1. lasting or enduring tenaciously, esp. in spite of opposition, obstacles, discouragement, etc.; persevering
2. constantly repeated; continuing or permanent
Today is cycle day 52. I'll attempt to recap this entire cycle with clarity but this last month and a half has been anything but clear so bear with me.
5/16 Cycle day 1
5/18-5/22 Cycle days 3-7, dutifully take my 100 mg of Clomid.
5/27 Cycle day 12, ultrasound reveals over 20 miniscule follicles in each ovary. Come back in a week. Hopefully something will grow, but we're not banking on it.
6/4 Cycle day 20, ultrasound reveals well over 30 still miniscule follicles in both ovaries. Let's consider this cycle a failure. Thanks for playing, come again on cycle day 30 when we'll rule out pregnancy and give you progesterone to get to cycle 7.
6/16 Cycle day 32, sorry, it's negative, you're not pregnant. However, we have a consolation prize! You ovulated. We don't know when because we had given up on you and your sh!t ovaries, but now you get to wait another week, come back again to rule out pregnancy and then we'll give you progesterone.
6/24 Cycle day 40, sorry, it's negative, you're not pregnant again. But your progesterone dropped which means your period is imminent, that's right, imminent. You don't need progesterone. Save $20 and move ahead 3 spaces.
7/1 Cycle day 47 where the hell is my period??!! Another phone call to the RE's office and I zip in on my way to work for yet another pregnancy test.
Are you ready for this?? Sit down because I am about to defy science with my super ovarian powers.
"Hi, Jacki. It's Lisa from Dr. PacMan's office. Your pregnancy test unfortunately was negative, but you just ovulated. So you're going to have to wait 2 weeks and then come in for a pregnancy test. If it's negative we'll give you progesterone to bring on your period."
What? JackiJaguar needs to change her name to JackiMedicalExtraordinaire because she has managed to ovulate twice in one cycle (yet still not get pregnant). This Clomid works really well!
The nurse and I proceed to stumble through a horrible conversation of me sputtering and confused explaining that I already ovulated some time before day 32 and it's now day 47 while she flips through my chart, completely thrown off her game. She, afterall, only called to give a standard, rehearsed message that she's given a million times before. She had no idea about the previous 46 days. I get off the phone upset and confused.
About 10 minutes later, after trying to create a logical statement about what just happened and failing, I call the office back. The receptionist tracks down the nurse (of course, I can't remember her name) who gets on the phone, immediately apologizes and tells me that she's been reviewing my chart with the nurse practitioner trying to make sense of all my labs.
She explains that back on day 32, my bloodwork showed that I ovulated but also indicated a possible pregnancy (which they didn't tell me back then and frankly, I'm glad because that's just messing with an infertile lady's head), so the standard protocol is that I come back a week later for another pregnancy test. Then my day 40 bloodwork showed that my numbers were back to normal non-possibly-pregnant numbers and so we were just waiting for my period. Now, today, my bloodwork shows that I ovulated again.
She questions me, asking me if I got any type of period in the last couple weeks. Nothing. I got nothing. The poor nurse, so nice, so sympathetic and so utterly confused at this point, doesn't really know what to tell me. Her only answer is that I could have had a chemical pregnancy shortly after day 32 and that I now ovulated again in a new cycle.
Chemical pregnancy. Those two words punch me in the stomach, taking all the air out of my lungs. The breezy, summer air in the room stops moving. My ears fill with the whooshing sound of blood rushing through my head.
The nurse goes on to explain that even the answer of a chemical pregnancy is still confusing because I should have had a period after it. She promises to talk to the doctor as soon as he comes in the office and that she or he will call me back to figure this out. I say thank you through my tears with each word catching in my throat.
Hanging up, I'm unsure of what to do now. How long do I have to wait for the doctor to call back? What do I do in the meantime? Could it be? Could it really be? Could I have been pregnant and now lost the one thing I want so badly when I didn't even know I had it? I let the dogs out and sit on the back step, the phone still in my hand, my heart heavy.
Since I can't really figure out what to do with myself, I opt to cry. I cry for the maybe chemical pregnancy. I cry for this stupid, frustrating cycle that seems to have no end in sight. I cry for my infertility in general. I cry for my approaching one year anniversary. I cry for each time I've heard the news that a friend is pregnant while I, still, am not. I cry. I cry. I cry.
Eventually, I head in the house. I attempt to study, but mostly stare at my tapping highlighter. I can't process anything I read with the words chemical pregnancy bellowing in my head. It's impossible to concentrate. I'd love to tell you what else I did while I waited for that phone to ring, but I don't even know. I think I mostly just sat, then wandered aimlessly around my house and then sat again all while crying off and on.
Finally, the phone rings. Dr. PacMan's voice immediately makes the tears come on full. He explains that he looked over my chart and starts recapping my cycle. I do my best at practicing patience and refrain from interrupting by screaming, "What is going on? Is it a chemical pregnancy?" which is the only thing I want to know right then.
He doesn't think it was a chemical pregnancy. He can't be 100% sure but he doesn't think so. He believes it is a persistent corpus luteum cyst. Here's what that means, according to Taking Charge of Your Infertility: "In this rare situation, the egg pops out during ovulation, and a corpus luteum develops, but instead of degenerating after 16 days, it continues to live."
So I'm rare. And so is my cyst. And since my cyst is persistent, it is sticking around, emitting progesterone, and messing up my bloodwork, making it appear that I either was pregnant or ovulated twice in one cycle. And it's also delaying my period which has to be fixed with my brass ring of this cycle, progesterone. And had I been charting, which thankfully I wasn't at the time, I would have had high temps that wouldn't have dropped and I would have thought I was pregnant. Thank you for small favors. At least I didn't have a beautiful, pregnant chart because that would have been devastating.
My infertility persists. But so do I.