Thursday, August 29, 2013


I had to google it. I knew I would find a lot of horror stories, but I need to know the facts about what I'm dealing with.

For those that don't know, MRSA stands for "Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus". Basically, it's an infection that is resistant to certain kinds of antibiotics so it can be difficult to treat until you find the right drug for that particular infection and person. It's becoming very common for people to get a MRSA infection after surgery. When it's just a skin infection, it is easier to treat. If it gets a chance to spread to your bloodstream or other major organs (heart or lungs, for example) it can be very, very serious. Sometimes it takes people many months and many rounds of antibiotics to completely fight off a MRSA infection.

So that's what I'm facing now. I've been feeling okay. Dr. M spoke to the infectious disease doctor at the hospital and they feel confident that the drug that I'm on will be able to fight the infection that I have. My mom even called my old general physician - 1200 miles away from me - who reassured her that this is common after surgery and that it sounded like my doctor was doing the right thing. (Yes, my mom is crazy, but I love her and I feel so bad that she's worrying about me.)

I'm feeling more nervous again. I'm an anxious person in general and I know that it's going to be hard for me not to think about this. I'm going to be constantly worried that it's spreading internally even if my incision looks okay on the outside. How will they know if it's really gone? Will they do a blood test?

Dr. M said that it was fine to keep TTC, but what if this antibiotic doesn't work and I actually did get pregnant? I don't think I want to be fighting a MRSA infection with a compromised immune system. Part of me thinks the doctor said it's fine, so it must be fine but another part knows that I just really want to believe it's fine because I can't handle the thought of possibly being benched until this infection is gone. I wish this wasn't happening.

In other good news, I logged in to my insurance site this morning to see that my blood work WAS covered. YAY! That's a relief. The total bill was about $1300. Maybe that's not a lot of money for some people, but I just kept thinking - that's almost one whole IUI cycle (depending on meds used and number of ultrasounds). We feel like we can only afford 2 or maybe 3 cycles without dipping into our house and baby savings, so I was so feeling really bummed about using up one cycle's worth of money. I'm going to try to focus on that bit of good news to get me through another day!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


So today sucked.

I usually don't like to use the phrase "fuck my life" seriously because I have so much to be thankful for but today my life can go fuck itself.

Things started to head downhill this morning. For some reason, I started to worry about that blood work I had done last week. I logged into my insurance site and sure enough it said that the claim was "under review". Then I realized that there was a good chance that the testing would be considered infertility testing and I have zero infertility coverage. The charge for the test is a over $1000 dollars. I'm in big trouble if it's not covered. It was actually coded as "infectious disease testing" so maybe it will be covered, but I'm not counting on it.

I called Seth crying because I felt so bad. With the surgery and now possibly this, I've cost us so much money this month alone. I know this stuff isn't my fault, but I can't help feeling really guilty about it all. Of course, Seth doesn't want me to worry about it and I certainly wouldn't be blaming him if the situation was reversed, but I'm always really hard on myself.

Then, after lunch, I had a message from Dr. M's nurse Justine telling me to call her immediately. We all know that's never a good sign. I called her right away and she told me that the results from the culture of my incision infection showed that it was/is a MRSA infection. I think I said "Jesus Christ" or something equally inappropriate and Justine replied, "Right - so I guess I don't need to tell you that this is serious". She told me that they would to give me a new antibiotic immediately and that I needed to come in and see an "infectious disease" specialist. Really? I needed to hear that phrase twice today?

I started crying on the phone and I couldn't stop. Sure, I've heard horror stories about MRSA infections so I am worried about that aspect but honestly all I could think about was how expensive this could get. My new insurance doesn't start until September 1st, so right now I just have a crappy short-term plan. This feels like a nightmare. I mean, thank God, I found the temporary plan. It's not that awesome, but it's better than nothing. Justine was able to find a pharmacy that doesn't charge for the antibiotics so that's nice. Hopefully this won't require too many appointments or treatments.

Of course, the other thing I worried about was whether or not this would impact my "fertility". A MRSA infection near my reproductive organs scares the shit out of me. Even if it's not serious, we'll probably be benched again this month. I was so happy and hopeful. I should have known better.

I'm feeling okay now. I calmed down after Seth got home and I talked to my friends who know more about this than me. Tomorrow, someone will call and let me know when the doctor can see me. I just have to try not to think about anything for now. It is what it is and I'll have to figure out a way to deal with it.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Off the Bench!

Cycle day ONE bitches!!! 

This is the first time I've been happy to get my period in a long time and I'm going to fucking celebrate it. Today was CD25 before it turned into CD1 which is perfectly "normal" for me. Thank you, body. You may have endometriosis and you many not be able to get pregnant, but thank you for being so dependable. I am so grateful that surgery didn't fuck up my cycle. I mean, I guess there's still time for that but let's just enjoy the moment.

I am so pumped to be off the bench. I feel like this is the first time since we started TTC that we may actually have a chance. We have a meeting with Dr. M two weeks from today. At that point, I should just be starting the TWW. We'll be able to come up with a plan for next cycle so even if things don't work out for us this month, I feel like there is hope for us. After 13 months and 15 cycles of nothing, we're finally taking steps in the right direction.

Bonus: I'm feeling pretty good, all things considered. I have heard that the first post-surgery period can be absolute hell and that it can take a few months to notice an improvement in your pre-surgery symptoms, but right now my cramps are non-existent to mild. Let's see how long that holds up.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In Your Dreams

I had a terrible TTC-related dream last night.

Usually when I have this type of dream, it involves taking a test and seeing a BFN. Sometimes I dream that I think I'm pregnant and I'm waiting to see the doctor and then I realize that I never actually took a test. Those dreams kind of suck, but it's not much different from real life. Except that in real life, I haven't assumed that I'm pregnant without testing. I haven't lost it that much yet.

Last night it was different because test after test was positive. I remember telling someone (no idea who - just an unknown dream person) that we'd be trying to conceive for over a year. Then I decided to take a test. And another. And another. Two lines! I was so excited. I couldn't wait to tell Seth and my mom. It was such a happy feeling.

And then I woke up. I can't wait for that to be real, I really can't.

Right now, I'm just waiting for a new cycle to start. I had the surgery on CD10 and I was definitely getting ready to ovulate leading up to that day. Dr. M said that if he saw a follicular cyst on my ovary, he would probably rupture it and my period would start earlier than I expected. Except for me, "ovulating" on CD10 is pretty close to normal so I've been hoping that my next cycle would start pretty much on time. If he did trigger ovulation and I follow my normal pattern, I should get my period tomorrow. I have zero PMS symptoms though so I'm not feeling very hopeful anymore. I still have spotting from surgery, so I really don't know what's going on. Today is CD23. My shortest cycle was 22 days and my longest was 28 days. I really, really hope that something happens by CD28. I just want things get back to normal so that we have a chance.

For now, I wait. I'll get through it with a little help from Mumford and Sons and the unofficial IF anthem.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Keeping Busy

I've noticed that I haven't really been leaving the house very often. It started because I was working from home most of the summer, but then I stopped going out with people on the weekends. I noticed I was mostly avoiding people other than Seth as much as possible. Hanging out at home in my PJs is fine every once in a while, but I'm afraid it was getting towards the unhealthy side of the spectrum. We decided that we need to make more of an effort to get me out of the house.

Friday was a really nice day, so we went to the beach. We are so lucky to live so close to such a beautiful beach and I really need to take advantage of that more often. In the evening, we took the dogs to a nearby state park. It's nice and shady and when you're in the park you don't feel like you're in a small city/huge tourist town. Binky and Bear go wild at the chance to sniff new things. Plus, they love riding in the car to get to the park.

On Saturday, we took the water taxi downtown to have lunch. The water taxi is awesome (especially when you find a 50% coupon like I did). It takes you up and down the intracoastal canal and stops along the beach and downtown area. You're allowed to bring drinks on the boat, so we filled our little cooler bag with a few beers and enjoyed the afternoon on the water.

It DOES feel good to get out of the house. It keeps me from thinking too much and feeling like time is dragging by. I'm already planning for next weekend. We're either going to go to an MLB game or try a new bar that I read about yesterday - it serves all craft beers and has dozens on tap! My father-in-law and his girlfriend fly in on Sunday and they'll be here for two weeks, so I should have plenty of things to do to distract me for a little while!

BTW, update on my incision: It is infected. Justine, the nurse, was able to see me this morning and as soon as she took the Steri-Strip off we could see that it didn't look right. She called the doctor in and he took a culture and prescribed an ass load of antibiotics. Hopefully they do the trick! It's a good thing I went in because today is the last day of my good insurance. Starting tomorrow I have a temporary COBRA plan and I'd be paying out my ass for the culture. I also managed to sneak in some blood work today - they're checking my Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) which might shed some light on my ovarian reserve.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


I think one of my incisions is infected. Both of them started hurting a few days ago - just extra sensitive if I accidentally touched them. I figured this was normal healing pain or maybe I wasn't be as careful since I'm not feeling any abdominal soreness anymore. The left side started hurting even more so I checked it out more closely today and it definitely looks different than the right side. It almost looks like I pulled the stitches apart a little bit and the wound was too open. Probably when I was high and running around freaking out about Bear and Binky. Fuck. Of course it's Sunday, so there's no one in the office. I guess I have to call first thing in the morning and hopefully I'll be able to at least see a nurse.

The after-care "Surgical Site Infections" sheet can go fuck itself, by the way. It says that most infections can be treated with antibiotics but some will require another surgery in order to be treated. I don't need to hear about that possibility, just surprise me with that info later please.

Fingers crossed that it's not infected or can be easily treated.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Back to School Shopping

I start my new job in 11 days and I'm pretty excited about it. Really nervous, but excited. One of the fun parts about getting a new job is my need for some new clothes. The official uniform of a geologist typically includes cargo pants or acid washed jeans, a t-shirt and flannel button-down, hiking or combat boots, and some sort of Indiana Jones type hat. Bonus points for a Canadian tuxedo (no offense Canadian friends). That uniform works whether you're in the field, lecturing to a room of 100 undergrads, or presenting at an international meeting of professional scientists. I'm not super trendy or anything, but that sort of look has never been my style. 

Since I'm teaching at a community college and not at a university with a full-scale geology department, I don't think that uniform is appropriate. Which is awesome for me. I'm so excited that I finally need to buy some real "adult" clothes. (Actually, I bought most of my new tops from Forever 21 - don't tell on me.)

I really hate shopping. I love buying things, but I hate shopping. Online shopping is the greatest thing ever. My body is kind of weird - my bust, waist, and hips are each a different size - so it can be hard to find clothes that fit. When I shop online, I usually wait until there is a free shipping deal so that I don't need to waste a lot of money if I end up returning things. Also, I always check Retail Me Not for other coupon codes. 

Luckily, all but one of the tops I ordered from Forever 21 fit really well! I had free shipping and it will probably only cost me about $2-3 dollars to return the one shirt I didn't like. For about $70, I got 4 nice blouse type shirts and 2 tanks to wear underneath them. I bought a dress from Forever 21 and was really pleased with the quality, so I'm hopeful that these will last at least through the semester.

I lurve the two blouses on the top. They fit really well and they make me look like I know how to put an outfit together, which I really don't (too many years in "the uniform"). The bottom right is actually a really pretty pale green color. I'm thinking about buying it in the peach color as well. I'm a big fan of buying an item in multiple colors when I find something that fits well.

I also bought some pants from Old Navy (more free shipping and 20% off!). The khakis are the Diva Boot Cut pants and they actually look really good in real life. The photo above makes them look kind of frumpy, but really they're nice and fitted and look great with heels. The blue ones are the Flirt pants and I don't think they work for me. There's a lot of extra room in the crotch area and since I don't have a dick, it doesn't really look good. I'm going to try to exchange them for blue Divas, but they don't have my size right now.

I got these lovelies from Zappos. If you've never purchased shoes from Zappos, I suggest that you go do it immediately. Free shipping, free returns, ALL THE SHOES in one place. I already have a pair of black pumps and tons of flats so unfortunately I don't think I "need" anymore shoes for now. Or maybe I need some new boots...
And finally, I bought my very own fucking laser pointer. It even has a clicker so you can change the slides on your Power Point! I feel like I'm a real teacher now. It was only $7, but hopefully it will last through December at least.

So. Now that I got the important things out of the way, I should probably get back to preparing my lectures!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Fine Line

There's a fine line between being optimistic and being realistic (and being pessimistic too, I guess). I'm so glad that I know that I have endometriosis and I think it's great that it's been removed. But I can't help wondering if that's the ONLY thing that's wrong with me. I'm still worried about my weight. I'm still worried about my short cycles/early ovulation.

When I tell people about my diagnosis, they seem really excited. They keep telling me that now is the best time to get pregnant, that my chances are really good for the next six months. I'm not sure why they think that. It would be awesome if it's true. I want to believe it. The articles I've found don't necessarily agree with that though. One article said that only 29% of women surgically treated for endometriosis were pregnant within 9 months. That's less than half the rate for a typical, healthy woman/couple. I'm supposed to be excited for that?

There's also a fine line between being educated and scaring the shit out of yourself. I need to come to terms with the fact that I'm going to have endometriosis for the rest of my life. This isn't something that will go away if/when I'll get pregnant for the first time. I want to learn more about it so that I can decide if there are any changes that I want to make (diet, supplements, exercise, BCPs eventually), but there is so much depressing information out there. I don't want to bury my head in the sand, but I don't need to freak myself out right now either.

I'm trying to stay positive, I really am. I'm looking for any little thing to give me hope. Having the cysts removed from my left ovary sounds like it was really helpful. Maybe that was a bigger problem than the endo? Except if that's true, what the fuck has my right ovary been doing this whole time? Thanks, dude. I need to turn my brain off. There's no point worrying about it. I've done everything that I can do to change or help my situation for now. Hopefully once I start working again it will be easier to distract myself. I have WAY too much free time on my hands right now.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Finally, some answers!

Well, after going through the laparoscopy and hysteroscopy on Thursday morning, I'm finally feeling a little bit better. My pups are feeling better as well - they never got sick after leaving the vet so I think it's safe to say that they're going to be fine.

So. About the surgery.

Surgery day and Recovery - I arrived at the hospital around 6:30 AM and they took me straight back to the prep room. I changed into a surprisingly comfortable gown and they put me under a nice little heated blanket. The nurses asked me a bunch of questions and then they hooked me up to an IV. Seth and my parents were allowed to come back to sit with me while I waited. For two hours.

Finally, Dr. M came back, explained exactly what was going to happen, and then it was time to move to the operating room. The nurse gave me some meds through the IV to help me relax. They wheeled me into the operating room, I read a sign that said "Biohazard", and the next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room. I never even saw the anesthesiologist. So that was nice.

The nurses gave me some medicine for the pain and nausea before I left the hospital (around 1:00 PM), but the nausea was pretty unpleasant for the first few hours. I ended up getting sick on the way home, but luckily I had my supply of saltines and ginger ale. That was really helpful until I was able to take some Zofran when I got home. The nurse also gave me a cold cloth to hold on my face and that also helped me feel better.

After the drugs from the hospital wore off, the pain in my abdomen was pretty intense. Not the worst ever, but bad. Vicodin sucks. I think I'm immune to it. It really didn't do much for the pain so I couldn't get comfortable enough to sleep. I was hoping it would at least make me tired so that I would pass out, but no luck. I didn't sleep at all on Thursday and I only slept for a few hours off an on Thursday night. That really sucked. On Friday, I was able to take some Tylenol 3 instead and even though that's not as strong as Vicodin, it worked much better for me. I was able to get some rest and slept pretty well last night.

Now, the pain in my abdomen isn't unbearable. I have one spot on my left side that hurts a lot, but otherwise it feels like I just did a really intense ab workout. I think I'll probably be feeling back to normal in a few days.

The bloating and constipation are unreal. Colace did absolutely nothing. My friends who have been through this before recommended I try a laxative, but it's still not working. It sucks.

Initial Diagnosis/Results - While I was in recovery, Dr. M went out to talk to Seth (and my parents). This is what he found during the surgery:
  • The endometriosis was "extensive and widespread". It was everywhere - covering my ovaries and bladder and also all over my bowl, rectum, and abdominal walls. He was able to remove most of it, but it's too risky to get all of it from the bowel and rectum so that had to stay. Dr. M said he would classify it as Stage II endo rather than Stage III because he didn't find any scar tissue so that's good news.
  • There were a few "insignificant" polyps in my uterus. Those were removed and they'll be sent out to be tested, but chances are good that they're nothing to worry about.
  • Several cysts were removed from my ovaries (maybe just the left one, I'm not sure). The cysts were partially blocking my left tube. When they were removed, the little fingers on the tube were able to open up completely. The cysts were not endometriomas. For some reason, Dr. M thinks that they have been there since I was born. I have no idea why he thinks that or why they didn't show up on any of the ultrasounds, but I guess we'll find that out later.
Overall, I'm feeling pretty positive. I am 100% sure that surgery was the right choice for me/us so that feels good. I'm also relieved to know that I'm not crazy and that I wasn't imagining the pain. While it absolutely sucks that I have endo, I am grateful that it is only stage II and that most of it was removed. Now we know why my left tube looked funny on the HSG. It's great to know that the tube isn't obstructed anymore. It's nice to know what was causing the pain on my left side and hopefully now that the cyst is gone, that will go away.

Obviously, our plan is still to try to get pregnant as soon as possible. We want to make the most of this time after surgery when we know that the amount of endo present is minimal. My follow-up appointment isn't until September 6th, so we won't be starting treatment during my next cycle (#16). After that, I think we'll be moving to medicated TI or IUI. For now, I'm just going to try to stay positive. I know that surgery isn't a magical fix for infertility, but it was definitely a necessary step for me and I'm so glad that it's over!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Prayers for my Pups

When we left for the hospital this morning at 5:45 AM, I just grabbed my wallet and left my bag on the dining room table. When we got home, my bag and all of it's contents were on the living room floor. I freaked out because I had two (almost empty) packs of gum and I know that there's an ingredient in sugar-free gum that is toxic to dogs.

Awesome just what I needed. I may have gone a little nuts, but I couldn't help it. I was already feeling sick and anxious and I just completely panicked. We can blame the drugs, but I would have been just as worried any other day. I felt super guilty since it was my bag and I should know better.

First Seth tried to get them to vomit. Binky did and we could see that he ate the gum, but Bear was being stubborn. So we called the vet and they said to bring them in immediately. Thank God that my parents are here. Seth and my dad took the dogs to the vet and my mom stayed home with me.

The vet got Bear to vomit and it didn't look like he ate anything. However, he got really sick so the vet gave him so fluids through an IV. She wasn't worried about Binky since is seemed like he got rid of the gum. We just need to keep an eye on them for the next 24 hours. If they act weird or get sick tomorrow, we have to take them in right away. I feel a little bit better now. We found out that they had only been left alone at 1:00 o'clock and we were home by 1:30, so Binky didn't really have time to digest anything. If you can spare some prayers or good thoughts for them, I'd appreciate it very much.

My poor little babies. This picture isn't from today, but this
is what they look like after getting sick this afternoon.
As for me, I'm okay. The surgery went really well. I was sick earlier and I'm feeling a lot of pain right now. I haven't been able to sleep at all since I woke up at the hospital, but hopefully I will get some rest tonight. I do/did have endo, so I'm really glad that I decided to do this. I'll give a full update tomorrow after I calm down and get out of my drug haze.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Preparing for the Laparoscopy

Less than two days until my surgery. I'm really nervous. Mostly about the anesthesia. This will be my first time going under the full anesthesia with the breathing tube and that freaks me out. I'm feeling okay about the actual surgery though. I feel really comfortable with my doctor and I'm looking forward to getting this over with and finding out what's going on. If there even is anything.

Since we scheduled the surgery, I've been doing a ton research to figure out what the recovery will be like and what I can do to make that easier. Luckily (for me, not them) I have two friends that have had laparoscopies to remove endometriosis in the past so they were able to give me a bunch of tips as well. I figured it would be a good idea to make a list of what I have and, after surgery, what was actually helpful in case I ever need to do this again or in case anyone reading this needs to go through surgery as well. So here is my           Pre-Laparoscopy Checklist:
  1. Loose clothing - Doctor will make three incisions in my lower abdomen and I'll also be puffed up with CO2, so it's a good idea to wear loose clothing to the hospital. I bought a cotton t-shirt and a pair of PJ-ish sweatpants that are a few sizes too big. Seth was surprised that I "needed" a new surgery outfit. Duh.
  2. Prescriptions - Picked up all of my prescriptions a few days ago so I don't need to worry about it on the day of the surgery. They, and all of my other OTC supplies, are in a box next to my bed.
  3. Heating pad/hot water bottle - I've heard that one of the most painful things about the recovery is when the CO2 moves around and gets trapped around your shoulders/collarbone. A heating pad should help the gas get re-absorbed more quickly and ease the pain. I have a really awesome memory foam heating pad. It was a birthday gift from Seth. He also gave me a TempurPedic pillow and a bottle of vitamins that year. I believe I was turning 65 25.
  4. Over-the-counter supplies - Your throat may be sore from the breathing tube, so I picked up my favorite throat lozenges. Gas-X can help with the extra gas and bloating. I've also seen Colace (stool softener) recommended many times. I forget why - either the pain killers or the anesthesia can mess with your digestive system and since your abdomen is already in pain you don't want to get...blocked up. I also grabbed some baby wipes and tissues. Just because I felt like I might want them.
  5. Mild foods - The anesthesia and pain killers can make you feel sick, so it's a good idea to have some bland foods handy. My friends recommended saltines, graham crackers, ginger ale, and mashed potatoes. I also picked up some gatorade to help with the bloating.
  6. Movies/books/activities - My friends told me that they weren't in too much pain for long, but they felt a general crappiness for a few days after the surgery and spent a lot of time in bed or on the couch. I picked up a few books from the library and I have my yarn and crochet needles to keep me occupied.
  7. Clean sheets - Tomorrow, day before surgery, I'm going to wash my blankets and put fresh sheets on the bed. I hate when sheets feel "old" and if I'm going to be spending a few days in bed I want everything to be nice and clean.
  8. Pillow and plastic bag - Apparently it is a good idea to bring a pillow with you so that you can hold it over your belly during the car ride. I think I'll ask my dad to drive. Seth's a wild driver - too many years driving in Guatemala City. The plastic bag will serve as a barf bag. Yay.
  9. Baby gate - This one makes me really sad, but I think it's necessary. We're going to put up one of the gates in my bedroom doorway so Binky and Bear can't get in. I know they'll want to jump in bed and snuggle with me, but it's probably not a good idea. They think they're lap dogs, which I love, but I might not want 50 lbs resting on my stomach for a few days.
They hate being separated from us. They also haven't figured out that they could easily
A) jump over the gate or B) bust right through it.
I think those are the highlights. We'll see what is actually helpful (the new surgery day outfit is going to be key, I know it).

This morning, I went to the hospital so they could collect some blood. I'm scheduled for 5:30 AM on Thursday, but they'll call me tomorrow afternoon to confirm that. My parents are arriving tomorrow morning and I can't wait for them to be here. Having them here will make the day go by quickly. Before I know it, it will be Thursday afternoon and all of this surgery bullshit will be over. I can't wait for that!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

One Year

Today marks the day we've officially been TTC for one whole year. I'm officially "infertile".

I cried yesterday, but I haven't yet today. I just feel kind of defeated. I think I knew this day was coming for a while now, so I've had time to prepare for it. It's been over six months since my doctor first started suspecting that I have endo. It's been three months since I first saw Dr. M and he told me that I either have a problem or "exquisitely bad luck". Neither of those things sounded very hopeful. I've also had fourteen cycles of BFNs. Fourteen failures. That's been the most difficult thing to deal with. The fact that they happened in under year didn't make it any less painful.

Today still stings though. I remember, just over a year ago, when Seth first told me he was ready to start TTC. I will never forget how I could see the excitement in his eyes. I will never forget how happy and excited we felt those first few months. I wish that we still felt that way.

This year was tough. I'm sad and disappointed that it didn't work out for us. Sometimes I wish that we didn't wait so long to start TTC. Sometimes I wish that I didn't wait so long to get some answers and treatment about my pelvic pain. Sometimes I wish that I had used birth control pills in the past - maybe the endo wouldn't have grown and spread. Thinking like that doesn't change or help anything though.

I still feel confident that there is a baby for us at the end of this road. I know that regardless of how or when we get to the end, when I'm holding a baby in my arms, I will be so thankful that I took the road that lead us to THAT baby. I think that's the thing that's keeping me from feeling too depressed today and it's the thing that will get me through surgery and the waiting and the treatment that will follow it.