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Last night I did my first stim shots, 75 iu repronex and 150 follistim.  It was a bit nerve wracking playing mad scientist in the kitchen, but we got through only wasting a few drops of meds and 1 syringe.   The follistim meds were just kind of free flowing out of the pen without us doing anything, so that wasn’t really our fault.  We used the big needled syringe to mix the meds and then got a little too eager and thought it was time to switch needles before actually drawing the meds up.  The needle doesn’t get changed until the meds are ready to go in.   So we figured it out and I injected myself with no other problems.

Helpful tips: Repronex has a bad rep for stinging upon injection.  The tip I’ve heard is to let the meds sit for about 10 minutes after mixing, which help decrease the sting factor.  I followed this advice, and there was no stinging.   I also massaged the area afterwards for a bit, to spread the meds out,  and don’t have any bumps or welts today.  Redness, soreness to the touch and a little itchy, but otherwise the injection site is fine.

Lupron decided to have its last hurrah yesterday, seeing as it was no longer going to be the center of my attention.  I decreased my dose to 5 units yesterday, and ended up with the worst migraine I’ve had the entire three weeks I’ve been on it.  I also had a ton of hot flashes, and stuck my head in the freezer to cool off!  My (very scientifically informed) theory is that the decrease in Lupron allowed some of my natural hormones  to get back into my system.  So it was like a prison break – with my normal hormones chomping at the bit to run free and wreak their usual havoc.  But Police Officer Tylenol was on the scene quickly and beat them down into submission.  I feel ok today.  Small headache, tired, but none worse for the wear.

Woo hoo, only 9-12 more days to go!  1st ultrasound tomorrow at 8:15….will anything be alive in there??

My cyst is gone!  I made the doc repeat that sentence a few times this morning , because I couldn’t believe it!  Denial Junky and Hope Addict are celebrating up a storm and I am super excited!  I still need to get my bloodwork back to be given the all clear to start Follistim and Repronex, so I am not getting TOO excited until I get that phone call.  However, last week my estrogen level was a 12, which seems really low to me, so there shouldn’t be any problems this week.  Right?

I’ve been thinking about that number “12” all week.  “How many estrogens you got?  — I got 12.”  It just seems so strange to be quantifying our hormones this way, and then to not have 12 thousand or 12 million….just “12” …is funny to me for some reason.  Probably a side effect of the Lupron in the small print…”patient may find unexpected humorous content in resulting E2 levels.”

I made the nurse show me three times how to do the repronex and follistim and then had to play with the teaching tools myself.  Bless her heart for being so patient.  I may be infertile, but I am definitely not an alchemist, and mixing strange powders (which may be stranger than any of us think) and sodium chloride do not sit well in my little bubble of life experience.  On a positive note during the lesson, the nurse did tell me that air bubbles in subQ injections were not a problem health wise – which was relieving because I kept expecting to drop dead every morning after injecting syringes of Lupron with visible air bubbles at the top.  The medicine would come out the needle tip when I checked, but I could still see a pocket of air in the syringe.   I learned that any large air bubbles in a subQ injection would just take the place of the medicine going in…so although its not a good thing to inject air, it won’t hurt you at all.  And since my estrogen level was 12, I was evidently getting plenty of meds into my stomach.

So…blood test results are up next.  More waiting!!

I was really worried about being under suppressed or over suppressed for my baseline check today.  Turns out I should have been worried about the cyst on my right ovary.  Apparently it’s been there for some time (before I even started Lupron) but no one ever mentioned it until today.  I am a little pissed about that, because at least the news wouldn’t have been such an unpleasant shock today.

The cyst means that I can’t start the stimulation phase tomorrow, which really sucks, because I was geared up to go.  If it is a normal cyst, it may go away on its own, and the Lupron should help accomplish that (hasn’t seemed to help at all over the last 2 weeks, but I’m ignoring that fact for now).  So doctor’s orders are to stay on the same dose of Lupron for another week and then go back in to see what the cyst looks like.  Hopefully it is gone.  If it is smaller,  that means the Lupron is working and I will spend yet another week trying to shrink the cyst.  If it is bigger…..well, the alternative to the Lupron therapy seems to be surgery, so we are REALLY HOPING THAT IT DOES NOT GROW.

So, no stims for me yet.  Just more morning fun and headaches with Lupron.

On a positive note, I taught myself how to knit last night.  It is hard, but I am getting the hang of it..and its fun!  Maybe by the time I am on bed rest, I’ll be able to knit something for real.

My period arrived this morning, which I expected because it makes it the longest time possible between getting my period and having my baseline check done. Anyway, the nurses were not swayed by my whimperings about being on Lupron for so long, so I will go in next Thursday at 8 am to see if I can start adding more jabs to my daily routine.

My Lupron shot has started to hurt when I inject… I think that I have the beveled edge thing all wrong. The shot was fine the first few days, and then I saw someone comment that all needles have a beveled edge, and point the beveled edge up in order for it to hurt the least. I suppose I am doing it exactly opposite of the recommendation, because it is definitely hurts the MOST now. Not that it’s bad, I really think this will wind up being nothing compared to the infamous PIO shots….

**Edited for spelling error

My second and third shots of Lupron produced nausea/dizziness/lack of appetite, which thankfully seem to have passed with shot #4.

It was a very strange experience though, to be out to dinner, and have no interest in the food whatsoever.  I love food, really LOVE it, and going out to dinner is one of my favorite activities.  So I felt so sad to be sitting there just randomly selecting an entree that I knew wasn’t going to eat.  I was thinking that maybe the payoff would be losing 5 pounds prior to the stims, which became my silver lining!  I am also trying to focus on the possibility of a pregnancy at the end of all of this….it is really hard to think that a woman can go through all of this and wind up in exactly the same place that she started.  Many women just pick up and keep going, which I really admire, and which they really deserve an award for.  If this doesn’t work….I don’t know if I am the woman that keeps going with multiple IVFs.  I guess it depends on how my body gets through it all…..and how much weight I lose.  ;  )

I woke up today having the most anxiety ridden, and yet funniest dream, I have had in a long time.

I was busy doing a huge pastel painting, and it was time to give myself my first Lupron injection. I got the vial out and tried to get the medicine into the needle, which the nurse made look so simple yesterday. The medicine started dripping down the sides of the needle, and so I tried to fix the needle, but ended up with Lupron all over my hands. My next strategy to resolve the leak was to put the needle into my mouth to try and return it to its previously useful form. Of course the Lupron got in to my mouth (what the hell was I thinking?!?) so I started spitting furiously, knowing that Lupron in the mouth is not a Good Thing. At that point, I asked my mom to help me (she was busy coloring with the pastels), and so she took the needle to try and fix it….but she had pastels all over her hands and got the needle all dirty. I grabbed the needle back from her and started to try and clean it off, when it fell from my hands onto the cat-fur covered carpet! I picked it up, and it was covered in furballs…so I realized that I would need a new needle. That is when I noticed that it was 10:45 (the nurse told me yesterday that I needed to take the shot by 11) and I though, “AHHH, I am running out of time!” So I went to my huge box-o-meds and started sifting through the dozens of needles, couldn’t find the right one…and it was about this time that I woke up and realized that it was time for my shot.

After calming my racing heart from the mother of all disaster dreams, I gave myself the shot, and it was fine. All of the women I have spoken to online said that they didn’t feel it, but I was sure that they were lying because how can a NEEDLE going into your SKIN not hurt?  But…I really didn’t feel it, not a thing. Maybe it’s the fat on my stomach (that I was sure would never serve a happy purpose until today…in fact, I was actually wishing that there was MORE fat to pinch, welcome to bizarro world)…but…nothing, not even a pinch or poke. The medicine went in after a brief struggle with the plunger, and that was that. 6 hours later I have a strange headache that sort of encircles the top of my head and emits a weird inward radiating pressure. Usually I have what feels like a super sized axe chopping in to my right temporal lobe…so this is a nice change of pace!

I’m looking forward to the other surprises that this cycle brings…hopefully one of which is a baby!!