I've always liked the way the clinic calls this a "drug education appointment". It makes us sound like junkies! But we're not talking about those kinds of drugs, of course...
Yesterday we went to the clinic and met with Nurse J. It seems that Dr C, in consultation with other doctors, has chosen the Elonva regime for us this time. It is new but apparently has a good chance of success. It is basically a big dose of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), so instead of taking a week's worth of injections, I only have to have one. I'm not really sure how I feel about that. I didn't want to be used as an experiment, but I have to trust that the doctors would only do the best for us, especially after so many failed attempts in the past.
Nurse J pulled out a green cooler bag (a similar colour but not exactly the same as the ones we've used in the past) which was stuffed with all the drugs and accessories we will need for the first stage of this cycle. She took us through the regime very carefully and even wrote it down for us, which will be helpful. She also showed us how to use the Elonva syringe, which is different from the others, and D was able to practice on a square plastic device which looks and feels just like a section of skin. I am, as always, grateful that he seems to be able to understand and retain all of this information much better than I do! But we have lots of printed information and we can always call the nurses if we forget something.
So here is the plan: I am to phone the nurses on day 1 of my next period (which will probably be Thursday or Friday next week - a short cycle means there's never long to wait) and they will tell me when to take the Elonva injection. That will be on day 2, 3 or 4 and will depend on what day of the week it is because the clinic is not open for calls or appointments on a Sunday. Four or five days after the Elonva injection, we will start Orgalutran, which we used last time and which will stop my body from ovulating. I will have a blood test on day 8 of my cycle and a date for the first scan will be decided. Depending on the results of the scan, we will start the Perogon injections (the same as Gonal-F which we have used before, just a different brand name) to stimulate the follicles, though sometimes this is not needed if things have worked well enough on their own. Finally, a time and date will be decided for egg collection and I will have the trigger injection of Ovidrel 36 hours beforehand.
It all sounds very complicated but we will just take it step-by-step. We will be in touch with the nurses at all stages, so we can always make sure that we are doing the right thing. I am pleased to report that the paperwork that accompanies the drugs has improved out of sight. They no longer use the confusing "diary", which really did not help us understand what was what. As well as Nurse J's handwritten note, we also have a printout of our plan which lists everything that will happen with spaces left for us to write in dates and notes.
Before we left, I paid half our total treatment costs, $7,000, which covers the drugs we were given and leaves some on account to cover the Ovidrel and part of the cost of egg collection and other services. We will pay the rest when we pick up the Ovidrel. So we are really and truly on our way and now I am patiently counting down until day 1 (yet again).