Friday, March 5, 2010

The End?

Heavy stuff ahead. Got some coffee? A glass of wine?

To preface the rest of this post, last May I posted this

I didn't give too many details at the time--it was all sort of shocking, I guess. Let me also say, that I know that the diagnosis I got that day is one that is given to people every day--it could have been worse.

What was concerning was the mole that was removed was the size of a nickel and had grown at a rapid rate--as in, it wasn't there one day, and the next it was.

And the fact that it was in my groin area--well, that was just a little awkward and at the same time a bit of an ironic symbol.

So it was removed in May, and by October I noticed the scar had turned a shade of brown--the mole was growing back. Well, I sort of wanted to avoid it. But it kept pinging in the back of my mind, so I called in December, and as with most dermatology offices, I was going to have to wait eons for an appointment.

I checked in early for my appointment on Wednesday, and really had no nerves about going in. I love my doctor--she has great bedside manner and is very, very sweet--so I was actually looking forward to seeing her.

She wanted to check the mole area first thing, and then moved on to the full body scan. She called out notes to the nurse as she did all this--all of the lingo not meaning a lot to me. So when the nurse left, my doctor sat down.

A sitting doctor always makes me nervous.

She explained that she was concerned about the mole in my groin growing back. She explained that she'd need to remove it again, and go even further into my skin this time. Ouch. She went on to say that she found a dark mole on my scalp, and it's sitting next to a cyst. I also have growth on an old mole on my back, and ten new moles.

My heart rate started to go up at this point--I knew there was more to it. She proceeded to say that its possible that I'll need to have an MRI based on the biopsy results (hoping I get them today or Monday at the latest) and that she strongly recommends we never attempt IVF again. 

In my original consult with her last year, she asked me a lot about my medical history and family history, so she could try and figure out why my moles were growing at the rate they were. Honestly, I didnt even think to mention IVF, because sometimes I don't think to categorize that in my "history"--I always think of surgeries, broken bones, etc. But I'm glad I did--it was like a light bulb went off in her head. She asked about the hormones I took and an estimate on how much. I wanted to laugh and say,
"You don't have enough room on my chart to write it all down!"

Ahhh, IF--you sock me in the stomach in the most unpleasant ways.

She does not claim to be my RE or have an extensive background in infertility and I appreciate that. She's just giving me the facts that are in front of her--and that includes my body and how it seems to be reacting to the large amounts of hormones I took.

The fact that Mook and I hadn't definitely decided if we'd add to our family, it was just hard to hear that I may, yet again, have outside factors determining what the next steps will be.

Ugg, its hard to even talk about. I just wasn't in the mind set to think about it--and all of these IF feelings have just come rushing back--not to mention the fact that I may have to worry about something going on with my moles.

Have any of you all experienced this? Not necessarily with moles, but with another medical situation that has caused you to re-evaluate your plans for a family or adding to it?

So does this all mean the end of our journey?

My heart says no. But all this is helping me come to terms with the fact that going back to our RE won't be happening. It actually just reaffirms the fluttering in my heart when I think about adding to our family by adoption. Not that this is happening anytime in the near future. Not that it will happen at all.

But I'm just not ready to close the door to everything....


82 comments:

  1. Oh JJ. My heart is so heavy for you right now. I'm praying you get good results from the doc and soon.

    Wish I could say or do something to make it all better. But just know you're in my prayers.

    Love ya!

    xoxoxo

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  2. Oh that sucks. I am so sorry that you have another obstacle to think about.

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  3. JJ. Sending you hugs. Waiting with you for the biopsy results.

    I know it's about so much more than just your skin. That's just one of the many "gifts" of IF, right?

    XOXO

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  4. Ugh :( A whole new problem created by IF and causing more IF. Wtf. I'm sorry this is happening. I can't even imagine how you're feeling. Hoping that the biopsy results are "good" (as good as possible) news!

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  5. hugs lady. That is a hard one and something I too was told, that the risk of developing ovarian cancer were just too high (the high dose of stims needed plus family history plus endo means not a good idea to go after eggs again). hang in there. lots of good thoughts going your way.

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  6. I've been thinking about you the past couple days, frankly thinking about your wonderful singing voice...

    So to have such news that is so troubling AND then have it hit you where it already hurts...

    I will abide with you throughout your journey, where ever that may take you.

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  7. I'm so sorry honey...that definitely gives you a lot to think about when family planning for the future. Funny thing, I noticed after all my IVF's/FET's that my moles (and I have always had many), grew much faster...and more new ones started showing up. Guess I'd better make an appt with my dermo for a mole scan again...good luck with all you've got going on right now honey! ((hugs))

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  8. I'm so sorry, JJ. How awful and scary! And to have choices taken away ALWAYS sucks.

    I hope your results are ok.

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  9. PS-I have not dealt with something like this, a medical issue deciding my TTC status, but I have a friend who has. She has severe endo (of the lose-body-parts variety) and a son who has medical issues, so from both sides, that is determining what they will/won't do.

    Good luck.

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  10. Oh JJ...praying hard for you. Hoping and praying everything comes back clear.

    While it wasn't something like cancer that caused us to reevaluate our family building plans, it was Vic's diabetes. Because of the many issues there have been with his diabetes, we may not get to have the final child my heart is calling for.

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  11. Oh JJ huge hugs to you!! I had a mole on my arm that got darker and bigger. I noticed it changing while I was pg and realized it had started changing while I was doing IVF. I had it removed during a biopsy and was told I was fine, and nothing to worry about. I'm hoping the same for you!!! I'm sorry though that it's going to effect your future plans. :( Why is IF so horrendous in so many ways?! THinking of you and sending prayers!

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  12. Yikes. I am so so so very sorry that you're going through this. I have the skin cancer history/gene too, and I am so glad you are as proactive as you are. It means you'll be ok.

    You're in my prayers.

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  13. Hugs, big giant hugs that reach all the way to you. You're in my prayers! xo

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  14. How unsettling - I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. Kudos to you for being so proactive, and I'm glad you live in an area where there's such good health care. Fingers crossed for good news from the biopsy, and a big hug to you and your family.

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  15. When I developed my autoimmune neuro issues this past summer (that may or may not still become MS), I was initially discourages from pregnancy again, since the postpartum period is the time when it can increase greatly. I ended up getting an MFM consult, who said it would be OK, but my risks are higher, both for a severe relapse and for pre-e during pregnancy.

    We considered many options, including my best friend carrying for me, but in the end, decided we are willing to go at least as far as Femara cycles. And still unsure how to family build past that. Too many variables.


    I say, find out first what this is, gather more info, and then start the decision process.

    I had moles removed in Dec myself, and just noticed that one was growing back the past few days. This post had me on the phone making a follow-up appt as fast as I could.

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  16. Fingers crossed that the results come back clean.

    And THANK YOU(!) for the timely reminder that I need to get my OB to do a referral to the dermatologists office for a mole check myself.

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  17. Oh, I am so sorry. It shouldn't be this hard just to have the family that so many others take for granted. Huge hugs to you.

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  18. I'm hoping you have good results. Praying you find strength and resolve through the uncertainty.

    LFCA

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  19. Wow, JJ, I'm so sorry. For all of it. First, I hope that everything goes well with the removal and whatever your scans are all come out clean. I can't imagine how your head must be spinning right now.

    And, I'm so sorry that this is again complicating the whole IF world. As if it wasn't complicated enough. I'm so sorry. Just know that I'm thinking of you.

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  20. Damn. Melanoma scares the shit out of me. (pardon my language, but it really really does)

    On top of that this scare is forcing you to consider your family building options? Double blow.

    Know that I am thinking of you and looking for a derm referral as I type this.

    Please keep us updated.

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  21. Damn. Melanoma scares the shit out of me. (pardon my language, but it really really does)

    On top of that, this scare is forcing you to consider your family building options? Double blow.

    Know that I am thinking of you and looking for a derm referral as I type this.

    Please keep us updated.

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  22. I hate that outside factors have to factor into family building. I hope that everything comes back ok. I will pray for you.

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  23. I'm sorry, JJ! Pregnancy has resulted in a few new moles for me, so I plan to get a full body check at a dermatologist's office after baby is born.

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  24. Oh no, that really are heartbreaking news. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all test results come back clean.

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  25. Wow. I hope that the results come back ok.

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  26. I hope they call back quickly with the results and that it isn't anything bad, just leftover hormones. I'll be keeping you in my prayers ((HUGS))

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  27. I'll save my hugs for you when you get here because no matter how much you try to sugar coat this news or find the silver lining, it all just sucks. We are looking forward to having you here surrounded by family and hopefully having enough fun to distract you for a few days. :) Love you!

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  28. OH JJ, I really can't believe this... I hope first of all that the scan shows that everything is fine with you. The most import thing is your health. Second of all I can relate with your feelings of adding on to the family (for different reasons) of maybe being THE END... My heart breaks for you my friend, that is so unfair. I will be praying for you Let us know what we can do for you!!!!! how we can help you. LOVE YOU!

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  29. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this, JJ. It just isn't fair to throw another curve ball at you. I hope the biopsy results come back benign and will be thinking of you.

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  30. oh JJ I hope t=once this is removed there is nothing more to be concerned about, mole-wise.

    as for the lingering and questionable impacts of IF, well that one's a doozy. it sucks to feel so limited by your body when the heart desires.

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  31. I'm thinking of you JJ and praying for the best. ((many hugs)) my friend.

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  32. Long-time lurker just writing to say I'm so sorry that it seems like the decision has been taken out of your hands. Before you definitely shut that door, I would suggest a second consult. We have a family history of IF and related-cancers and I asked all 3 of my REs about the risks before we started treatments. I also wonder whether donor eggs or even embryo adoption might be paths you chose to consider at some point in the future, in addition to adoption.

    Hoping the results come back normal (and quickly).

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  33. Oh, JJ. That is so much to take in all at one office visit.

    I hope the biopsy results come back with good news.

    I hope your family continues to grow - by whatever door God chooses for you.

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  34. Hugs to you. You're in my thoughts and prayers!

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  35. Oh JJ,

    I'm so sorry to read this. I'm thinking of you and will keep you in my prayers.

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  36. cover your ears, my dear JJ, but this is FUCKED UP!! Oh honey. We surrender SO much control when we fall down the rabbit hole of infertility. SO having any other roadblock is just unfair on every level. Sitting with you as you wait for the results.
    xoxo

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  37. Oh sweetie, I am so sorry you have to deal with this SHIT. You don't deserve it.

    THinking of you lots.

    xoxo

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  38. Oh wow, JJ. Heavy post indeed. This all would be weighing so heavily on your mind. My gosh, enough is enough already. I'm really sorry that you're dealing with this. Sending you positive thoughts and hoping for the best possible outcome - and peace in your heart.

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  39. Oh, JJ, I'm sorry. Yikes. I hope everything comes back OK.

    I haven't faced a situation exactly parallel to yours, but just before we began to pursue IVF -- though I had checked out perfectly 1.5 years before when my DH had his vasectomy reversal surgery (unsuccessful, as things turned out, thus the IVF) -- I was told I was not a candidate for IVF because of elevated FSH. Naturally the appointment at which I learned this was the first ever that DH didn't attend with me. Do not pass go, move straight to donor egg. That wasn't the path I pursued; I did own-egg IVF a bunch of times to conceive my son, but getting REs to treat me was a real struggle. That said, it's not the same, because I wasn't worried about my own health but just about IVF not working. So I can sort of relate, but not exactly. I'd say it took about 2 weeks after getting the news (yet another 2ww) before I quit feeling like I'd been run over by a truck.

    If/when you want to pursue adoption, I can recommend an agency I mostly liked (and that we had started to work with) that's in-state.

    Again, I hope everything checks out OK.

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  40. I'm really truly sorry for this awful news JJ. Its like a double punch in the gut. Sending lots of love that the results after your biopsy are negative. After a while, then I'd consult an expert on fertility drugs and this type of growth.

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  41. Oh JJ, that's really crap news all around. My guess is that she thinks that as pregnancy feeds cancers, being pregnant and on meds for weeks before that would be an idee tres mal.

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  42. Wow, that is really heavy news. The mole info is scary to me, as I am a moley girl myself. I pray that things get better on that front for you and that you take comfort in knowing that adoption is the route you're meant for if you do decide more children are in your future.

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  43. Wow. That's a lot to process and big decisions to look at. I'm sorry you are receiving this news and hope that the biopsies come back ok. Thinking of you and sending hugs.

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  44. Wow. That is some tough news. I hope your scans come back perfectly normal.

    I hadn't considered IVF or hormones being related to moles or pre-cancerous cells in any way at all. Have you called your RE or asked for an MFM to help re-affirm that this is acurate? I'm guessing you've asked Dr. Google?

    I only say this because I've had many well-meaning Drs make statments that x was related to y (especially in reference to IF). Enough that I'd get a 2nd or 3rd opinion before I made a final "close the door" decision.

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  45. I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking about you and hoping that everything will be ok. xoxo

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  46. Wow--I can only imagine how many emotions you must be flooded with right now. Thinking of you and your family.

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  47. Oh, JJ, I'm so sorry. This is all so much for you to digest at once. Sending big hugs.

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  48. Wow. this really hits home, girl. After all my treatments, I noticed some "skin tags" growing and had to have to removed. I have moles that have significantly increased in size both while on the IF drugs and as I was pregnant as well. Hmph. Thank you for the warning. Although I dread having it all checked out, your post is a great warning. Thank you for being so honest and frank. I, for one, appreciate your candidness.

    In the mean time, we're all here for you. Please let us know the results of your test. Tell IF that you beat her once and you WILL do it again (whatever route you choose)! Many hugs!

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  49. What a huge load to have to deal with right now. It all sounds so scary and hard to take in. I hope you are getting through the weekend okay.

    No matter what, I would definitely suggest a second (and third!) opinion before making any big decisions regarding continuing treatment. Your doctor sounds great, but I do know I've had more than one non RE-doctor try to blame the fertility drugs for certain things and later was told by my RE that what was not so. And in generally I'm learning you can go to 10 doctors and get 10 different takes on things (endometriosis was especially like this).

    Anyway, sorry if this is just a bunch of silly assvice. I have no clue -- just thinking of you and hoping for the best!

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  50. :( Thinking of you sweetie, keep strong, xxxxxxxxx

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  51. Oh JJ, how friggen scary. God Willing all will come back ok, and isn't it just like the little bitch, IF that she is, to haunt us later in life too. Thinking of you and praying for all to be good. xoxoxox

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  52. Sending big hugs, JJ, and abidng with you as you wait for what I truly hope is good, relieving news about the moles, and as you figure out what all this means for you and your family.

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  53. Wow. This is scary. I am glad you are ok and I hope you guys can come up with a solution for this particular problem. I know I didn't take near the amount of hormones you did, but my skin really changed a lot after my IF treatments and pregnancy. So weird. Hormones, can't live with em and can't live without em, right?
    *hugs*

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  54. Oh JJ, that is so scary and sad--what a lot to be dealing with in your life. I hope that the biopsy results are as good as can be, but I know there's a lot more to it than that. Wishing that you weren't going through this...

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  55. Don't you just love these "surprises" life throws at you? I'm sorry that you're being forced to face what you might need to do to extend your family before you're ready to face those decisions but like another commenter said, get all the information first about the moles etc, then you can tackle the challenge scientifically mixed with a bit of emotion... cos right now all you got running through that pretty head of yours is emotional and it can cloud out possibilities at times.

    Thinking of you and praying for you.

    xxx

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  56. i am shaking my fist at the universe! I am so sorry

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  57. Oh JJ! How awful! I pray that you get good biopsy results.

    HUGS, HUGS, HUGS.

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  58. thinking of you! I hope that you are okay. HUGS

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  59. I'm so sorry. I hope that there's nothing more serious going on and the biopsy results are okay.

    As far as "the end" - we're facing that possibility right now - almost bleeding to death after a miscarriage puts us firmly in the land of confusion, even though we have embryos sitting on ice. It's still infertility, I guess, but I'm not done wanting, and there's a possibility at least one of the frozens is viable. But what about my health??

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  60. I'm sorry JJ, life is just so so unfair sometimes isn't it?

    I hope this isn't the end for you guys, I really really because I understand you not being ready to close that door just yet.

    Sending you huge hugs my friend Xxx

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  61. Oh my JJ..I don't know where to start..maybe with a big internet HUG and a prayer..that things are going to be ok.

    I always say that IF is the gift that keeps on giving, that is makes you grateful and frustrated, that it makes you stronger and weaker at the same time.

    I hate thinking of you in the midst of this, of thinking that you can't add to your family, because of this. Plus to be so scared of this in the meantime. My stomach is doing flips for you.

    I am thinking good thoughts, I am here if you need to vent or talk and I'll be a support if you need it.

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  62. Oh JJ! I'm so sorry, this just really sucks giant monkey balls! It's hard enough when WE have to make tough choices, but it's just so unfair when the choice is made for us, and it's not the choice we want. Ugh!

    Hugs!

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  63. I'm sorry it took me so long to reply to this. I know we already talked on the phone about all of this, but I just wanted to come on here and let you know that I'm thinking of you all the time. If you need to talk you know where I am.

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  64. Oh hon, I am so so sorry--starting with the choice being removed from you and ending with the moles. Please please update when you get news again. Holding you in my heart.

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  65. I am sorry and I am praying for your road ahead.

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  66. Here from LFCA. I'm so sorry... it's really devastating how far IF can reach into our lives. Praying that everything is okay, and that you can find peace in the next steps of family building.

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  67. So very, very sorry. IF keeps finding new and interesting ways to F with all of us. Please know that so many people out there are wishing you well.

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  68. Oh JJ I'm sorry this is happening. This is too much to hear in one appt. Hoping and praying for you.
    Keep us posted.
    Love ya!

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  69. I am so sorry. That's hard news to hear from a Dr. After I had my post-Em hear troubles my cardiologist told me that he recommended no more kids. Even though having I third was really only a slight chance, it was still shocking to hear.

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  70. SWEETIE! Ughh what a blow. Not what I expected to read at all. I have never heard of IVF having such lasting effects. I know I still have the bumps on my tush where the PIO shots were...but this is something totally unexpected. PLEASE tell us when you hear from the tests. Thinking of you, lifting you up, and I know you are a strong lady. Im not going to put a "the End" on your journey. Just another hurdle. Hug the O Man for me!

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  71. Here from LFCA...

    I'm sorry to read you're going thru this. Saying a prayer for you that you get the all clear phone call soon!

    You did get me thinking though. in 2003 I had Mohs Surgery for a mole I had on my upper right chest. I never disclosed this information with any REs or other IF Doctors... Never thought to for some reason. Maybe becuase I caparmentalize {sp?} my health history??? I have not noticed any growths/changes though but then again we never did IVF but did do Follistim Injects a few times.

    Good luck hun!!! I know how difficult that wait is...

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  72. How scary for you, JJ. I'm really hoping everything comes back as well as can be expected in this situation.

    As for me, IVF caused a reawakening of previous cyst issues (acne is one thing, but these are systemic)-- so far, none are cancerous, but many are quite painful. I actually go to the dermatologist next Tuesday to have him look at a cyst growing in a tendon on my forearm that has grown larger since he last saw me (pre-IVF). So, yeah. While our family plans are pretty well closed at this point, I think I would be devastated to be told that I no longer have the choice due to the hormones/issues that go along with IVF and pregnancy.

    Thinking of you...

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  73. Thinking of you.

    While it's not the same situation, I remember very clearly the day I realized that, although I didn't feel my family was finished, it was too dangerous for me to ever be pregnant again. It made me realize that I had to totally rethink everything and that I was going to end up somewhere I never thought I'd be.

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  74. Thinking of you and hoping all turns out ok.

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  75. Oh, JJ that's terrible.

    Yes, IVF hormones wreaked havoc with my health condition. We adopted our daughter and I decided to donate our frozen embryos for other infertile couples because I cannot physically be pregnant and deal with the hormones.

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  76. Second opinion. Third or forth too. I don't think there is any correlation between IVF hormones and skin cancer. Or else a whole lot of us would be getting skin cancer!! Also, your diagnosis was non-melanoma? Very good. I'm sure it can be treated.

    I think IF treatments can be stressful on our bodies, and we have to take really, really good care of ourselves to rebound from those bodily insults. Some assvice, for what it's worth. Take 5000iu of Vitamin D a day. It's supposed to help prevent cancers. And if you are staying out of the sun and using sunscreen to prevent skin cancer, you won't be making much of your own Vitamin D. I really don't think this is the end for you. As much as you like your doctor, I don't think she knows much about IVF. Best to get your RE's take on this one before calling it.

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  77. That just plain sucks!! I'm so sorry! As is IF wasn't bad enough, huh? Girl I am praying for you!!!

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  78. Hey you - late to the party but I would also favour getting a second opinion. I've had tons of moles removed and had everything from mutated pigment to mutated cells to sarcoma but Dr's can seriously vary on what they think it means. I'd DEF speak to your RE and then get a 2nd (and / or 3rd) from a dermatologist! FIngers crossed for you! xoxo

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  79. latebloomer13@wordpressMarch 20, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    Sorry that your are dealing with melanoma issues as well. I was diagnosed in 2006 and have check-ups every 3 months. I also had a previously removed mole grow back in the same spot right before my wedding. Fortunately for me, all was OK but I know how scary it can be. Keep your check-ups. Wishing you peace in whatever you decide.

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  80. Wow. I can see how that would send you for a loop. I'm not sure how I would feel, and the situation just plain sucks.

    Yes, three little words have decided to stand between us and our decision to use our frozen embryos. Ataxic Cerebral Palsy.

    I guess in the end, we make the decisions that will cause us the least amount of regret.

    TeamWinks

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