Agistri – good for the soul

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The gorgeous and “less windy” Dragonera Bay, Agistri where the bronzed adonis took me for an evening swim

3 nights on Agistri was just what I needed to process all of the emotions and to get my head around what had happened.  Who knew what would happen next – it was all a bit insane.

With shaking hands I did my injections and was extremely proud of myself, I relaxed by the ocean with stunning views, swam off rocks in crystal clear waters and ate loads of incredibly fresh seafood.

My arm decided to show its protest of having copious amounts of blood tests and came out in black and blue bruises, complete with red marks and scratches – I swear anyone I met probably thought I was a drug addict!

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My ‘drug addict’ bruised and scratched up arm – I think by this stage I’d had 6 blood tests in it.

It must not have looked too bad (and me with my IVF bloat and face full of hormone spots too), as the waiter, a very friendly and not bad looking Albanian asked me to come to the other side of the island with him, on his break, to catch the afternoon sun at a beach there that had “less wind”.  Still in shock and after living in China for too long with my confidence shot, I said ‘maybe’, fully intending not to go.  I even went for a ‘nap’ and hid in my room – such a chicken!  Even my friends were telling me so.  Why are there no men like this in Beijing?

Seeing him at dinner, I asked how his swim had gone and he told me/ guilted me that he hadn’t gone, as he had no one to go with.  I had to laugh.  After a few wines/ dutch courage and my friends egging me on, I resolved that if he asked tomorrow I would go.

Cue the next day at lunch, after an amazing morning soaking up the sun, reading and swimming, he was still in great spirits but there was no mention of going again to the other side of the island.  With my atrocious flirting skills and lack of confidence I was getting nowhere, so I decided to cut my losses and leave it – I was going through too much anyway, right?

Late afternoon as the sun disappeared behind the hill, I swam across to a jetty that still had sun with my book and lay and read – IVF stomach exposed and all!  Next thing you know, a bronzed adonis (the waiter), swam up and pulled himself up on the jetty next to me.

Awkward!  I was so embarrassed but then decided to own it.  We chatted for a bit and finally I thought ‘F#$k it’ and clearly hinted about going around the island and next thing you know I was on the back of his motorbike, cruising around the island heading to placid and wind free- Dragonera Bay.  It was simply stunning, we pratically had it all to ourselves and it was heaven.  He was a great guy and we had a lot of laughs.

It was a fabulous day and night and I left Agistri in an even better mood than when I got there and that was a hard feat after what had just happened before I left.

Gotta love an island escape!

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Miracle?

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3 in 1 – 3 stimulants into one needle with 2 shaking hands. My handwritten explicit instructions in the background.

On my own and trying to deal with the cancellation of my cycle, traveling so far to no avail and taking the time off work to do it, to make myself feel better I took myself off to ‘shop until I dropped’and to try and process things.

Thoughts of what next, when, how and could I afford another flight and accommodation and would I have time within the time constraints of the year that I was given, flooded my head.  As it stood I may have been able to go back around our Chinese New Year holidays but that would mean more time off work and technically out of the optimum time frame given.  Did I even want to put myself through this again?  Was it a question of want or need?  When is the time you call it quits and look to option B?  What was option B for me?

Shopping helped push these thoughts aside and with a full week ahead of me until my flight and it still being school holidays I decided to take myself back to Agistri to stay at a place recommended to me by some friends to have some r’n’r, to let the situation sink in and to give myself a break from reality.  Pretty much eat, drink, walk and swim my sorrows away.

Before my 3 night escape I needed to face the music and go back for the dreaded blood tests and one last scan (I was getting very good at these now!), and what happened could not have been more unbelievable if I had made it up myself!!  Even 3 months on, I still can’t quite believe it!

The ‘Cyst of doom’ had caused my cycle to restart – it was Day 2 of my cycle! AND there were 4 follicles present, 2 on each side!  I’ve never even entertained the thought of miracles or though about if I believed in miracles but this came pretty close!

Everyone was in complete shock and surprise.  The follicles were all the same size, which has never happened before and this means that there was a good chance they would all progress together at the same rate.

The left side ones had a grey area (literally), around them so could still be the cyst, so I couldn’t afford to get my hopes up too much.

So, packed into my bag for the 3 day trip were a plethora of medications.  I was on 3 stimulants (within 1 injection), a day, 1 Clexane (my old injection friend – a blood thinner), 2 antibiotics, 1 steroid, 1 folic acid and 1 melatonin until the Friday!

You also won’t believe it, due to my fear of needles and my previous history at self administering (or being unable too), but I self administered my stimulants with nurse supervision (and shaking hand), so I was still able to go to the island and come back early Friday for the scan.  It’s amazing what shock and surprise can do for your determination.

When I returned on Friday, we would see if any were viable- best case 4, maybe 2 or worst case I fly home as planned on Saturday and try again another time.

I left the clinic in a daze and went back to my Airbnb massively in shock while madly trying to organise things ‘just incase’.  I had to email my Principal for more time off (not my favourite thing to do and something I am not comfortable doing as I felt awful because the school had been so good to me already), checking if I would be able to make changes to my flight (and how much it would cost), and trying to sort accommodation.  It was just so surreal.  I even started laugh crying to myself hysterically – luckily in private!

The next step was to not think about it too much and to see what Friday brought, all the while trying not to get my hopes up too high but keeping positive, while still being in shock.

So it was off to the islands laden with unexpected meds and injections I went!  Talk about a turn around.

The cyst of doom

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‘Currently getting drunk on Greek Sauv’ The picture that accompanied my message to my friends – at a restaurant recommended to me by Penny during our ‘it’s cancelled talk’.

Unfortunately the gut feeling reins again and it was not good news the next day.

The scan showed that my egg had shrunk and my lining too.  This means that either the egg was bad quality or it was a cyst OR that the cyst in my left ovary caused more havoc than we realised – thanks ‘Cyst of doom’!

I had to have another round of blood tests to see what was going on with my hormones, as my monthly cycle has not stopped and maybe because of the ‘Cyst of doom’,  my body is only starting a proper monthly cycle now.  Apparently, this would actually be amazing, as it would mean that what we had just looked at for the last week wouldn’t count – however that is only a slim chance and highly unlikely.  It is more likely that this cycle is a bust.

It was explained to me that it is normal and that every cycle is different but that this situation that was happening to me was “very strange” and the word ‘weird’ was used more than once.  I felt like telling them that I am a bit strange and a bit weird so that’s not really a surprise!

I had to go back at 1pm to chat about the blood and hormone results and to see where we go from here.

I’m still keeping positive until the Greek lady tells me not to be!

UPDATE****

(as the news I received at 1pm was not so good and the conversation and process was extremely emotional, painful, personal and taxing, I would prefer to share it with you through the message I sent to my friends to keep them updated and keep the more detailed and emotional parts to myself as I am not keen to re-live it again)

‘This round is cancelled.

My oestrogen levels are extremely low – this is bad.

Apparently because of my diagnosis of low egg reserve, cysts are common.

I will go back on Tuesday for more hormone tests to see what my body is doing and then we will discuss my further options.

Always trying to see the good – this does not count towards my second round, so good news on the financial front.

Will let you know how Tuesday goes.

Currently getting drunk on Greek Sauv!’

Same, same but different

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Waiting and waiting in my sexy shoe covers and half naked – looks glamorous I know!

I was back again the next day for a scan to see how things were progressing.  This day was a lot tougher as things were going very differently than my last round and although I had held it together well so far, I felt myself drifting towards a more emotional state.

I was told it was pretty much ‘same, same’ and that the ‘Lone Ranger’ was looking good but still way too small and again my lining was not coming to the party and was still too thin.  There would be another scan tomorrow.

I didn’t quite make it through this appointment as brave and as stoic as the others and after waiting half an hour in a room half naked with too much time to think, watery eyes accompanied my shot of Cetrotide (again to starve off ovulation….again resulting in a rather annoying itchy red rash on my stomach).

I had taken 2 weeks off to do this second round (1 week taken off school and 1 week being our school holidays), and I was 1 week into it with 1 week to go.

Feeling myself about to go down a path I really wanted to avoid, I appealed to my fantastic ‘WhatsApp’ and ‘WeChat’ groups to send me funny pictures, gossip and messages to help keep my mood up and to help combat the boredom.  Treating the first few days like a holiday and then going away overnight had helped but now being held hostage in Athens by daily scans and injections left me bored, as I had done a lot of exploring in my previous week and the weeks I had been in Athens for my first round in the summer.  They were incredible and sent me awesome snaps as they had ‘no more sleeps’ and it was our works October break and I got amazing photos from all over the world.  It really lifted me up and got me through – it’s always the small things.

I ended up making myself feel miles better by going and buying new Italian lingerie – to be honest I couldn’t quite believe that I could fit anything in the store but I found a few!  An excellent distraction for my scan the next day and the feelings of dread that I had begun to have.

Shopping – making people feel better since ages ago.