Infertility: The Monkey On My Back

There’s a monkey on my back… have you seen him? Maybe you have one too? He’s not always there…sometimes he’s gone for a few days, sometimes he goes on an extended vacation…but whether I like it or not he has made my back his home. I tried to evict him multiple times but he likes to ignore authoritative messages. Lately, I thought he moved out… and I celebrated thinking he was gone for good…but then out of nowhere he’s back again.

You see, in the early days he used to be around a lot. At the first sign of a pregnancy announcement or the innocent question, “do you have kids?” He would be sitting on my back with two cymbals in his hand and he would eagerly clap them together with my head in between. Sometimes he liked to hang out down by my kidneys and give little kicks or climb over to my front side and punch my gut. On occasion he would whisper in my ear, “EVERYONE is pregnant but you.”

Monkey on the back

For the longest time I tried to ignore him, but over time I began to realize that he was a permanent figure in my infertile life. His manifesto is to remind me every chance he gets that I am a little bit different than the majority of women and that it hurts to be the odd woman out. You see it isn’t bad enough that the proactive approach to dealing with infertility involves crazy hormone therapy or invasive, painful procedures. There’s the emotional pains – the monkey on my back – that most don’t know about.

I dealt with his dumb-ass antics regularly for years while we tried every treatment known to science. When we started pursuing adoption and put the idea of our own pregnancy behind us, I rejoiced “the monkey’s gone!” And he was…at least for a bit.We were busy with work and getting our home study together. Every now and then I would remember how he made me feel and I would check in to see if he was home, but there was no answer so it really felt like he was gone….now I think he was just catching up on some sleep or went out for a carton of cigarettes.

Maybe it’s a coincidence, but the moment the embryo donation stuff got a little more real for us…I have noticed how he likes to tag along when I go out. There was the other night when we went to the sporting event…he was sleeping before we left…but the minute the two women told us we were so lucky to not have kids…it woke him up. That evening he gave me a little kick to the gut, sat on my spirits and whispered in my ear, “Yup, everyone has kids but you.”

Last week, he showed up unexpectedly at my lunch time spin class. Spin is hard enough, but it was even harder when he sat on my chest and started calculating how much we have spent on treatments and adoption. He also politely reminded me how the industry I work in is super unstable at the moment and that it was unlikely I would see a raise anytime soon. He even laughed when he told me we couldn’t afford a very long leave when we did get a baby because we have no savings left. If all this sideline commentary wasn’t bad enough, the darn thing put his hands over my eyes and wrapped his little fingers around my throat and gave a damn good squeeze. As my legs kept spinning on the bike, I panicked and started to hyperventilate and the tears started to well-up. Eventually I got so sweaty that he slid off my back…and I was able to give myself a mini pep talk – we will find a way to make it work…don’t worry about it ALL right this moment.

Of course he disappeared after the spin class incident…then last Saturday he showed up unexpectedly at a house party. I thought he stayed back at our house, but the minute I walked into the kitchen of people…I realized he was there. FYI – my infertile monkey friend has insane pregnancy radar. He zeroed in on one girl and whispered incessant comments into my ear:

“Hey, she looks a bit different…maybe gained a few pounds…didn’t she get married a few months ago?”

“…Oh, she’s all in black and is wearing tights with a big baggy sweater…that’s the early pregnancy uniform, isn’t it?”

“What’s she drinking? Is that water or maybe gingerale…”

“Did you hear? She gave up smoking…”

“Hey! Hey! Hey! Did you see, the host just started making a pot of decaf coffee for her.”

Needless to say, the commentary didn’t stop and it was like the spotlight was transfixed over this girl’s head all night. That monkey didn’t miss a single beat and with each comment my heart sank a little bit more. Eventually the news was confirmed; I overheard her husband tell my husband that they were pregnant. My husband gave his friend a big congrats and patted him on the back and said, “way to go buddy.” My husband sounded genuinely excited for their news…as for me – I just wanted to avoid it – not another one! 

As we walked out to our cars with the expecting couple, I took a moment and told that damn monkey to get off my shoulders and sent him packing to the basement. I then took a deep breath and croaked out to the new mother-to-be a  “Congrats!” and quickly got into our car before there was time for anymore pregnancy talk. There, it was over…I had acknowledged their happy news…I wouldn’t have to do it again.

Today my infertile monkey friend appears to be MIA again. I am feeling good and optimistic about the future…the embryo donation plans continue to move forward. I am even happy for our friends. Unfortunately, I can still hear the monkey murmuring something from the basement and I dread the next outing or pregnancy announcement moment. There is nothing I can really do… he can come upstairs at any time. I just need to learn how to tell him to f*** off a little more often…one day I hope to even put a lock on his bedroom door.

“You’re so lucky!”

This is a bit of a rant from a few weekends ago. You see, I found myself dumbfounded as a couple of fertile friends-of-friends told me and my husband how lucky we were to not have children. Seriously?

I had to bite my tongue. I desperately wanted to lash out in that moment…but I couldn’t. 2378464240399864090ron44aycI wrestled with whether I should make some snide sarcastic comment. The words even sat on the tip of my tongue ready to be flung…but I held it in and let the pit in my stomach grow instead.

I am pretty open with our journey with friends…so no one in my immediate circle would be so foolish as to say something like this. But, on Saturday I was reminded that there are lots of people out there who just don’t think; infertility is a foreign concept.

Saturday was supposed to be this super fun night out with a larger group of people taking in a pro-sports event. The evening included dinner before and drinks after. It was the type of event/outing I would have been all over five years ago before I was married. Needless to say, I was excited to go out and enjoy a few drinks on the town. It has been three years since I was able to say yes to something like this where I wasn’t in the middle of drugs or treatment plans. My spirits were up and my guard was down.

For the most part the night was fun, but there was this foolish/awkward moment towards the end of dinner when we were mingling with a few couples we had just met. As expected, the question of kids came up, “Do you have any kids?” and I replied with my well-rehearsed response “No, not at this point.” One of the two ladies said, “What, no kids? Oh my god…you are sooo lucky!” I awkwardly half smiled, while the wheels in my head went into overdrive.

Based on the expression on my face I expected the commentary to stop (I am sure the words “F*#k OFF!” were tattooed on my forehead), instead the second woman didn’t miss a beat and jumped in too, “No really, you have no idea how envious we are of you guys right now.”  From there they both proceeded to reminisce about the days of sleeping in and no kid commitments. The icing on the cake was that one of them even had her new baby sleeping in the car seat beside her.

As they chatted all I could think was, is this really happening? Do they have any idea what they are saying? My rational-self stepped in at this point and reassured me to calm down (they just don’t realize). In the moment I attempted to stay present, but my irrational-self started thinking of all the sarcastic come backs I could puke on to the table:

“Yes, our fertility doctor would think we were lucky too…or rather I should say his bank account is.”

“Yes, it’s so much fun going through 3 IUI’s and 2 IVF’s and taking clomid. Good times!”

“Yes, 37 consecutive failed attempts is a real blast….sleeping in so much better!”

Endless dark comments sat on the tip of my tongue…but in the end my rational-self  responded and said, “Oh, you have no idea” as I looked at my husband. He gave me an all knowing reassuring smile that immediately grounded me and gave my heart a warm hug.  Thankfully from there the subject changed as we had to leave for the game.

As we walked to the stadium, I could feel the pit in the my stomach and a bit of the shine of the night wearing off. Dammit! The monkey on my back was now coming to the game too. I didn’t do it intentionally, but I avoided those two girls for the rest of the night. I sat beside my best friend and told her what had happened. She was empathetic and decided the cure was another beer, which I agreed. I stuck with her for the rest of the night and picked my spirits up by sharing the news about our Embryo Donation opportunity.

The next day as I nursed my hang-over I questioned if I should have said something. I feel like people need to be educated, but I also know that I did the right thing by doing nothing in that particular moment.  It was foolish of both of them and I need to pick my battles and surroundings. I don’t want to be a ‘debbie downer’ or morph myself into a person others need to tip toe around.

There’s no doubt, they were being extremely foolish. If I had responded to them, I would have made them feel even more foolish and made the moment heavier for everyone in the conversation. I am no martyr, but understanding the impact of my words is more important to my spirit than an awkward moment.

I know in my heart that if the circumstances were different…a casual coffee or a more intimate setting…I would have politely corrected and educated them so that they would have realized, they were the lucky ones.


Part II: I’ve got a secret…

So, directed Embryo Donation…what do you think about that? It’s an opportunity that appears to be in my cards, yet no psychic ever mentioned it. Seriously, NEVER did I think this could be part of my story.

(If you are scratching your head,  please read Part I).

That December day when my friend told me her friends were interested in donating embryos to us, it feels like a far off dream now. Maybe because she was phoning to tell me at 6:00AM, or maybe it was because it was Christmas and my icing sugar intake was through the roof.  Either way, I remember hanging up and thinking “huh!”…but in the back of my mind the infertile cynic also thought “as if!”  

Some would have jumped for joy or anxiously waited for the clinic to open that day to call…but I know it took me several days to call the clinic to see if they would even allow me to jump the line with a directed donation. I had read the Embryo Donation (ED) Program packet thoroughly, and in 5 pages there was one short sentence saying it was possible….but I didn’t believe it. There had to be more small print or a “but” clause I had missed, right?  The call with the coordinator was pleasant, the only “but” was that the donating couple needed to make their intentions known and also make the first move by calling her. *Sigh*…Yet another thing out of our control.

As Christmas interrupted regular work weeks and clinic staff took their holidays, I let it go. The New Year came and my hopefulness was in place, but it remained solely directed at adoption. I was eager to follow up with the agency and see when our home study could start. By the second week of January the first home study appointment was in place, and I thought…well, I guess I should also check in with the clinic….so, I called.

The ED Program is run differently than the IVF or IUI programs. For this small exclusive club, there is only one nurse who coordinates items. I was relieved I wasn’t calling just a general voicemail box that had you praying anyone would call you back in a timely manner. This program had a person…and when I spoke with her…she was happy to hear from me and was a most comforting voice. She informed me that things were moving along as she had received the donating couples paperwork. Next steps were for us to meet with the psychologist, do a home study (yes, one for this too), get our highly infectious disease blood tests done, and for lucky ole me…I would likely need another sonohystogram. Oh yeah, and of course we would need to pay the ED Program registration fee ($$$).

Just a few hoops… but, even with a doctors appointment and a psychologist appointment in the books for March, nothing was real. There was still time for the couple to say, “yeah, we changed our minds.”  So, our life went on and our energy stayed focused on the adoption home study. Luckily, the clinic is happy for us to use the same home study the agency is doing (finally, one small break on the pocketbook).

Skip ahead to last week…March 1st….our big date with the clinic rolled around. Even sitting in the waiting room I was still a skeptic.  Even when we sat down with the psychologist, I was honest and I told her, we didn’t believe any of this was true. She nodded her head and in her most professional voice explained that all that made sense as we were protecting ourselves from getting on that ugly hope/despair rollercoaster too early in the game. She also said, it was time to start believing it to be true.

The next two hours were a whirlwind…what we thought was a quick meet and greet with the psychologist and a short appointment with the doctor turned into a full morning. Mid-meeting with the psychologist…she said, “you do know you are meeting the donating couple today, right?” (WTF? Ooops!…It appears our dear nurse coordinator had forgot to tell us that nugget of news…).  In an instant, with this small detail in place, the feelings of a routine trip to the clinic was replaced with the nerves of a first date but on a whole new level.Secrets

When we all finally ended up in the little office together it was surreal and nerve-wracking. Here we were with this “magical” couple that we had only known of through a friend. We knew each others first names and the general bits and pieces the friend had shared with each of us, but that was it. As the counselor mediated, she suggested we work to build a relationship over the next few months. As we stared each other down, we discussed what this could potentially look like down the road…maybe the donating couple would be an aunt and uncle…maybe their twin daughters would be “special cousins”.  Either way, it was encouraged for us to be open with the child on who this donating family was and the role they had played in the child’s life.

So, in that small room, as we all nervously shared a bit more…an unspoken promise was made. If this treatment worked, they would be forever a part of our lives.


I’ve got a secret…

Did I catch your attention? Hope so. Its positive news…and, no, I am not pregnant…but one day I just might be.

Embryo Donation: Its something I have been sitting on for a few months now, it feels surreal. It’s the golden opportunity of pursuing a directed donation versus an anonymous donation through our clinic. Even writing this, I still can’t believe it might be true…but this week we had our first meeting…so I finally feel like it could really happen.

You see, back in the fall, I was out for a walk with a dear friend. She was listening to me vent as we pounded the pavement. She was empathetically listening to the gory details surrounding the disappointment of our 2nd failed IVF and the doctor’s decision to no longer recommend IVF. I explained our options were adoption or embryo donation.  As one of my confidants and key cheerleaders through all this, she asked me what I thought of the embryo donation path.

Of course I told her we are all for anything that gets us closer to starting our family, but that this option seemed unrealistic as the waiting list through the clinic is 12-18 months long (and there was still no guarantee). At that time too, we were exhausted from the infertility ride.  Adoption was the one route that guaranteed us a child…although the waitlist was longer. This journey is all about time and patience and all I wanted last fall was to get the adoption wheels (AKA: the sure thing) turning so that we could ‘hurry up and wait!’

What came next on that sunny fall day was a genuine surprise as my friend proceeded to share that she knew of a couple that had embryos. They had even mentioned to her once that they would like to donate them one day. Their story was similar to ours but had resulted in a twin pregnancy 6 years ago. They had held back donating the remaining two embryos over the years as they weren’t certain how they felt about the anonymous donation path.

Now, this isn’t your everyday conversation. It’s a unique situation for this embryo match-maker friend to be in the middle of and she didn’t want to overstep her boundaries or make anything awkward for us or them.  However, she did offer to go out on a limb for us and send them an email and let them know our story.

Of course nothing happens fast on this path to motherhood…as many of us know too well. This first talk took place in October and I went home with uncomfortable optimism and talked to my husband. The next day I told her…”go ahead, we’re game if they are.” It then took her a couple of weeks to write the email…because, well…it’s just not your typical email to send and it needed a special crafting with just the right word choice.  Something like, ‘Hi there – can we give your frozen em-babies to my friend?’….doesn’t sound as smooth as one would think.

I don’t think my friend even told me when she sent it, I just let it go and let be what was to be. Time carried on from here and we took our adoption seminar course and put our application in…and truth is…I forgot all about that little email. My energy was focused on adoption. Then my parents spun my world with their announcement of a separation (along with the fact my dad is switching teams) at the beginning of December. My head was full and my thoughts were pre-occupied…then…one morning, about a week after my parents news…after an early morning workout, I got a text:

Her: “Are you up?” (….it was 6am after all).

Me: “Yep!”

Her: “They said, yes.”

My head spun a bit as I had no idea what she was talking about at first. Then I remember at the same time as the phone rang. She was on the other end super excited…sometime between her going to bed and getting up that morning this couple had finally responded and expressed that they would love to move forward with a donation. For them, knowing the couple (us!), especially through a common friend, had made it easier for them to finally say yes.  As my dear friend spoke, I think I was in disbelief and likely a little bit in shock. Could this really be true? Well, yes…after this week…it appears it truly is!


You Know What, It’s Going to be Alright…

February marks the anniversary of my first IVF experience….way back in 2015, I was riding the “CRA- CRA” train with obsessive thoughts. Valentine’s Day and the Family Day Long Weekend marked the days that I did my trigger shot and retrieval. At that time, I thought it was a good omen to be going through all that on the weekend that celebrated love and family. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out the way we had hoped and here I am a year later with 2 failed IVF’s under my belt and a long adoption journey ahead (sigh).

For those reading who might be new to my blog, to summarize quickly, last year my infertility struggle came to a conclusion after two rounds of IVF…both ending with 3 Day Transfers, nothing to freeze and a negative result. In October I was told that IVF was not the treatment for me (bum eggs). It was sad. I was depressed. I cried….AND I was broke (financially and emotionally). It wasn’t fair…I had taken a giant leap of faith into the universe and had been rewarded by falling flat on my face and then finished off with a beating to my soul.

After each failure, there was a period of depression…the little rain cloud followed me around and I felt glum 24/7; getting out of bed was often a chore. When I looked in the mirror, I saw the sadness in my eyes and I felt like there was no coming back from that dark place. After the doctor said no more IVF’s, we needed something to help us move forward so as to not get stuck in this dark spot. We took a few small steps toward adoption. It was our little bright light at end the dark tunnel. Adoption was a path that offered a “sure thing” for us…but not without its own hurdles to jump over, such as: a long waiting list (3 years), more money ($$), and a new idea of what a family looks like with birth parents in the mix.

This morning as I drove to work, I was listening to a podcast and the guy speaking was reflecting that the best teachings in his life came from his adversities. He said that in those moments of the hard stuff, he acknowledges they are horrible…but when you get through them, you can see the richness of teaching this horrible experience brought to you. Of course, the hard part is remembering in the middle of “the horrible” that there will be teachings. It’s a mature thought I would have struggled with a year ago, but today his words rang true to me.

A year ago, I was in the midst of “the horrible.” The toughest crisis I had ever faced; every hour of every day was consumed with the thought of babies, drugs or symptom spotting. My mind was a three ring circus. I was emotionally fragile and a mess of emotions due to being swaddled by drugs and hormones; bouts of crying were a given several times a week. I felt like I would never know the “old carefree me” again. But here I am, a year later, and I can breathe. My mind is quieter these days…occasionally thoughts creep in regarding infertility…but it doesn’t consume every waking thought. I even see shades of my old self emerging, I am a little more carefree and no longer shackled to the days of the month and next treatment dates. The biggest change (relief) is I don’t crumble at the sight of pregnant women or hearing a pregnancy announcement. I am happy to say that the girl who looks back at me in the mirror doesn’t have the sadness in her eyes like she used to, instead I see depth of wisdom, compassion and hope.

heartbreak and wisdom

Was it fair for me to go through all that? Hell No! Is it fair for any of us to go through this? Hell No! If I got a do-over, would I skip “the horrible” experience? Hell No! This struggle/disease, as ugly as it is, has given me something in return. Not a baby (yet!)…but I have a stronger marriage and a deeper connection to my husband. I know myself better today than I did. I know I can be taken to the darkest spaces in my heart and soul and I am capable of crawling back out and seeing the silver lining of life again. There is hope, there will always be more choices…we just have to open ourselves to them.

 So, I conclude, that somehow, I got through it. I wish I had taken notes…so I could tell you all exactly what to do, but I lost my pen and now I can’t remember the steps. What I can share, and what I want everyone to know, is that we’re all going to be alright. This infertility journey sucks…it feels never ending and at times feels all consuming…but you will find yourself again. Not exactly as you left her, but a version of her…whom I believe is a better person for it.




VIP for IVF & IUI folks: Bravelle Recall

Some may know this already but I just learned today that Bravelle, the drug that is subcutaneously injected to stimulate egg production during infertility treatment, has been recalled in the United States for anyone who took it between March 27, 2014, and October 2015. Per Ferring’s letter that my RE provided a copy of to […]

Adoption: The Home Study Process

Life is full at the moment …Not everything is going the way or the speed I hope for, but hey as I said in my last post, I need to let go and just go with the flow for 2016. So here I am flowing through January and continuing into February; I am a Pisces after all…flowing is in my nature.

I am happy to report that the adoption process is creeping forward. We officially applied at the end of November, but then it took several weeks for our application to be reviewed and have a social worker assigned to our case. We got a call in early January asking for our home study fee to be paid so that our application could officially move forward.  I eagerly paid and then proceeded to hear nothing from them for 10 LONG days (seriously! A whole  new form of torture).

When the social worker finally called she apologized and said she had been busy with matches (yep, felt as big as a thumb tack for being annoyed). After a quick, casual “no problem” I learned that the timeline to book a meeting with a social worker is a lot shorter than I expected; we were having our first meeting within a week. Woo hoo! My adoption agency world is definitely not dealing with the same backlog of appointments as my fertility clinic world, that is for sure. 

The lead up to our first meeting was full of excitement and eagerness. I have read some blogs/forums where people were stressed about and hated the invasive process…but for me its been something to look forward to each week.  It feels amazing that things are moving and I feel like we have nothing to hide and someone would have to be crazy to not realize we would make good parents. (Guess you could say I have a lot of confidence we will get a big ole approved stamp at the end of this whole thing…lets hope I don’t jinx it).

So, tonight will be our third of four meetings, with the last one being in the home next week. Tonight’s topic is ‘motivation for adoption’…so my guess is we will be walking down the infertility memory lane.  Good times!   I have to say though, despite tonight’s tough emotional topic, I find our meetings just a verbal rehash/dialogue of everything I filled out in the application – family/work/education/medical history. If you aren’t making stuff up about yourself, or trying to remember the facts you hid or the embellishments you made, I have found it all rather easy to talk about yourself for two hours. (I recognize not everyone will feel this way…but hey, I am just writing about how we are feeling).


Bottom line, my goal to let go is coming along. I feel like I have loosened the grip on the quest for motherhood. Its funny…all of a sudden, infertility and adoption, is not my whole life and guiltily it is a vacation I have been waiting years to take. In response to letting go, the universe seems to be blessing us with moving forward.

Happy Groundhog Day!

2016: A Year to Learn to Let Go

I am a “Type A “personality. For the majority of my life, I thrived on control. Control of my education, career, and life successes. I choose everything that happened for me. If something was a stretch, I simply worked harder to get it and I always did. Infertility was the first thing I ever dealt with where I truly found myself out of control. No amount of work, money or energy was able to change the situation. And trust me, I/we tried everything.

As we first stepped into the journey of adoption, a book was handed to me by a fellow waiting adoptive parent – “Adopting after Infertility” by Patricia Johnston. It was written in the 90’s and was a little dated, but for the most part it talked about what to expect when pursuing adoption – a solid read. At the beginning, the author spends a portion of the book talking about coming to terms with the losses of infertility before moving forward with adoption. The author even suggests doing a little exercise to gauge where you are today to help determine if adoption is the right choice for you. It was a simple exercise of the heart that helped me to identify what mattered.

Johnston explains that to embrace adoption, a couple needs to move on from infertility by reflecting on a series of losses: a loss of genetic continuity, a loss of a physical pregnancy, a loss of emotional pregnancy, a loss of becoming a parent, and a loss of control. In her exercise she asks the reader to identify, in order of importance, the losses that most impact your life. Depending on your answers, it can lead you to help determine if adoption is a good choice for you.

I was surprised as I reflected on the list of losses and I honestly put them in order of most important. In my world, the loss of never becoming a parent was number one. Number five was genetic continuity. Number three and four were the losses of experiencing pregnancy. What shocked me was what fell as my number two selection – the loss of control. Of course I wanted to be pregnant and have genetic continuity with my husband…but I come from an adoptive family and I know first-hand that genetics and pregnancy are not necessary to having a family. My light bulb moment came about as I realized that what really pissed me off after potentially losing the opportunity to be a parent was that I couldn’t control the situation. In reflection, the loss of experiencing pregnancy and genetic continuity was minor in my heart. Talk about a moment that provided a deeper level of understanding for myself that clearly pointed the way for us and the choice of adoption.

As the rest of 2015 unfolded – on top of infertility – I dealt with a myriad of uncontrollable factors in my life. My flourishing career in Marketing and Communications was hitting a mid-life crisis due to a contracting economy and industry. I had to accept a 20% wage rollback, a suspension of pension contributions and had to say goodbye (AKA layoff) my little team of two. If that wasn’t enough, I am now dealing with the disintegration of my parent’s 40 year marriage and my father’s announcement that he is gay. Yep, you read that right…just call me Kim Kardashian.

So, as I step into 2016 and I think of what I want the next year to be. I have decided that this next year needs to be a further exercise in learning to let go and be fine with what happens. I realize that so much of what I want right now is out of my control. There are steps I can take to help guide my future…but in the end life is this crazy ride and I do not have control of the steering wheel. I can choose to laugh, cry or scream as the ride continues…but what comes next isn’t necessarily something that I can predict. I can lean into or against the turns and most importantly, I can hope. I might feel like I am in control sometimes, but ultimately I need to let the outcomes unfold as the universe means for them to unfold.


I know that in the next year there will be lots of surprises and that I can handle anything that lies beyond the next curve. My objective in 2016 is to learn to let go and enjoy the ride. I have faith that I will get everything I desire in my life…I just won’t necessarily know the timeline or the path I am going to take and that’s alright because I know in the end everything will be alright.

A year in retrospect…

I survived 2015. I think I deserve a medal for this one. In hindsight, 2015 will go down in the record books as the most difficult year of my life. Today, as I type, my soul is still wounded, but I know that each day I am getting stronger.

For nine months of 2015, my focus was a 100% on the quest for a child. Those nine months were spent either preparing for IVF, doing IVF, or surviving failed IVFs. We did two attempts of the miracle treatment– one in February/March and a second one in August/September. I have come to appreciate that IVF is a physical sprint and an emotional marathon. Nothing can prepare you for the emotions, mind games or physicality that this treatment demands from you. Most people just think it’s the money that is the hurdle, but really the money for treatment is just the first bitch-slap before the fight really starts.

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