Monday, March 19, 2012

Back By Popular Demand

I'm pretty sure it goes "First comes love…Then comes marriage...Then comes the baby in the baby carriage" in that silly childhood song, right? These days not many people follow that exact order… it's often that the kidlette in the stroller ends up coming second in the grand master plan. Not uncommon to happen that way and that's cool… I had always thought that might be the way we may have done it… Well did the universe have something wild in mind for us…

How about: First comes love…then comes 10 embryos!?!?

That's right internet world! TEN little baby embryos were established by Mikey and I. All were preserved and our future family is literally chillin'.

This is strange. Probably not something you would normally hear every day either. The very sentence "We have ten frozen children" is just super scary and wrong sounding. And it feels almost not right to have so many to choose from since we plan on only using 2 or 3 of them. To think that we will only use a few of these embryos begs the following questions:

1) Which ones are boys and which ones are girls?
2) How do we/they choose the best, most developed and mature ones?
3) And how sad will it feel to discard the rest when we are done?

But we need not worry or wonder or fret about the answers to these curious thoughts…because it's quite a long wait we have before we decide to use the little nuggets.

Right now I am just happy that the in vitro process is over as it was taking a toll on my lower region as well as on my emotions too. I felt awful for a week after the egg retrieval… it was tough to walk around because I felt like I was carrying water balloons that I couldn't break. Because the fertility clinic helped my body produce such a high number of eggs (originally I made 18 in total) my ovaries were stretched out to a never before large size (remember each follicle was 2cm), and then following the extraction, they filled up with yucky fluid after. Not fun times!!! I was crampy so I carried around a heated Magic Sac (thanks Mamka!) and I waddled around like a duck for most of the week. Finally I got back to normal and am very happy that the whole baby-making glass tube stuff was successful! It's not often one can say they have 10 future babies…frozen in an embryo preservation freezer. Sounds creepy. But so cool and awesome! Together, Mike and I are very impressed and feel so good that it was a successful procedure.

Following the fertility business Mike and I really really really needed some much deserved down-time to relax, calm and collect ourselves…and to just simply chill the F out. So we booked a last minute mini-holiday to our favourite place in the world! TOFINO! :) Three nights there went by waaaay too quickly of course but we were really able to relax, take naps, rejuvenate and forget about all things cancer related. We actually made a rule that there would be no cancer speak. And if one of us started up on it and the conversation got too heavy we had a safe word to use to shut the other person up. We both called it at least once when we would realize that we weren't living in the moment. It worked like a charm and we were really able to enjoy our time away together.

On the first day of our Tofino trip something super awesome amazingly cool and fantastically sweet happened!!!!!!! (A necessary high volume of exclamation marks is required for this) !!!!!!! After 8 years of being together Mikey bent down on his knee and proposed!!!!!!

Major big happy YAY!!! :)

No plans to set a time yet obviously due to the looming chemo cloud above our heads but right now we are just enjoying this newly engaged high that we are on. Having something sparkly and pretty to look at on my hand every day sure has been helping to brighten my mood when I am feeling overwhelmed too. And icing on the cake, we just spent a great day yesterday with my old high school friend Phil (extremely talented photographer!!) and did our engagement photo-shoot here in the creek. How much fun!! (Phil: you rule!)

I have definitely been super giddy and smiley lately and Mike and I are in the typical recently engaged full-on mushy twitter-pated mode. This has been a blissful distraction for me. I am SO happy and feel so blessed to be with such a loving, kind, compassionate and patient man. Mike is beyond amazing to me and I couldn't be happier. We have been through a lot together. And now thinking back to when we met… I can't help but laugh at how opposite we were and how I never imagined when I was introduced to him that we would be together… living on the Coast in a little cabin on the beach…doing in vitro fertilization…and getting engaged in Tofino. I thank my lucky stars for whatever it was that prompted me to start a job at the coffee shop where we met…A stepping stone in my life that led me to such an incredible guy!

Ahhh life – It is sweet. Still fascinated by the paths it takes us down. Where it moves us to, who it unites us with and what challenges it brings us. Speaking of challenges… I seem to have a few of them these days. A lot has been accumulating and I wish I could just file it away and somehow it would all sort itself out. If only little tinker bell faeries could just throw some dust on my problems and annoyances and they would disappear forever!

The never ending to-do lists, the appointments, the follow-ups, the insurance claims, the EI reports and chemo itineraries. Hard not to get completely overwhelmed and feel the need to run and hide or throw myself at a wall lately. All of these tasks crept up on me once I returned from the mini break in Tofino… it's as if that time away didn't even happen - because once I was back home I was immersed in CRAP to take care of. Since the in vitro stuff began I was gone from home for 18 days and the result of that was a lot of pile up and backlog of SHIT and CRAP. I have become quite stressed with the amount of stuff on my to-do list and appointments and tasks on my calendar. And so in usual Ashley Doyle, Professional Procrastinator fashion I retreated here to the internet!! To avoid! And to put off what it is I can't handle for today! Just for a little bit of shelter and word-vomit release and sanity. This place is where I unleash and get to let it all out! Vent, rant and speak what's on my mind and say how happy or how shitty I have felt.

So what's on the menu today!? A bit of anger, a little discouragement and frustration. Plain and simple. And for understandable reasons. Not to take away from the joy and happiness in the upper portion of this post, but in all honesty… I am pretty uptight and stressed and just down right mad today. It probably doesn't help that I am alone in the house... no one to keep me in check or to cheer me up and help put things in perspective for me. These are hard times, I say! And I just have to fly at 'er and itemize all my stressors right now. I won't blab in long paragraphs and ramble on about all the reasons that I feel I am losing it today but I will highlight a few key things that are either pissing me off, making me emotional or just generally freaking me out.

- My wound on the recon boob opened up last week and still has not healed.
- Unplanned trips back into the city for stitches and follow-ups to come.
- Chemo is supposed to start next week (March 27)
- I had to cancel my physio because of the incision opening up again.
- I still have very little arm movement.
- Chemo may have to be pushed back because of the incision being a bitch.
- I only have ONE day where nothing is on my calendar for the rest of the month of March.
- My Mum has to go back to Ontario at a crucial time during my treatment.
- The recon boob is lumpy and twitches uncontrollably at times.
- We decided to go down to a 1 cat household until the Fall. Tao is now in loving care at Mike's sista's. Good decision but I still feel like I'm a bad cat mom.
- Chemo information papers to read and make sense of.
- I have so much to take care of around the house but am limited with what I can lift or move around.
- Having to leave again this week for a few days for appointments.
- The amount of drugs they want me on during chemo is crazy!
- More self injections coming up as a result of a tighter chemo schedule. 49 injections to be exact.
- Im too tired to do things and have to rest and be lazy and do nothing so I can heal but have not had the time really.
- Helplessness, no control and needing more days to do things and to prepare myself for what's to come.
- Did I mention chemo?


OK… It's all out! I'm good to go and can now sleep tonight. But so that I don't completely scare people off with my downer mood at the end of this entry, I'm gonna leave things on a happier uppy-up note and throw in some feel good pics :)

My cute Mamka who has recently compared my hair to Justin Bieber's • Who doesn't love rabbits? • Mum on one of our returns back to the Coast • Sunset Point • Staying warm in the cold • Dollar
• Quiet Hwy 4 • A bit of blue • Mikey and his pizza • Enjoying a yummy dish • Cox Bay
 • The sky made us a rainbow • Stormy waves • How much Abber misses Tao • Crib!


  1. I am a friend of Nicole's, and just read this post...I don't know you, but after reading all that, I want to say that you sound like a thoughtful, courageous, and kind-hearted woman. I'm sorry that you have to go through so much, and I admire your candor and optimism. Congratulations on becoming engaged, courage for the coming weeks. I wish you speedy healing, and some time to focus inward!

  2. Wooohooo - congratulations you two!
    (and Tofino's where I proposed to my honey too :)...
    Joe J

  3. ...and amaaaazing pictures too, btw...

  4. You are so totally awesome, you kick ass! I am really inspired reading your posts. And huge HUGE congratulations to you and Mike, yay!
    (Jen's friend... Mike's sister, Jen... We haven't had the pleasure yet!)