Reaction to stress? Eat

August 13, 2009

I am a creature of habit.  One of my top coping mechanisms for stress is to eat.

I’m on vacation.  I am not supposed to be stressed, but every time I have to dive back into the medical issues of this stupid endometrial cancer, there it is.

Things seemed to be going well – I managed to barely cry despite seeing my whole family (including newborn neice, hugely pregnant cousin, and many phone calls with my hugely pregnant sister who finally had her son on Monday).  {Anyone who has struggled with infertility knows that new babies and pregnancy news just reminds you of what you want & can’t have – it’s not that you’re not happy for others, but you’re sad for yourself}

My sister who had offered to be a surrogate for us but the timing was a problem (she’s pregnant now with her 3rd) found a friend of hers who wants to be a surrogate, and is a midwife by profession, dramatically reducing the huge stress of finding someone with good motivation who we think will be a safe and healthy gestational carrier.  We spoke with her.  We like her. My husband is happy with it.

But the US fertility expert (one of the very top clinics in the country) threw a small wrench in the works 10 days ago by telling me that our chances for success would be considerably higher if we did the egg collection / IVF before the hysterectomy instead of after it, as apparently the hysterectomy will significantly reduce blood flow to the ovaries.  He’s willing to do it after, of course, but felt it important we know, and said we were only talking about 10 days of elevated estrogen in this scenario.

I had to put calls in to my doctors in France – good luck trying to reach the French professionals in August (vacation season).  Luckily my fertility doc had told me he’d take my call over the holiday, and he ran interference with the gyn-oncologist for me (he agreed with the US doctor, and managed to convince the oncologist that the risk was minimal).  The timelines were getting stressful, as my surgery date was for Sept 1st, and my next period should be around Aug 25th, and if were are going to do this I needed to get some medication shipped to me in LA before my flight back to France on Saturday, so the day was full of phone calls and organizing, and then having to re-start the explanations to my family (many doctors, so long technical discussions).  In the end it seems everyone thinks its a reasonable approach.  The risk that the one extra month and 10 days of high estrogen push this cancer to something more agressive is pretty low.  The chance of success of a gestational carrier having our baby is higher.

During these past days, the stress monster returned, kept under tight control for the most part by yours truly (excepting my extreme neediness towards my husband).  My birthday eating started to show some of the cracks of the control, as I’d planned to have cake and ice cream, but nothing else carby for the treat – instead ‘special treats’ started the night before my BD and continued off and on for a few days.  And came back today, first in the form of 1/3 a bag of popcorn at the movies (must say that US movie popcorn beat French popcorn hands down, and popcorn has always been a favorite).  Then for dinner had about 1/4 of one of those (incredibly salty) blooming onion things as an appetizer – ostensibly so my husband could try it, but who do I think I’m kidding?

I know that neither are the end of the world, but I also know the beginning of a problem when I’m in it.

Hopefully coming here and sharing what I’m going through will help me get back on track.

I’m also grappling with what to do/say at work.  My boss knows the big items but is someone who is incredibly discreet.  But all this work stuff can wait until Monday when I really am back at work and can discuss it with my boss.

Until then I have a bit of vacation left that I plan to enjoy — carb free!

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