Precisely My Mother's Drug

Most of you who follow my blog knew my mother, either in passing, or as a dear friend. Honestly, it was hard to know my mom in passing. She loved people and getting to know them. It was part (but only a small part) of what made her special and remarkable.  I'm sincerely sorry if you never got to know my mom. She was an extraordinary, ordinary woman, brimming with life, love and hope, always. She didn't know the word "quit" and would give anything for those she held dear. She embraced the path before her, even if it was difficult, because she always saw the tools she had to navigate it. Typically, she not only conquered the path, but found a way to light it and make it a little easier for those who followed her. She was one of those rare people who quietly changed the world of everyone she met, be it a friend, a student, or a member of her family.

Many times on my journey through infertility, I find myself missing my mom. She never dealt with infertility, but she knew her girls. So, she would have been there for me, either physically or emotionally, if she were still with us. As it is, I know she is with me in spirit. guiding my choices when I feel like I don't know what I should do. But, this month, I feel like our connection might be getting stronger.

Unfortunately, our first attempt at IUI was a big old bust. I'm doing remarkably OK with everything today. I had my good cry and I'm sure a cup of frozen yogurt from my favorite local shop is in my future. But, I'm picking up and moving forward toward what's next.  Dr. M prepped me in advance for our next plan of attack. Since I haven't had superovulation during my high dose Clomid rounds, he wants to switch things up and try a new medicine. He's immediately jumping to a high dose, not messing around in the pursuit of multiple follicles. Like always, I have been doing research on this drug. In all actuality, I have been researching it for months, ever since Dr. S mentioned it could potentially be a possibility instead of Clomid.  It (reportedly) has fewer negative side effects than Clomid, with fewer women reporting things like nausea, headaches and the like. I'll let you know how it goes for this crazy Chicka.

What is this wonder drug you ask?   It's Femara.

Femara is actually a breast cancer drug that is not a fertility drug, strictly speaking. Reproductive Endocrinologists and OBGYNs use it in an "off label" way to induce ovulation in people like me with stubborn ovaries and uncooperative uteri. There have been quite a few success stories and it's apparently been used this way for many years now. Doctors discovered increased ovulations (and sometimes pregnancies) in women who were being treated with the drug for breast cancer. Now, it's pretty widely accepted.

So, how does this connect to my mom?

Femara was one of her cancer drugs that helped keep her cancer at bay. She took it for quite a while and tolerated it well. My sister and I credit it with giving us more time with our mom... time for her to see both of us graduate from high school, meet our spouses, see me graduate from WVU and time for her to throw one heck of a wedding for me and Jeremy. It was crucial time when my mother had the chance to see her daughters become women instead of little girls. It was valuable time when Jen and I came to know Mom as a friend, as well as our mother.

I don't expect miracles with this drug (I don't know... maybe I do...) but I feel like taking the drug that kept my mom alive has some pretty good implications for potentially making me a mom. It's like that cosmic connection going full circle... Mom took the drug to stay here with her girls, so maybe taking the drug will get me to a place where I have a child of my own to love. It's hard to explain it rationally, but this just "feels" right. I'm not afraid in the least, because I know I will have Team Baby Wilson, captained by my fantastic husband Jeremy, behind me here. I also feel like Mom will be watching, helping me however she can. It feels like just one more way she is giving me her advice and approval.

It also struck me that I made the comparison between "superovulation" and my ovaries being "Wonder Woman-esque" in a blog entry a month or two ago. One of the only real Wonder Women I knew was my mother. Maybe "her" drug is what I need to make my body work appropriately.

I don't know what the future holds, but I know my roots are deep and they were nurtured by strong women who gave me a sense of self. This path has been daunting and frustrating sometimes. Each time I start a new cycle, there is a bit of renewed hope and a fair measure of sadness, tempered with the realism years of trying to have a baby gives you. However, I am trying to continue my mother's legacy of prevailing in the face of adversity. I know infertility is not a fight for your life, like cancer. But, I think she would be proud that I am doing everything I can to "beat" this and trying to remain positive as I do.

When I was young, people used to tell me I looked like or acted like my mother. I would get so frustrated, because what 12 year old wants to be told she looks like her mom? Now, when someone tells me I remind them of my mother, I smile because they have paid me the highest compliment possible. There is no one else I would rather be compared to.


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