Rough Week

Chemo brain has thoroughly set in, so if this post is a bit stream of conscious, bear with me! My second round of chemo worked the opposite of my first. My first round, I felt off for the first 4-5 days, had some isolated nausea and other problems the first couple days, and then felt pretty much great until my next session after the fifth day or so (with the exception of a migraine that may not have even been related to chemo). This session, I started off feeling fairly well for the first 4-5 days and then things went down hill after that. I went back to work on Tuesday morning feeling fine, and was there for about an hour and then immediately got sick and stayed sick until this morning. My nausea went from being nonexistent prior to Tuesday, to being pretty steady until today. I’m really over having to discuss my nausea and bowel movement appearance at length, so I’ll spare the blog community from this.

Prior to my battle with nausea, I did have several really good days which I’m very thankful for. Rene and I did quite a few errands over the weekend and had a board game night with some other Army couples that live in the area and also commute to Fort Hood. My sister, Marisa, came to stay with me for my second chemo so it’s been extremely nice having her around to help out with things. We also went to church and took my in-laws out for a late Father’s Day meal on Sunday. They also gave us and set up a new grill for our 2 year anniversary (which was Monday!) Overall a great weekend, but I think I overdid it which lead to my rough week.

Adding to the problem is that a couple days after my second chemo, my less than 2 year old scottish terrier (Frasier) was diagnosed with mange. If anyone has never dealt with this (and I hope you don’t), it. is. awful. The poor thing is on more medications than I am. The vet put him on an anti-anxiety (3x/day), anti-itch (3x/day) and anti-biotic (1x/day). We also have to treat him with advantage multi once a week for two weeks, and also give him baths with a medicated shampoo 2x a week until it clears up. I’m not supposed to interact with the animals much at all due to risk of infection, so Rene & my sister have been bearing the brunt of it. I really sympathize since prior to chemo I itched all over for about 2 months. I’m really worried his immune system is suffering because he’s picked up on the cancer stress in the house, and it really makes me feel awful. It’s taken about a week, but luckily Frasier’s skin has cleared up quite a bit. The poor thing has several bald spots though, which brings me to the next topic: hair loss.

A few weeks ago I started my journey trying to find a wig and get TRICARE to pay for it. Luckily, due to the amazing ladies at P&H Services in Cedar Park, I was able to get TRICARE to pay for one wig. As I’ve mentioned on here before, TRICARE was a bit difficult. On their website it was pretty easy to figure out that they were supposed to pay for a one wig, one time for a cancer patient. When I called to ask about this, they said my primary care manager (PCM) needed to make the referral. They did not explain to who the referral needed to be made or where to go to find participating vendors. When my PCM called them to ask how to do that, they told her that she just needed to write me a prescription and I could take it into a medical supply shop. However, they did not give her a list of any participating medical supply shops. Through some lucky Googling, I found P&H Services and left a message on their online form basically saying, “Do you know how I can get TRICARE to cover a wig? Please help!” Luckily, they were able to liaise between TRICARE and my PCM and get the proper paperwork taken care of without my further involvement (Praise the lord!) Long story short, is that yes, to get TRICARE to pay for the wig your PCM does need to make a referral to the medical supply shop but it seems like you’re able to choose which one you go to. I’m just glad that I found one that knew what to do and could handle it without needing me to do anything else.

So  I approached Operation Find a Wig very much like Operation Find a Wedding Dress. A couple of weeks ago I started my wig journey with my friend Megan. Megan is a friend of mine from Lafayette who also ended up in the Austin area around the same time I did. She’s also an aesthiology (skin care professional) and the first person I thought of to come with me to look for a wig. We tried on pretty much every wig at P&H and took pictures. I then sent the pics out to my close friends and family, but I really wasn’t ready to make a purchase until I had my mom with me. I also requested a few more wigs in different colors closer to my natural hair color as well. P&H offered to order these for me without charging me since they needed some new ones for inventory. Luckily my mom came into town on Sunday and we went wig shopping on Monday. I slept on it a night and ended up purchasing this one on Tuesday:

This is the Jon Renau HD Flame wig. These wigs are awesome because they  can be styled.

This wig worked well for me because its easy to part and my mom and husband were both comfortable with it because its similar to how I wore my hair in college.  I had considered going curly or with a drastically different hair color, but in the end it was really important to me and my family that I looked like me. It came in at the perfect time, because my hair started falling out last weekend. Luckily, I was blessed with a head of thick hair, so it wasn’t immediately apparent. But I personally hated the constant falling out. And because my hair is so thick, it was pretty much constant and had the potential to drag out for a very long time. When I came home from work sick on Tuesday, I was ready to shave it. My mom and Rene took an extra day to be convinced, but on Wednesday evening we all agreed it was time.

(Pastor) Amy recommended I go see her friend Bethany at Super Cuts. This was even more perfect than Amy realized because Bethany told me that she shaved her head when her mom went through chemo 5 years ago. She really empathized with us and kept telling me how brave I was the whole time and that it was okay to cry if I needed to. Marisa took a video of the shaving process, but since I don’t want to pay WordPress to post it you can see it on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheLymphomaLetters.

Before: Waiting in the lobby for my shave

After: I posted this one to Facebook after my shave and really appreciated all the supportive comments I received! It really made me feel that I was still beautiful!

As we headed out from Super Cuts Bethany told us that one of her other clients has paid for my hair cut and not to worry about it. One thing about cancer that I’ve noticed is that every time I’ve reached a really low moment, people always find a way to show me how wonderful they are. And God shows me that he’s still with me no matter what.

Best Friends

So I hold on to friends for a long time. In fact, all people who have made it to “good friend” status are pretty much all still active in my life to some degree. Some of them I haven’t seen in years, but none have failed to offer me greeting cards, cookies, letters/texts/emails/Facebook messages of support, prayers, etc. since I went public with my diagnosis. Not to be completely arrogant and toot my friendship horn, but the “good friends” who have left my life did it of their own accord and pretty much ignored all my efforts to stay in touch. What can ya do? All those people I pretty much defriended from Facebook around the time I figured out I probably had cancer because I really didn’t want any of those people who actively ignored me returning to my life because of that nugget of info. Cancer brought out my dramatic side, what can I say?

So to give you a little bit of back story to this post, I still am amazing friends with Allison or “Allie”. On the first day of Kindergarten my teacher, Ms. Prejean, fortuitously placed my nap mat next to a girl named Allison. For whatever reason, I was called to asked Allison, “Will you be my best friend?” Her response, “Okay.” And the rest is pretty much history. We went to the same school Kindergarten through 5th grade, played string instrument together briefly, went to camp together three summers in a row, eventually went to high school together. She was pretty much the first person I would called after every major breakup and she never failed to offer me ice cream and chick flicks. She also called me from a camp for Native American kids hosted by the University of Oklahoma at Norman, put on the summer after our senior year to tell me her father had pancreatic cancer. He died shortly after Hurricane Katrina about three months later, quickly followed by Hurricane Rita and his mother’s death as well. So the next few years were pretty rough and I’ve always been amazed at how well she persevered. Even at times when she didn’t feel like persevering, she managed to fail forward, grow and move on to great things. I’m really proud to call her my oldest and dearest friend, and am constantly looking forward to witnessing the great things she is doing and will do with her life.

In the weeks leading up to and since my diagnosis I’ve managed to go through all of Downton Abbey, John Adams, got fully caught up with Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Sister Wives, How I Met Your Mother, The Borgias, Game of Thrones, and rewatched some True Blood and Boardwalk Empire to get ready for the new seasons, threw in some Ally McBeal and Alias to the mix, just to name a few (I seriously recomend getting a Roku, best investment ever.) Someone also loaned me Dawson’s Creek (I missed out on a lot of 90s teen drama) so that’s on my list as well. So basically I’ve been watching a ton of TV when I haven’t been feeling well. So with that in mind and also with the 20 year back story, it’s no surprise that I received this email from Allison a few days after my diagnosis:

Hey Laura!

So ever since you broke your unfortunate news, Grace and I just keep saying to each other, “I wanna DO something,” but all we ever end up doing is reminding each other that there’s really nothing we can do. Especially from my distance. Blurgh.

So, I’m doing something.

First, I made some cds that are going in the real mail tomorrow. They’re pretty self-explanatory: one’s happy, one’s sad. Use them as needed. One word of warning, though: keep the sad one in your back pocket until you absolutely hit the point where you NEED to just get it all out of you. This cd will work for that, it’s potent. And what I really mean is that there might come a day when you’re like, “Hmm. Something feels kind of off. I don’t totally feel right. It’s possible that I’m sad. Maybe I should listen to that sad cd from Allie.” Put it off longer. And there might be another day, later, when you’re stressed or aching or lonely or frustrated or too hot in the middle of July or all of them at once and you might think to yourself, “is this when I’m supposed to use that sad songs cd?” And the answer is: no, it’s not. Put it off longer. And then at some point you might not even be thinking anything other than the fact that your life is hard and why is your body betraying you and that is when I want you to remember that you have this cd and listen to it. I hope you don’t get there, because being maudlin and self-pitying is not your hobby (Ey-o!), but you probably will and I want you to be prepared.

So, now I’m gonna do something else.

I can’t tell you about cancer because I don’t know anything about it other than what my dad told me which is that it sucks. I wanted to tell you about a significant tangent to cancer treatment on which I am quite the expert and which I suspect is your sworn natural enemy: down time. This is not free time where you’re in your pajamas on the couch at 2 PM for want of anything else that sounds better. Down time is thrust upon you, if we get Shakespearean. It’s a lot of nothing that you must fill.

For the doctor-imposed down time in waiting rooms and exam rooms, there are paperbacks and magazines. The waiting rooms will usually come stocked with a year’s backlog of trashy tabloids and golf publications. Here’s a pro-tip: e-reader? Here’s another: Vanity Fair subscription.

Now, for the at-home down time, there’s really only one effective answer:  moving image features. You are the superior movie connoisseur, but let me tell you about television, which burns much more time. Here is a guide to some wonderful options that you may or may not have experienced before.

I don’t remember how many WB teen dramas you watched in the late 90s, early 2000s, so we’re gonna start there with:

FELICITY (1998-2002;)If you can get through the first  half of the first season (really, til “Docuventary”) you’re gonna love this. If you’ve seen it previously, re-watch it. Just stop after the season 4 graduation episode. It is the most perfect series finale I’ve ever seen, ruined only by the fact that there are 5 episodes after it. DON’T WATCH THOSE EPISODES. PRETEND THEY DON’T EXIST. JJ Abrams did too much meth when he was writing them or something. Once you’ve decided, let me know if you’re Team Noel or Team Ben. Seasons 1 through 4 streaming on Netflix.

From here, I recommend moving on to:

EVERWOOD (2002-2006): This show’s theme song is meant to be epic and inspiring, but it always reminds me of the quiet redneck mountain town song from the South Park movie because I am weird. Again, this one might feel like it’s trying too hard at first, but SEASON THREE IS AMAZING and will give you so many FEEEELINGS. Plus, Chris Pratt before he was kinda fat AND you’ll slowly become oddly attracted to Dr. Andy Brown in that older-man, daddy issues kind of way. (This guide may already be revealing too much about me and we haven’t even gotten to the ABC family repertoire!) Seasons 1-3 available on DVD from Netflix. I’ve been waiting a year for season 4 to stop being “unavailable” so I bought it during finals week stress shopping and can mail it should you so desire.

From the Quiet Mountain Town, I might recommend coming back into the current with REVENGE  (2011-present): Stars Emily VanCamp from Everwood. This show is objectively terrible, but has Josh Bowman and that gay kid from Gossip Girl trying to do a northeastern accent. Also, the celluloid form of Madeleine Stowe will warn you off botox and corseting forever. It also can sometimes be halfway suspenseful. Some episodes available on hulu and airing Wednesdays at 9 on ABC.

Speaking of Josh Bowman, let’s go right into MAKE IT OR BREAK IT (2009-2012, may it rest in peace as of yesterday): I have secretly been more-than-healthily obsessed with this overwrought teen drama for the past few years. It’s got gymnasts and virginity-losing and a severe but totally hot British coach! There are a few truly cringe-worthy moments in seasons 1 and 2, mostly due to the woman-who-used-to-be-DJ-Tanner’s insertion of God into EVERY ACTING JOB SHE’S GOING TO TAKE FROM NOW UNTIL SHE DIES, but the storylines are solid and escapist. Except for season 3, which just wrapped and was wretch-inducing-ly awful. Sloppy writing, out-of-character behavior, no observance of continuity. So disappointing. Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Netflix and the whole series is available free on hulu, but don’t watch past worlds.

From here, you have a few options:

nt A) If you want more of the hot British coach (and no one will fault you for wanting more of the hot British coach) – it’s the 2010 BBC update of UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS (2010-2012) for you! This is Downton Abbey’s bastard cousin, no one pretends it’s not. The good news is that it will go quickly because it’s been canceled after 2 seasons. And the first season is only 3 episodes. Season One is available on DVD from Netflix or I bought it on amazon instant video and I can give you my account log in so you can watch it there. Season 2 just aired in the UK so IDK when it’ll be available stateside but will probably be on PBS/ masterpiece website sometime soon-ish.

B-    B) If it’s June 28th when you finish, you can watch the actual Olympic gymnastics trials real-time on NBC and get super pumped for London. Failing that, you may scratch a gymnastics itch by youtube-ing “2011 Visa Championships Prelims Part 1,” “2011 world gymnastics championships team final part 1,” or just “Jordyn Wieber.” Make sure you see McKayla Maroney’s worlds vault final http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjPgaDkhjEU.

C-   C)  If you want more earnest teen drama about talented tots, it’s off to Australia for DANCE ACADEMY (2010-present): Most of the first season is pulled directly from the Center Stage repertoire, but Season Two goes there. It’s wayyyyy predictable, but there is lots of pretty ballet to distract from approaching this with any kind of discernment. Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Netflix. 

AAAnd if we’re going to crack the foreign market, I have to point you to THE IT CROWD(2006-present): Uproariously funny. Featuring the male lead from Bridesmaids. Go watch this immediately. Seasons 1-4 streaming on Netflix.

And since we’ve come to comedy series about crappy jobs, I will leave off with the wonderful and cameo-studded PARTY DOWN (2009-2010). It’s cater waiters in LA who are all dreaming of doing something larger with their lives and is also quite funny. It used to be streaming, but is now only available from Netflix on DVD.

I think this should hold you over for a while. Once you’ve finished these, we can switch to reality Teevee. But I should also add that sometimes Down Time can be combatted with mute, neutral apathy where you’ll stare into space and refuse to think about anything. It’s kind of hard to sustain, though, so I’d go with TV. Or naps. Naps are fucking awesome when you can get them.

I’ve been thinking of you lots every day. About how much I wish I wasn’t in Pennsylvania right now. You and me, we’re not obvious friends are we? We’re not opposite enough to be true foils of each other, nor are we nearly-identically matched. I was telling platonic friend Andrew a few nights ago, before I called you back, that the great thing about our friendship (to me) is the comfort of knowing that we have a 20 year history together. We’ve shared, we are sharing our lives, lady. The thing that has kept us close is that we know and accept each other as we are, as we’ve always been.

So take it from one who knows, you have always been intrepid. I have always wanted to stay too long at the party, to refuse screwing up my courage and doing something new. You were the driving force behind my own maturity milestones: conquering sleepover homesickness, sleeping assisted by a nightlight, a brief fear of dogs. You’ve always leapt over challenges like you used to hop over those baby gates in your dining room. This one will be hard, it will suck monumentally, but you’re gonna do the same thing. And you don’t have to do it alone because you’ll have your parents, your sisters, your husband, and you’ve always got me.

I love you, Lisette. (Lisette was my French class nickname in high school, I used it as part of my AIM in high school and college, and it kind of stuck around. )

That email was quickly follow by another:

Um, so I wrote this and wasn’t sure I was going to send it and then Gmail did it for me. Enjoy?!?!?!?!

So I obviously cracked up laughing throughout most of the email and thoroughly enjoyed having a plethora of additional TV options. I was legitimately concerned that I was running out of interesting series.

A few days later I got the CDs in the mail and the playlists were as follows:

Happy Days

1. “Crazy in Love” – Beyonce’

2. “Domino” – Jessie J

3. “You Make Loving Fun” – Fleetwood Mac

4. “Tonight is the Night” – Outasight

5. “Wet Hot American Summer” – Cobra Starship

6. “Marry the Night” – Lady Gaga

7. “You’ve Got the Love” – Florence and the Machine

8. “I Am Not a Robot” – Marina and the Diamonds

9.”Countdown”- Beyonce’ (again)

10. “Paris (ooh La La)”- Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

11. “Part of Me”- Katy Perry

12. “Let My love Open the Door”- Sondre Lerche

Sad Sacks

1. “I Was here”- Beyonce’ (I mean, it’s an awesome Album. Give me a break.)

2. “Your Song” – Ellie Goulding

3. “Songbird” – Fleetwood Mac

4. “My Sundown” – Jimmy Eat World

5. “Out of Reach” – The Get Up Kids

6. “White Blank Page” – Mumford & Sons

7. “Marching Bans of Manhattan” – Deathcab for Cutie

8. “The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most”- Dashboard Confessional

9. “Comfort” – Deb Talan

10. “Innocent”- Taylor Swift

11. “At Full Speed” – Jack’s Mannequin

12. “World Spins Madley On” – The Weepies

13. “The Sun and the Moon” – MAE

14. “Lullaby” – Sia

I have to say that Happy Days has made for a great car soundtrack. For those of you that don’t know, I’m always looking for song/audio book infusions because I commute 45-60 minutes each way for work, I often drive 45 minutes to Temple for appointments, 45 minutes to Fort Hood to see friends, etc. When I’m not cancer-y I also frequently visit people in Dallas, College Station, Louisiana and Kansas. So I’m in the car a lot. It’s so nice to have people in my life that know me so well and know just what to do/say to make me feeling better.

If anyone is interested in some more Allie humor, she blogs at Fleur de Livre but wants me to preface that the “scope is entirely different” from my blog, and she uses it as a venue to air her “neuroses.” She’s getting a masters in Library and Information Science, watching Supernatural and is “way too invested in Olympic gymnastics at the moment.” I, get a kick out of it and you might as well. Please enjoy.

Cancer cannot…

Cancer cannot...

Today was my second round of chemo and I’m hoping for a relatively side-effect free recovery! My friend (College Station) Amy gave me this plaque last weekend, and it perfectly summarizes my opinion of cancer. It was a very appropriate message for today.

Family Portait

This is my third post in one week! Definitely a record. My morning started off a little rough, but quickly got better. One of the best parts about today was that we received a “family portrait” from the hospital today. The embryologist photographed a few parts of the process that created our four embryos. This is definitely something I’ll save for the baby books!

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P.S. I seriously went dyslexic posting these pics. WordPress refused to upload them right side up, so I had to rotate all of them sideways in order for them to post properly. Enjoy.

Dance dance wherever you may be

Today was such a wonderful day, I just felt so alive, energetic and blessed! I really feel like today was such a gift. I’ve felt better than I think I have since before I went into the ER back in April. I just thank God for all the happiness in my life and pray to hold on to this feeling for the days that aren’t so great. When I got home from work I also received a message from a friend of mine who is a Hodgkin’s survivor telling me about a potential speaking opportunity this fall in New Orleans to discuss fertility in young cancer patients. Everywhere I look I see signs that I’m exactly where I need to be right now and that everything is as it should be, with or without cancer.

I’ve been humming my favorite hymn since I got home from work:

The Lord of the Dance

I danced in the morning when the world was begun

And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun

I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth

At Bethlehem I had my birth

 

Dance dance wherever you may be

I am the Lord of the dance said He

And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be

And I’ll lead you all in the dance said He

 

I danced for the scribe and the Pharisee

But they would not dance and they wouldn’t follow me

I danced for the fishermen for James and John

They came with me and the dance went on

 

Dance dance wherever you may be

I am the Lord of the dance said He

And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be

And I’ll lead you all in the dance said He

 

I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame

The holy people said it was a shame

They whipped and they stripped and they hung me high

They left me there on a cross to die

 

I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black

It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back

They buried my body and they thought I’d gone

But I am the Dance and I still go on

 

Dance dance wherever you may be

I am the Lord of the dance said He

And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be

And I’ll lead you all in the dance said He

 

They cut me down but I leapt up high

I am the life that will never never die

I’ll live in you if you live in me

I am the Lord of the dance said He

 

Dance dance wherever you may be

I am the Lord of the dance said He

And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be

And I’ll lead you all in the dance said He

 

 

Round 1

Our “chemo eve” date went very well. Maybe it was just the knowledge that it was my last sushi for awhile, but the sushi that night was some of the best we ever had and I enjoyed every, mouthwatering bite. *Sigh*. However, I’ll try not to dwell too much on the “what I can’t have’s” during chemo. My oncology nurse made a good point that chemo tends to ruin foods for patients, so its better to avoid your favorites anyway. This way sushi will be untainted by chemo memories.

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My first ever chemo session took place on Thursday. I was very fortunate that Rene was able to take the day off work and he hung out with me and kept me company the whole time. We also got a visit from our “first” friend at church, Jennifer, complete with puzzles and cookies.

The experience really wasn’t too bad. The chair was super comfy and I got to partake in my favorite part of hospitals– the heated blankets. Other than an initial poke in the power port, I really couldn’t feel anything. I had planned to use the numbing ointment they had prescribed for the power port, but had issues getting the cap off  and then Rene got a long phone call from the embryologist right as they were processing me. It was a comedy of errors. However, the nurse assured me that it would be fairly painless and it was. I might not even bother with the numbing ointment next time.

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The whole process took about 5 hours. It will normally be a little shorter around 4 hours, but they had to do some testers to make sure I didn’t have any major reactions. Again, I have plenty of good company and entertainment (and there’s worse things than sitting around in a comfy chair.) I’m taking a form of chemo called ABVD, which is short for Adriamycin, Bleomycin, Vinblastine and Dacarbazine. If you’re really interested you can look up how they work. Essentially they work together to kill rapid, new cell growth. ABVD is the standard treatment for Hodgkin’s, and assuming it works out well, it’s the only chemo I should have to have. I’ll have six sessions, every other week, over the course of three months followed by a month of radiation.

I took a photo of the Adriamycin since it’s red and looks a bit like Kool Aid. The others pretty much look like your standard clear IV liquids.

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Fun fact: Adriamycin actually makes you pee red for a day or two, which they warn you about ahead of time but is still disconcerting!

The day after each chemo session, I go back to the doctor’s office to get a Neulasta shot, which helps boost my immune system. After my hormones shots due to egg harvesting, I was hoping to be done with shots for awhile but that was not the case. But at least I don’t have to administer them to myself, am I right?

The side effects all in all have not been as bad as I would have thought. However, they have predictably not been very predictable. Along with the ABVD, they also administer a steroid to help prevent nausea for three days. So I thought that I’d be okay in terms of nausea the first three days and then get sick around Sunday. It ended up being the opposite. I was sick the first two days after, and then started getting my sea legs back around Sunday. However, it wasn’t the constant nausea I had feared, but more like isolated incidents that seemed to pop out of nowhere. The downside to that is I couldn’t really identify a pattern or trigger, so I just tried to snack throughout the day on bland foods and keep up with my nausea medicine.The life and times, right? The most prevalent things I’ve noticed is difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

I hear conflicting things about what the expect from future rounds. Some say that it gets worse over time and that its cumulative. For a lot of young cancer patients it starts off worse and ends up better because our bodies are young and adjust to it fairly quick. At this point I’m just kind of playing it by ear and am avoiding pigeonholing myself into expectations.

One thing that did help cheer us up over the weekend was that we had four embryos successfully make it to the blastocyst stage. While it was disappointing to end up with four embryos after the initial 17 eggs, and 9 embryos, the embryologist explained that human reproduction is actually surprisingly frail. Often times embryos “get to page 37 of the mystery novel and a page is missing” and just don’t know how to progress past that point in development and dissolve. This happens to about half of embryos, even in natural pregnancy, which totally blew my mind. However, he said that four was a very good number and we’re very grateful. Also, the chances of viable pregnancies from embryos at this stage tend to be very high, so its definitely good news all and all.

Today I felt well enough to go back to work for about half a day. It was so nice to go to work and do something normal and routine. Unfortunately,  I hit a wall around lunch time and had to leave early. However, my coworkers managed to give me an extremely thoughtful and generous card and gift before I left. It made me feel completely loved and humbled. 

I’ve also had several people offer to donate hair for me, and a few even offered to shave their head “in solidarity.” Seriously, this is not necessary by any means! I hope one day that I’m able to return the generosity of spirit everyone has shown me during my trials. I’m still working with TRICARE to figure out how to get a wig, so once I figure that out I’ll pass on the info. I doubt a custom wig will be feasible, however, I really appreciate everyone’s willingness to donate their locks!

Team Laura never ceases to amaze me.