Wednesday, 17 November 2010

One step forward ... ?

It was, I suppose, inevitable that today's appointment wasn't going to go exactly to plan. When has any of my appointments?

The plan was to go through the results of the biopsy that I had two weeks ago, and (all being well) to start IVF.

Naturally the biopsy results weren't available

Scuppered from the start really.

But the Doctor valiantly soldiered on against administrative adversity.

We discussed possible ways forward.

The one scenario that the Doctor almost dismissed out of hand was the biopsy result showing the endometrial atypia hadn't been eradicated. He thought this was highly unlikely and decided to proceed with my protocol as though I've already had the all clear.

Although this might sound like a high risk strategy, it isn't - he is going to call me once the results are back and if there is a problem we will halt the wheels of IVF that, as of today, are in motion.

Yup, today I start birth control for two months.

That, Alanis, is irony.

Most women having IVF will be suppressed for a month first (by which I mean their ovaries are prevented from producing eggs, I'm not advocating removing their right to vote or ensuring they stay holed up in the kitchen from dawn 'til dusk).

Normally the Doctor would wait until the first day of my next period and then just give me birth control for a month. However, there are two factors preventing this being 'normal'.

1) I have a history of 80 day cycles and there is a worry that the endometrium, even if it has gone now, might grow back if they give it any time not closely and hormonally controlled. So I start the birth control as of today.

2) 'And why two months' worth rather than one?' I hear you cry. Because the IVF clinic is closed from the 10 December until the 10 of January. They say it is for a deep clean, although I can't help but think it is so they can spend December in an oblivion of Christmas cheer, with a ten day hangover tacked on the end.

So I am in a holding pattern until the 18th of January.

The exciting thing is I was given my own private pharmacy-worth of drugs for the entire treatment.

Obligatory drug photo here:

(That yellow and purple sharps bucket is going to play havoc with my colour-scheme)

The whole haul cost me the princely sum of £57.60 ($91.47). Oh, despite everything, I do love the NHS.

Even whilst at the pharmacy there was a glitch; one of the drugs they have prescribed is of the same family as a drug called Minocycline that I took when I was 19, as a contraception and something to keep my terrible PCOS-induced acne at bay. (One could argue that this wasn't needed as the acne was a contraceptive in itself). The drug gave me lupus (arthritis). Which I had for a year whilst various consultants scratched their head and wondered what on earth had bought it on, none of them even considering the Minocycline as it was such a common drug. Eventually I stopped taking the drug of my own accord and, literally overnight, I recovered.

Naturally, I am keen to avoid any similar drugs so there was much discussion about what to do about a replacement. In the end they are going to have a discussion internally (I wouldn't have needed it until January anyway) so we shall see what alternatives I have in the New Year.

All in all it was broadly positive. I just have to hope the biopsy result, when it does come, doesn't propell me back to square one.


  1. Great news that you have a plan and a way forward. Here's hoping that the results are as the doctor hopes and that this round will be the successful one for you.

    By the way, I'm currently on most of the same drugs (just started down regging last week - starting menopur on Friday) - they cost just under £1,000 though!

    So pleased that things are at last going in the right direction for you! Yay!!

  2. I like that you are on this two month suppression while the staff is on holiday. You must bring the white glove on your next visit and give them the dust test. Clean? Poor folks who did IVF in November must have had to wallow in the pent up filth.

    The Lupus onset is worrisome. And I'm giving you cheer for getting to square one. My hope is that the stars remain aligned and on track. It's been way too long on the bench.

  3. Yeah! IVF is finally a go! My clinic closed its IVF program for the Xmas season too. The pro is that you can actually enjoy the festivities without worrying about booze and the like. Also, $91 is a deal. So glad you're finally going forward!

  4. Great news! And hell yeah to the $90 cost of meds! Amazing. I am so excited for you to finally be making progress on a cycle. I know the birth control seems totally backwards, but you are on your way.

    Lupus sounds scary, I hope they find an appropriate alternative. And sending good thoughts for your biopsy results.

  5. Lots of wonderful decisions made and I am so jealous you got all those meds for $90!!!! Hot diggity dog!

    Hard to believe they close a clinic for a deep clean for so long, I suppose your first u/s afterwards will be spic & span! ;)

  6. Hangin in there with ya. :)

  7. That sounds like progress...much luck! And I hope your medication gets straightened out.

  8. Hey hun.

    Wow, that's a veritable stocking-full of goodies.

    I'm trying to read the labels on those boxes - I see Menopur, the old favourite, and maybe Suprefact? Hope you will introduce them all to us, a la Delia Smith, or maybe Blue Peter Makes style?

    Mine are puny by comparison. Puregon (an alternative to Menopur) comes in a 'pen' with a single cartridge that lasts about 6 shots. But it does come in a rather fetching blue case, for discrete lady-like handbag transportation. That, and a couple of ready-made Orgalutran syringes, is all I got. I feel robbed.

    G x

  9. My lord woman, I hope there are no druggies reading this blog. You'll have to invest in another lock in the door!
    I'm so glad that things are in progression. Here's hoping that 2011 is your year!

    Ps: Lucky you getting a 'sharps' box. I had stern looks from my dustman each week thanks to the shit NHS this end.

  10. I am enjoying your artfully arranged display of drugs.

  11. Those drugs are indeed beautifully arranged, as pointed out by Granine. A career as a window designer, if your current one gets a bit dull?

    I call this great progress. Let's have more of this sort of thing!

  12. Boo on the results not being ready. I hope they come soon and bring only good news.
    But I have to say I love your price tag.

  13. WOW, that's a lot to read! Our next step is IVF so am very interested in your journey. Our doc also said birth control for 2 months, so you aren't alone there and I don't have crazy cycles, it's like I am still on birth control with how on time they are! Anyway, I can't believe all the drugs and for that little price! Seriously, my drugs for IUI were at least $90 a pop, plus the $182 for Prometrium! I'm afraid IVF drugs here in the states will be triple what they are there! Wanna send me some?! ;) I'll pay you back!

  14. You're finally getting started! This is great news.

  15. I'm glad you're on your way, but man that's a long wait - on top of a long wait! The twice-yearly deep clean has affected us every time too. Despite all shortcomings, that price tag is pretty great. I shelled out more than $1,500 for this latest round of pharmaceuticals.

    And I finally figured out how to get around the pop-up blocker and so I'm back to being able to comment!

  16. Congrats on starting IVF! Woohoo! Finally! And BOO on the lab for closing! Happened to me, too. Grrr!

  17. wow, it is never straightforward for you is it! But YAY, yay! on starting the journey (boo for the wait of course).

  18. Oh that drugs picture takes me back. Shiver. I always had great luck with cycles started in the New Year. Hopefully you will too. Bad luck on the drug induced lupus but at least it does go away when you stop the guilty party.

  19. Can't believe the biopsy results aren't back after two weeks. Any news yet? Good on the Doctor for not making you wait any longer to start the process. Two months contraception when you've just been on the coil for 4 months just does seem so frustrating, in some ways it is part of the active treatment i guess, although you really must have to pull on all your reserves of patience. Until January then, when you'll have a sparklingly clean clinic to go to xxxx What are you planning for the Christmas holidays? love Wig x

  20. IVF systems are go - wonderful. Although too annoying (but oh so very typical of the NHS) about the biopsy results.
    Get that veritable selection box of Christmas goodies down yer and I'll be crossing everything.
    P.S. I had lupus as a kid too, weird eh?

  21. It's fantastic to read (and see) that you are on the verge of IVF. 2011 is going to be your year! I have my fingers crossed that there are no more stumbling blocks.

  22. I like broadly positive, and it sounds like your doctor is pretty sure that things will be a go in January. I do hate those clinic closure dates. It might make me a bit of a Scrooge. But it's hell when trying to get a baby-related show on the road.

    Thank goodness you/they caught the glitch regarding the Minocycline-like drug. That's the type of thing that could have ended badly (and I'm glad it ended well).

    I'm thinking good thoughts for those biopsy results. Anything less than 100% positive is unacceptable.

  23. Sorry to hear that the results weren't back, but at least you are able to move on to the next phase. And I can't quite believe you got your entire drugs stash for under £60. From what I can recall, the pharmacy bill alone for my last cycle came to over £1,000.

  24. Harley Street Pharmacy only supply Genuine UK Medicines. Very Low Prices on all our medicines, we aim to be the Cheapest in the UK and offer the best Services.


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