Friday, June 12, 2009

all that's lost

So I thought maybe I owed the internet (which lives for my ranting, I know) the information that I have not completely lost my mind. At least, not irretrievably. Had a chat with an IRL IF friend; she really wanted me to consider going out to Nebraska to see H.ilgers, which I'm not willing to do (don't get me wrong, he seems great, not just his expertise but also his approach - I want a doctor to talk not only about treatment but about when to stop and apparently he does - but I have long since decided that the line of how much normalcy in my life I'm willing to cede to IF treatment stops before traveling to a doctor in a different region of the country), but it was still good to talk to her, maybe just for its own sake. Talking to a real human being (who talks back - sorry, blog), my anger and rebellion remain, but maybe the level of defiance tones down just a touch. (Also, she's in the DC area, so maybe another one for the DC Catholic IF support group!)

And I got to put another "i" on my chart (twice in three days beats twice in a month, and assuming I had a fertile phase at all and it's around now, that's actually a decent number of attempts total, right? We'll put up a few more "i"s just to make it look good, of course), and I realized that we're actually enjoying sex week. Which I didn't really expect. My husband finally threw out the cigs after cutting down - smoked his last two on Monday. Impressive, no? He didn't even tell me that until today (I think he thought I knew...?). It had two immediate and palpable effects: first, his awful heartburn that's prevented him sleeping more than four hours straight as long as I've known him is practically gone, even without the antacids he popped like candy before. That's huge. Second, as we discovered when he briefly quit once before, the sex drive goes way up. Good timing for sex week, eh? Especially fortunate because the quitting makes him quite cranky, so there needs to be some motivation to cooperate!

CM is still a disaster and I'm still angry that all I did was submit to some testing - not even do anything that had a risk attached about which I had to make an informed decision - and I've done in the system. Took my second and third M.ucinex pills today (one every twelve hours-ish) and other than a brief and minor apparent improvement this morning, no difference; maybe it's even worse. Who knows. My slightly raised temperature yesterday was a fluke, though - I'm back to 97.7 today, so luteal phase temps aren't here yet. A few more days of sex week. (This is a late ovulation for me - presumably due to tamoxifen - but as is now obvious, that's not a harbinger of plentiful CM just around the corner. I guess I just ask my doctor what it all means, since trying to treat it is useless...)

As I was dutifully maintaining my 30 minutes of knee-chest position (such a reflective time, you know?), an odd emotion ambushed me. I found tears seeping out of my eyes and realized that though I've cried and yelled, rebelled and rationalized, been bitter and afraid and angry and despairing and devastated by turns, I've never just let go and mourned that the healthy and still lovely (even if I do want to trim the hips and maybe the tummy a little) body of an adult female that I can feel under my fingers is not healthy. Hiding in my apparently relatively normal abdomen is a circus of disfigured organs and exhausted systems that should not be there. And I've never just sat there and cried for one of life's many tragedies, for nothing more complicated than a good and beautiful reality that should be and is not. And it's worth the mourning. Sickness, like death, is not part of God's design; it's my lot, by His will or His allowing, but engendered by the fall, a blight that no young woman was ever intended to endure. Rather than running away, and fighting everything, and shaking my fist at the heavens, at least sometimes I should cry, for the artlessly happy life I could have and should have had ("be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it") but will never have.

There's another post lurking in here, about future things, and small things with great love, and vocation, and a worthwhile life, and childlessness and career, but it's not worked out in my head now, and this is long enough. I'm so tired, and I want so much for all of this to be over, but I will still live to fight again tomorrow.


  1. I have felt myself grieving a little more recently, too. I think as women we are taught to hate our bodies (really, for not good reason) and then IF gives us a good reason, and it stinks.

  2. I've had those same feelings about my uterus and ovaries. So many years I just believed, assumed they were healthy. People frequently told me that I have child-bearing hips, etc. It never crossed my mind that I could be infertile. When my RE showed me pictures from my surgery and explained what's really going on in my abdomen, it felt as though my body had betrayed me. For me, it's just one more reason to despise it.

    On a brighter note, I'm going to be annoying and point out that Deanna from The Open Door got pg right after her husband stopped smoking briefly. I know your husband's actions don't directly affect what's going on in YOUR body, but doesn't hurt! I'm glad you're still fighting.

  3. "I should cry, for the artlessly happy life I could have and should have had ("be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it") but will never have."

    Ahh, that one hit close to home. Again, another post that mirrors my thoughts exactly. Beautifully written, and brought a tear to my eye.

  4. I know the feeling of just wanting all the struggle and bs to be over, so that I could move on to loving what I have. It's exhausting to fight and grieve and strive for something that keeps receding every time you feel you might have just won a battle.

    Though you're wrestling with the angel at the moment, I'd like to argue that an artlessly happy life (if that even exists outside our imaginings about other people) is not worth living. That doesn't mean the examined and thoughtful life doesn't suck from time to time, but I think the ultimate balance is in its favor. I often reflect that if it hadn't have been this journey of IF, it would have been another struggle that would have knocked me down.

  5. (((Hugs))) for you and your emotions. You've got tears in my eyes too. I guess I have nothing to say, but I "get it".