sections or less and 4 births or less. 

In January when I posted about the "Year of the baby" (click for link) I fully expected that we would have a surrogate  pregnant by now. But it's been a pretty disappointing year. And we are REALLY trying to not give up hope but it's been hard to remain hopeful. Our fate remains in someone else's hands and that is really hard to deal with. We have gone through so many ups and downs in this process. And every time there is an up we start to dream about this baby and then there has always been a down shortly after. 

If you have any other questions about our feeling towards certain topics- why we need a surrogate, our opinion on selective reduction or how many embryos we want to transfer CLICK HERE for our FAQ's post. We are open to questions at any time in any forum- even if you don't think you could be our surrogate. Like I've said before- we know this is A LOT. It's more than you could even imagine- how do you tell your kids, what do you tell work/your friends and family, how are the injections and medications going to effect you. It's a lot to think about and talk to your family about.

But this new information about going into menopause has really shaken us up. Like I said- I always thought I would have a hysterectomy anyways but now there is a rush on me at least starting these injections soon. And not having a surrogate all ready made that information even harder to hear. Please at least consider sharing this post with your friends or family who you think could help. We would love to use someone we know but are getting to the point where we might have to use a stranger. Mostly we hope that our surrogate will live close to us so we can go to appointments and be there for the birth.

Thanks again for your continued support. I never imagined at 31 (almost 32) that I would be sitting here asking for a surrogate and waiting to have my reconstructive surgery for breast cancer. But this is our new life and we will continue to soldier on.