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Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:20 pm
by LizGrayson
Hey JT. The rough draft is in a state of limbo because our computer at home has bitten the proverbial big one (what that one is, I don't know, but whatever it is, my computer bit it, hard!) so I haven't had time to finish typing it. I'm sure that once we get our new computer, I'll start making many edits to it. Thank goodness I had everything backed up and can pick up where I left off.

The baby front is a no-go once again. On Tuesday we found out that our third in vitro cycle didn't take. Fortunately here in MA insurance covers all the procedures and the tests, because we couldn't afford to undertake this if we lived elsewhere. As soon as we can, I'm going to start another cycle and hopefully the doctors can figure out something to help it along. The sad thing is we create perfect embryos in the lab, but once they're transferred, something happens and they don't grow. I'm praying the doctors can figure out why this is happening, but I'm not ready to give up yet, no matter how much it messes with my body.

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:00 pm
by LizGrayson
Well it's been a few days since I last blogged, and since then, I've actually had a few things to talk about:)

First of all, my in vitro docs are going to try assisted hatching with our next cycle. Basically each embryo has a shell and after fertilization, the shell protects it while it travels the fallopian tube before it breaks out and implants in the uterus. All in vitro does is bypass the expressway so to speak, but a transfer doesn't mean they implant right away, which I didn't realize. Sometimes an embro won't implant because it's got such a thick shell it can't break out. So that's where assisted hatching comes in. They basically poke a hole in the shell before they do the transfer, kind of like helping a chicken hatch by peeling the shell off.

In other news, I had the most amazing Sunday night on the 7th -- not only did I get to attend Garrison Keillor's performance at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, but I actually got to meet him. It's a crazy story really. Back in December, I was watching my local PBS affiliate and as part of their pledge drive, they were offering tickets to the show for $300. Too rich for my blood, but after the holidays I went to the online box office and ordered two tickets, thinking I would invite a friend to go with me since my husband's not really into his writing or PHC. Well, our church's choir director is the wife of the local public radio station's general manager, so I figured she'd appreciate the show more than anyone else I know. Little did I know that I could have asked her for tickets, since our public radio station was doing a pledge drive just a couple of weeks before the show! So I shelled out money for tickets that I didn't need to spend on seats that I didn't sit in because I got better ones closer to the stage but that didn't matter. So anyway, last week, when I was really bummed out about the bad news from the doctors, my friend invited me to come to the pre-show reception as her guest. Well to say I was thrilled and had a HUGE case of fan-girl nerves was an understatement. I mean, it's not every day you get to meet one of your favorite writers. So when I got there, my friend and I had a glass of wine and just talked about church stuff and the doctors and all (she went through in vitro 5 times so she's been a shoulder to lean on through all of this) and he came in around 7:00, wearing his trademark red tennis shoes. I was one of the last people he spoke with, after my friend's husband practically had to drag me over to him. He asked about where I lived, where I worked, I told him how much I love PHC and his writing, and he autographed my hardcover copy of Liberty with a sweet little poem. The show started at 8 so he didn't have a lot of time to interact with us, but what time he had, he gave graciously to us. The show was wonderful -- I laughed for almost two hours straight, which I really needed. A couple of the monologues were ones I'd heard before, but they sound better in person, if that makes sense. I love the way he can write something that makes you laugh one minute and then the next thing he says can be so profound or touching that it nearly makes you cry. To me that's the mark of an excellent writer.

This week hasn't been nearly so glamourous. My nephew turned 6 on Monday, which can't be right. He was just born yesterday! We gave him a Star Wars computer game (I didn't even have a computer until 8th grade!!!) and Playmobil Knights of Dragon Rock playset. We called him around 8:00 and he was too over the moon to really speak to us, but he did thank us for his birthday presents. According to my mom, he had cupcakes at school and his class sang Happy Birthday, and in spite of all that, he still managed to behave enough to get a smiley face on his daily progress report.

Other than that, things are quiet. I had Spanish class on Tuesday and choir rehearsal last night. Am playing my flute on Sunday with the choir, but it's a piece I've played before so no stress.

Now that I've talked your ears off, I'll take my leave :D

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:52 am
by LizGrayson
Well another week in my life has's dreary and grey here today, which kind of fits my mood. Spring practice starts tomorrow for the football team, and I'm glad that the early morning workouts are over so Bill doesn't have to get up at the crack of dawn to film them, but still, I can't believe that March is almost over. Although I'm ready for April to bring the start of a new in vitro cycle, I'm kind of apprehensive about it too. The first three didn't work, and I can only hope that this one will with the assisted hatching technique. I'm just not sure how many more times I can go through it if it fails this time.

On a happier note, I went to the Carrie Underwood concert at the Mullins Center Saturday night and had a great time, even though I don't know much of her music. She's got quite a sense of showmanship and a heck of a set of pipes on her. It was a fun night and only the second concert I've been to in my life (I know, that's pathetic isn't it? lol).

Yesterday left me feeling blah...went to church and sat through one of the wierdest Palm Sunday services I've ever been involved in. We played The Great Gates of Kiev on handbells, which is a pretty piece but has nothing to do with religion in any way. Then, instead of a children's sermon, our minister brought a friend of hers in who taught the children how to sing Kum Ba Yah. Again, nice but what does that have to do with Palm Sunday? Our minister mentioned how it's a Sunday that is both happy and sad at the same time but that's where the reference ended. Then, instead of a sermon, the same guy told a story about two neighbors who were feuding until a young carpenter shows up and literally builds a bridge between their houses, instead of the fence they wanted.

If you hadn't heard our anthem that we sang, you'd have never guessed it was the start of the most important week on the Christian calendar. Somehow that just put me off. It wasn't the guy who was there --that would have been fine for any other service. But considering it's a week of contemplation and reflection on one's spiritual journey, it didn't do much to put me in that frame of mind.

Then again, our Maundy Thursday service should do that, so maybe it wasn't a total loss.

:) Happy Easter everyone.

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:55 am
by TheMudge

Posted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:00 pm
by LizGrayson
I can't believe that it's been so long since I last posted, but still being without a computer makes it hard to find time to do so.

Let's see...since last time, we found out our fourth ivf cycle didn't work. Needless to say we were devestated but we've got an appointment at the hospital to talk with the doctors to see what the next step is.

My nephew finished his kindergarden year last Friday and got all "E's" (exceeds expectations") on his report card. We're so proud of him!!

Yesterday my niece turned 5 and for a child as sick as she was when she was born, she's certainly doing great now. Although she'll never be cured, her treatments are keeping the CF at bay for now, and she's as happy and gorgeous as any other little girl.

My poor dad has cellulitis, and is on his second round of antibiotics and diuretics, which hopefully will clear it up. Otherwise he'll have to go to the hospital for a round of iv antibiotics, as cellulitis is a staph infection of the dermal layer of skin. Sounds awful to me but at least he's staying in relatively good spirits.

My brother in law is working as a contract employee in a temp to hire capacity for Sun Trust, which I think is a huge relief to everyone. Take it from me, being laid off sucks eggs.

My sister is still suffering with her back, but instead of having surgury for a spinal fusion right now, she's going to try and go back to work. $3400 monthly insurance payments are the primary reason ---somehow I'm thinking maybe Obama's health care plan might be better than I thought it was.

We're heading to Myrtle Beach on July 3rd and will be there until the 10th so hopefully I can find a scoach of time to write while I'm there. :-D

Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:22 pm
by LizGrayson
Wow, it's been 9 months since I last wrote??? What is wrong with me?

Well a lot has happened in 9 months. Last September my niece Eliza headed off to kindergarten, which made me happy for her and wistful at the same time. She is doing well and just loves school, like her brother, and she always makes me proud.

Speaking of her brother, he just turned 7 last Tuesday, which inspired a philisophical discussion between me and my husband. We both think that we feel older when we watch other people grow older than we do if we just think about our age. I guess that's because physically we don't feel older, but emotionally we do when we watch the kids age. Hubby said he feels old when he thinks of his dad turning 70 in three years. We gave Andrew a Bakugan PSP game and he was over the moon about it. He started Little League baseball this past Saturday (the 12th) and I think his sister is going to take dance lessons this summer.

Football season didn't go all that well, but I had a good time cheering for my team anyway. The season was marred by the death of our band director before the Michigan game last September. He was only 52 and had a massive heart attack while the band was in route to Michigan to perform the halftime show. Apparently the band had stopped in Ohio to spend the night and they were going to perform at a high school when he wasn't feeling well. The staff tried to talk him into going to the hospital but he said he would after the show. He collapsed back stage and the students found out at 11:00 that night that he died. The whole football season was a tribute to him, especially the UMass/New Hampshire game at Gillette stadium. Sad stuff, but his legacy of music will go on forever.

Bill and I attempted another in vitro cycle in October, but worse than the other four, I couldn't even complete the cycle. My body wasn't producing enough hormones to sustain egg development, and during November I just had to stop cold turkey. To say I was devestated would be an understatement, but I tired not to let it get me down. :(

The holidays came too quickly as usual, but our time with our familes was invaluable. We actually had snow in Richmond the day after Christmas which was a first in a long while. The last time I can remember the weather crapping out at Christmas was in 1998. Anyway it was a great time, and I was wistful to start another new year, but hopeful that things will be better all the way around for everyone this year.

January and February slammed us with snow. I'd say between January 12th and the end of February we got over 5 feet of snow/ice/etc. Fortunately now we are at the time of year where we're finally starting to thaw out a bit. I don't work for an office where I can just take time off when weather gets bad. We were closed twice though which was nice, but trying to get to Springfield in even the slightest bad weather is not for the faint of heart. :shock:

We got started with another invitro cycle on February 19th and for the same reasons that we couldn't finish in November, we couldn't finish this one either. Now our last hope really is to basically napalm my system into responding. The doctors want to meet with me and my husband to discuss this new strategy. I'm trying not to stress about it but I'm failing miserably I think.

Winter workouts are in full swing but this year for the first time they are at 8:30 in the morning instead of 6, so that's a huge relief when my hubby can leave with me to go to work instead of getting up at 4:45. Spring practice will start at the end of the month and it's hard to believe that time is already upon us.

On the writing front, I've been brainstorming an idea for a political thriller novel with my husband.

Hope to see some of you around soon!


Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:47 pm
by jt752
So what character in the book will be your husband???

I hope the treatment has met with success.

Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:14 am
by LizGrayson
Oops! That should have read that I've been working with my husband on a treatment for a political thriller. I've been trying to figure it out because the way I have it now, it could be two completely different short stories, and integrating both ideas into one novella has been difficult.

On a different note, I've been writing a stage play (not that I've ever done that before) about four old men who meet in Central Park every week who have secrets that they've kept from one another. That one's almost finished, even if I don't know squat about play formats.

Thanks for asking. Hope all is well with you!