Thursday, January 30, 2014

Yo Yummy???? SOOOOO Yummy!

Y'all know how picky Luke is.

Rather, how *resistant* he is.  I don't think it's fair to call a child who sees a therapist for sensory food aversion 'picky.'

He is not willfully being disobedient.   When a kid won't try candy or something sweet?  Not willful.  Or picky.

Something else entirely.  And therapy has done a WORLD of good.  He tries things now.  Sometimes on his own; sometimes because I tell him he needs to.  But still, he tries, and that is so much progress.

He still does not want things on his fingers or mouth, though.  He won't eat without "a wipe" (wet washcloth) and dabs his face or fingers after EVERY bite.  Now that he is trying more, we are noticing more aversion to the texture of things.  He's much more willing to try, but then he starts gagging (something he never did before) because of the textures of new and different things.  Basically, continued exposure and desensitization will help that, but it's a slow process.

So HOW EXCITED was I to try a new yogurt product?  He loves yogurt.  It has always been one of his staples, even when he'd only eat maybe three things.  But, he's never been too much a fan of the yogurt on mouth.  He likes yogurt tubes, but around here, it's not always easy to find them without all the sugar and dyes and such.

Ta Da!  Introducing to our lives YO YUMMY!  I am part of an awesome Moms group, Moms Meet, and we get the opportunities to sample and share things with friends.  I jumped on the chance to let Luke try these yogurt pouches and I am SO glad I did.  They have 10% less sugar than most 'kids' yogurts out there and NO dyes and NO high fructose corn syrup (seriously...why even use that stuff????).  Each pouch has more protein than even the awesome organic brand I pretty much exclusively buy and best of all???

Luke LOVES them. 

LOVES them.  He loves all flavors I got to sample, and always immediately asks for another when he finishes one.  He likes that he can eat yogurt from a pouch, and therefore make far, far less mess.  PERFECT for him! I like that they are a dairy farm in Vermont and though it's not organic, they only use rBST free milk from their OWN dairy farm.

The only thing I don't love is that they aren't easy enough for me to buy (yet)...for now, some of my favorite (but not-so-near) places carry them:  Wegman’s, Costco, Hannaford, Stew Leonard’s, Fresh & Easy, and Sprout’s Farmer Markets. 

My hope is that the locations will continue to grow, but honestly, even though our nearest Costco is over an hour away, these will be on our list to go for—Luke likes them that much.    If you are near any of these stores, and have the opportunity, I'd definitely try them out.  Sometimes, when I do reviews of things, I am hesitant because I worry about how to be kind if I don't like something or find value in it.

TOTALLY not the situation here!  SO, YoYummy, thanks for the opportunity to try something we think is AWESOME!

Come to more stores, closer to me!  And fast!

***I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

On Maintaining A Happy Face...

I got the results of the node biopsy last week. As predicted, they were "Non-cancerous.  Benign alternatives all within normal limits."

Thankful.  I posted on FB because I was just so grateful!  One big thing down, one to go...sort of.

Well, I posted too soon.  Later that morning, I got a call from radiology about something on the mammogram that required more imaging and then got a letter too just to reiterate that in further studying, etc., there may be more to look at.  Awesome.  I've not gone back for another mammogram because next week, I see an amazing surgeon and he will be the decider of what to do with the "We're not sure what that lump is but it doesn't look like cancer," lump.  Speaking to my OB again today, he reiterated his happiness that I was seeing the surgeon and told me to be prepared for him to want to take a better look at it.

Prepared used to be my middle name.

I went in for my pelvic ultrasound this morning, to be followed by an endometrial biopsy.  (Seriously, tons of fun.)  The tech was nice and as often happens pretty much any time I am laying on an ultrasound table, looking at the ceiling and hearing the whoosh-whoosh of prenatal heartbeats nearby, tears slowly came out of the corners of my eyes.

I couldn't help it.  I cannot count how many times I've been on a table like that.  Praying.  Rejoicing.  Pleading.  Sobbing.

No matter how far away from infertility and loss I feel like I get...I am always reminded that I'll NEVER get away from it.


So, as she's looking and telling me how fabulously fertile I look, and sharing her sorrow over "my story", she tells me that the endometrial lining looks great.  I saw the coveted triple stripe that sooooo many IVF gals are looking for at transfer time, and 4 dominant follicles.  Yep.  Totally, totally look like (and have blood work to prove) a gal with the fertility of a 30-year-old.

Except I'm not.

My pain has been primarily one-sided.  She spent a lot of time there, but didn't say much, so I didn't figure there was anything going on.  Then, after, I said, "Well, if the endometrium looks good, maybe he won't want to do a biopsy, right?"

She said, "Probably not on the endometrium, no. But...there's something going on with your right ovary.  He's probably going to want more testing."

I nervously told her, "Well, at least I know I wasn't crazy and this pain wasn't fake!"

She sort of fidgeted and smiled and then asked if I needed any tissues.

That does not sound very encouraging, does it?  It didn't to me, either.

I went back into the waiting room to wait on the doctor.  The HUGE, very filled with happy-pregnant-people, waiting room and just bit my lip to hold back the tears.  I wasn't necessarily afraid; just anxious...and I felt very, very small.

I looked around.  I try not to be jealous.  I am blessed beyond measure.  I try not to let what-will-not-be steal any joy of what-is-right-now.  I try to be grateful for all I have instead of wistful for what I've lost. I try not to let bitterness and anger over how I should have a house full of little boys cloud the unimaginable joy that I have in one amazing Threenager who calls me Mama.

But friends,


I want to scream that sometimes.  IT IS HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Attitudes, in my opinion, are choice-based.  I choose joy or peace or happiness over depression, anxiety and anger.

I think, though, sometimes it is forgotten how difficult those choices are.  How gut-wrenching infertility and loss can make someone feel and how deep a valley they have to come from just to get to those 'choices'.

I'm not looking for pats on the back.  I do NOTHING in this world without the grace of God.  NOTHING.  But for His grace and provision of support in friends and outlets and healing through my sweet Luke?

I'd have let myself die off a long time ago.

But the pull to go the other way is strong just throw myself into the natural inclination, which right now for me is, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" and still, I feel guilty even saying that because I'm not even sure about what it is I'm being kidded.   The pull to break down and cry is just pretty strong.

So I did a bit today.  And am now.  And feel better for doing so.

When Luke wakes up from nap, I'll go right back to the Mama he knows and loves—silly, giggly, wildly-in-love-with-him Mama and he'll not have a clue that I had a little pity party for myself.

And we will have Krispy Kreme donuts.  Because seriously, they make my kid (and me) smile.


As for what the doctor said...essentially, he does not think the cysts found are cancerous, but took some blood and wants me to come back in 6 weeks for another pelvic ultrasound.  Given my mother's and sister's history, he said that I'm valid in being concerned about cancer.  Given MY history of PCOS and ovarian cysts, he feels pretty confident that it'll be ok but he wants to be sure since I've been having pain.  He feels the pain (gut-busting!) is probably residual scar tissue from surgeries and endometriosis and he still wants to do an endometrial biopsy but will wait for 6 weeks so as not to put me through it today and compare ultrasound findings from today with 6 weeks' time.  He is a really great doctor.  Said he wished he could be more comforting but for now, odds are this is all just vigilance but if there is cancer or whatever, it's very early and things should be just fine.  I feel that way too.  I am not going to really rest too easily for the next 6 weeks, BUT...I do feel like whatever is going on is not something huge.  Then again...if you know me in real life, or have read this blog long know how *great* my gut instinct is, don't you?

Oh, hey, did I mention I'm having sinus surgery in two weeks?

You know...because I just like a few more things on my plate....

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Guess It Went Well...

Wow.  Way to make a girl feel loved! Thank you all for thoughts and prayers.  I honestly feel pretty ashamed of myself for alarming anyone before I knew what was going on, so forgive me.  I just got home.  There is a small (3mm) cyst they found not by mammogram but with ultrasound.  (Apparently, I have the breast tissue of a 20 year old—which means DENSE—and will now always have an annual ultrasound with mammogram.  Who knew?  A new law was just passed that requires breast tissue density to be scored **true to my nature, I am at the TOP of the charts!** so that people can know whether a mammogram may miss something.  I'm one of those that a mammogram missed.  Is there any way to know it was there in October when I had my annual mammogram?  No.   There isn't.  But,  I don't think it was.  I'm very, very, very vigilant in self-checks.  The lump I found at the end of December was sizable and new.  It's shrunk (a good sign) but still there. And, according to the radiologist, doesn't look like cancer but he is not sure what it looks like.  Fun, right? Always one to keep them guessing....

The lymph nodes are still swollen but look normal.  I didn't (and still don't) know what swollen nodes feel like, apparently.  A bit disconcerting.  Still, the radiologist did not recommend biopsy but left it to my doctor.

My doctor wanted biopsy.

He said if I was just a gal with all this and had done IVF, he'd probably not biopsy.

If I was just a gal with all this and a mother who had died of breast cancer, he'd probably not biopsy.

But, since I'm a gal whose mother died of estrogen receptive breast cancer, and I've pumped my body in loads and loads with the very stuff that probably killed her?

He isn't taking chances.  I'm with him.  He feels confident the results will come back negative (a couple of days) but is still puzzled by the mass...could be fibroid, could be benign cyst, could be mild duct back clog (did you KNOW that existed?????)...could (and probably is) just a quirky little part of me.

So, I feel pretty confident it's fine.  I have to follow up with the oncologist surgeon on the 29th and recheck with mammogram and ultrasound in 3 months (or sooner if more lumps or pain in nodes) but I'm sure it's going to be fine.

I'm a bit more concerned about the 22nd and the endometrial biopsy, but even still...if it turns out to be something (and with a couple of c-sections, a few laparoscopies and endometriosis in my bag of tricks, could be a ton of other things!) serious, it's early.  And there are a lot of things that can be done.

Sooooo....again, thank you for all of the love and well wishes and prayers and good thoughts.  I really do feel a bit like I threw a big temper tantrum anyway by throwing it all out on FB before I really knew what I was dealing with.  I won't lie, though.  It's really, really nice to have people rally when you are scared.

And I was, a bit.

So thank you, thank you.
More to come as I learn it...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Temper Tantrums Flare, But Gratitude Wins


Right after Christmas, I found a lump.  It scared me because it was much bigger than the one I found in October of 2012.  Similar area, but much bigger.  I called the doctor and because of the holidays, yesterday was the earliest I could get in.  It's shrunk since then, so I almost canceled the appointment and didn't waste my time...figuring it was fibroscystic breast disease, which is fairly common.

I went, expecting him to tell me it was nothing.  He did not.  He said it was very different, and he was concerned because I also had lymph nodes swollen.  I had no idea.  My mother's initial breast cancer started with swollen lymph nodes as symptomatic, but back then, it was chalked up to a virus.

My doctor said that may be the case here, but given history and IVF, he wasn't taking any chances.  I am scheduled for a mammogram and ultrasound, as well as biopsy of the nodes tomorrow.  He wanted it done quickly.  I'm never fond of that urgency.  It doesn't usually pan out well for me.

We also discussed some other symptoms I've been having recently.  I'm going to be 41 in a few months, and I did have endometriosis, so I just assumed the issues were age/hormone related.  He said that normally, he'd say they were, but he was concerned again because of my history, my family history (mother -breast and sister- ovarian cancers) and the IVF.  He did a pelvic check and found a mass.  More appointment scheduling.  His words were, "I wish I could tell you I wasn't looking for endometrial cancer, but I am."

Well, okay then.

IVF is an old, new technology.  While it's been around for 35 years, just now are we able to have any long-term studies (ha ha, 35 years is long-term?) done on the effects on women.  Some are fairly encouraging, but most say that it's still too early to tell.  The important take-homes for me are that women with unexplained infertility (me) who undergo IVF (me) have higher risks of uterine/ovarion/endometrial cancers.  Throw in my mom's oncologist telling me (a month before she died) that I should NEVER do hormone replacement therapy,  (and IVF might as well be that times on a million) and well....I'm not finding the irony of any of this funny.

I had a choice in doing fertility treatments.  If I did, I had children.

Granted, 2/3 of whom I don't even get to raise, but that's another bitter post.

If I did, I had children.  Apparently, I also risked leaving any said children motherless.  No, the irony is not humorous to me at all.

So, that's it in a nutshell.  I have a MILLION other things that are BIG news.  Okay, not a million, but several.

We are moving.  Not back to Maryland, either.

John will have a new job.

I have a new job.

Luke, over the course of just a few days, has transitioned to a toddler bed, given up the boppy (paci) and been dry in the morning regularly.  He turned three and seemed to turn into a BOY all of a sudden.

There are more things in the fire and more I want to do.

But now—things stand still as I wait.  I'm sure it'll all be fine.  Then again, I've heard that before in a lot of things.

When you've had it NOT be fine?  Repeatedly?

Little comfort.

That said, I am trying to not be angry, as is my natural inclination right now.  I want to be very angry.  I was yesterday, but honestly, today, just cannot justify it.  I have a great life, great things to come, and *if* anything should come of this, odds are it really will be just fine.  I wanted to throw a temper tantrum yesterday.

Today, I remember that I am grateful.  And gratitude always wins.