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.