Giving Up Is Not an Option: Part 3

At my last visit, as previously stated in “Giving Up’s Not an Option #2,” my numbers rose to a 13.1ng/ml. With my last experience on Clomid/Femara in August 2017, my highest numbers were a 9.4ng/ml. Thus, my numbers jumping to 13.1ng/ml was some of the best news I had received throughout this process. The medicine was FINALLY working, and I mean really working. With my spirits lifted going into the second round, I was beyond hopeful.

With fertility medications like Clomid, they provide you with an actual physical calendar, which includes a strict set of deadlines. The deadlines consist of when you need to take the medicine, when you need to have intercourse, when you need blood drawn, and when you need to revisit the doctor. On top of the calendar, there are time frames, to ensure you take the medicine at the same time all 5 days. So although my spirits are high, taking Clomid can be ridiculously stressful. In addition to the stress from living by a highly regimented schedule; the side effects make it even more ‘fun.’ With this round being a double dose, I assumed the side effects would be worse, thankfully they weren’t too bad. I still have the lovely side effects of hot flashes and acne around the jaw line and chin, but thankfully they didn’t seem to get worse. However, I did notice that I bloated more this time around. Again, I remind myself that if this leads to our miracle, then bring on all the side effects.

It was finally day 21, which again means drawing blood to test my progesterone level. It was a Wednesday and I prayed I would get my results by Friday knowing Monday was a holiday, but I didn’t. I was thankful we were going to visit friends to keep my mind occupied. Come Monday, I got the alert from the healthcare app “Your health record contains new results.” I was shocked as it was Labor Day and I just assumed they would be closed. I couldn’t click fast enough to get my results and once again I was met with the pleasant surprise that my numbers had rose to 17.9 ng/ml. I was thrilled, the medicine was continuing to work. I went back for my day 28 blood draw to test my hCG (pregnancy hormone), which came back not pregnant. This was another tug at my heart, but I was staying positive.

Now the calendar starts all over. Unfortunately, when we made my monthly appointment, we accidentally made it a week later than we should have. So, I would be on “cycle day 8” come time for my appointment, which was 3 days too late. This particular doctor likes to see you and then refill the prescription rather than sending in 3 months’ worth. I contacted my doctor immediately when it was cycle day 1 using the message option on the health care app. I did not hear back, so I called and asked if someone could call in Clomid for me. They stated that my doctor was out of town and she was the only one who could call in the medication. They stated they could move my appointment from Friday to Wednesday (cycle day 6), which is the day she would be arriving back to work.  I was praying she would say starting on day 6 was not a problem, but of course that wasn’t the answer.

During my appointment my doctor stated that since we missed day 5 we would have to wait until next month. *INSERT SILENT MENTAL BREAK DOWN.* She was extremely apologetic, and all I could think was “it is what it is.”

Even with the bad news, my doctor lifted my spirits with expressing how happy she was with my numbers. She was so impressed, that the next dose she would like to do is 150mg (3 a day); with confidence this would get my numbers at 20ng/ml or above. She also mentioned (again) that at the 3 month mark is when she has her patients begin to consider other avenues. I quickly informed her that I would really like to continue Clomid for a few more months knowing it is working. However, since Clomid is known to cause ovarian cysts they have to be cautious. So since we are taking this month off, she ordered an ultrasound to ensure I am clear of ovarian cysts and be able to continue for an additional three months.

I am waiting to do my ultrasound, and praying it is clear. I am hopeful my doctor is allowing me to continue on Clomid and that my numbers are continuing to rise. I know our miracle will happen, and I pray it is soon. But until then, I will stay hopeful knowing this medicine is finally working.

-Dani

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