Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Vacations are seen as an antidote to work. They are medicine, a remedy for counteracting the effects of labor.... Vacations allow us to be away from the job, to change the patterns of our day, to alter our routine, to reconfigure our actions and habits, to rediscover ourselves.

Where am I going? Find out tomorrow!
Source: via Sara on Pinterest

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Georgia Wedding

Back from the south - Georgia to be exact. I went to a friend's wedding in the small town of Byron, Georgia at Plantation Farms. It was beautiful, and everyone could see how much they loved each other. It was also so special to spend it with my group of Delta Gamma "rock" friends! One rock even had a dance off with the bride's grandma. Yes, it happened. I think Granny might have won. She was seriously bringing down the house! It was amazing.

I also have to mention that at the rehearsal dinner, the groom sang/played on his guitar a song for the bride. It was the first song he ever played her saying, "It was appropriate then, and even more appropriate now." The song - God Gave Me You, Blake Shelton. So sweet and heartfelt.

Congratulations and best wishes to the bride and groom!

Sara Cate

PS - I'm out of town ALL next week for a family vacation....destination to be announced on Thursday. Don't fret thought, I'll have two amazing guest bloggers posting here on Sincerely Sara Cate. Hope you'll join me in welcoming them next Tuesday and Thursday!

Rock girls! (Miss Em on the far left - the dance off contestant, me, Lindz, Josie, MLE, Liz)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Tomorrow, I'm headed to Georgia for a wedding. I'm so excited to see my friends who live all around the country this weekend (Shout out to the Delta Gamma CDC Rocks). We may not see each other weekly, or even monthly, but we always come together like no time has ever passed. I love you all!

The plane ride and layover traveling from Arizona to Georgia will not be quick. So to fulfill my time - I'll be reading 50 Shades of Grey. I'm sure I'll feel very scandalous while reading this in public. I'll let you know what I think of it next week. Is anyone else reading this series?

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!
Sara Cate

Monday, May 21, 2012

Congratulations to More to Hollywood for graduating college! I loved celebrating her this Saturday at her graduation party. Her mother read the sweetest letter to her, which made the evening so special.

Also, in a miraculous series of events, Dashing had the entire weekend off!  We don't get many of those because of his residency schedule. So we spent it taking jogs, getting new running shoes, eating out at new restaurants, going for a swim, visiting the building that holds our future children (we waved hello!), and truly enjoying our weekend together. 

Another great weekend is coming up - on Thursday, I will fly to Georgia to see a dear friend marry her best friend! 

Then, the following week, I'm off to a 10 day family vacation. I'll share the soon!

Hope your weekend was wonderful too!

Sara Cate

Friday, May 18, 2012

Recipes and Weekend Plans

Happy Friday!

Last night I made Cooking Light's simply Blackened Tilapia with a little spinach salad. It was sooo delicious I had to share. Not only was it delish, it only took a TOTAL of 7 minutes for me to prep and broil. And... since I used a parchment paper/foil pan liner in the bottom of my broil pan, there really wasn't clean up either. That's how I like to cook. YUMMMMM.

Source: via Sara on Pinterest

Also, this weekend Dashing and I going to  More To Hollywood's College Graduation Party. I can't wait to celebrate her accomplishments!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sara Cate

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Source: via Sara on Pinterest

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Little Lady Bug's 1st Birthday

This past Friday was my precious niece's first birthday! She had a little lady bug party on Saturday with family and friends. We loved celebrating her and how she has been a blessing to our family. I made all of the yummy dessert treats; my favorite thing to do!

Little bug's smash cake was all ready for her to destroy, but when it came time, her first few bites were just daintily picking up pinches of the cake and exclaiming "MMMMMM." Seriously one of the best moment of the day.

Here are some photos from the big day.

The birthday girl and her lemon smash cake! She LOVES lemons.
Smash cake before smashing.
Dessert Table

Birthday Girl in her Birthday Dress (And 6'7 cousin Dan)

Ladybug Sugar Cookies (my biggest accomplishment!)

Lemon cupcakes

Chocolate Picnic Cake

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Big Decision: Part IV

We decided......
to move forward with the fertility treatments.

Part I Part II / Part III / Part IV

This is me holding my niece last year in May.
Today is her 1st birthday.
Happy Birthday to Little Bug!
Over the course of 3 weeks in September 2009, I started the hormone injections to stimulate the follicles in my ovaries. My belly became distended and I actually started to look pregnant - it was wild! I went through the procedure for the egg retrieval. Dashing "contributed" to the process and embryos were formed.

On the day of my first chemotherapy treatment at the beginning of October 2009, we found out that we had 5 "healthy" embryos preserved and waiting for us for the day we could welcome them into this world - whenever that may be.

Yes, so each Mother's/Father's day, we smile at the fact that we may not have children with us on that day, but we are parents to 5 little 5-cell embryos that we look forward to meeting one day. We have committed to trying with each embryo we have created, so looks like we might one day need a large vehicle! We think about the day we'll tell them they are in some-way quintuplets (they all came from the same cycle of both parents) and that they were waiting for us for years before we met them.

We feel truly blessed.

Happy Mothers Day to all mothers this weekend!

Sara Cate

***If anyone is considering fertility procedures or interested to know more about this process of hormone injections, procedures, IVF, etc. I am an open book and would be happy to share the experience with you in more detail.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Weighing the Decisions: Part III

So what did we do?

Part I Part II / Part III / Part IV

This is my beautiful niece at her baptism. She
will be turning one year old tomorrow!
(I'll share photos next week)
Dashing and I always knew we wanted to have a family. We had no idea that we would be facing decisions on how that family came to be when we were unmarried (at the time), 24 years old, and facing the diagnosis of cancer. How could we possibly think about creating life in the midst of facing death. It was not an easy path. Now, 3 years later at the age of 27, we cannot even believe this is the path we've already walked.

We had to think about a mirad of things before we made our decision on how to proceed.

- If we did the fertility preservation, it would delay the start of my chemotherapy treatments. Was this ok?  My oncologist wanted to start as soon as possible as my internal masses (one the size of a softball) were compromising the blood flow to my brain.

- If we did the fertility preservation, would we stick with egg retrieval only, or would we choose to include Dashing in the process and preserve embryos? This is a major decision as we believe embryos are children - we would be creating life. Additionally, freezing eggs has a lower success rate than freezing embryos. If we just preserve eggs, there is a chance that none of the eggs would successfully make it through the process. We only had one shot - one cycle.

- If we chose to preserve embryos, we didn't know how many would survive the process, and what kind of commitment would we feel to them (as we believe embryos are babies).

- There are potential temporary side-effects to the hormone treatments received before the retrieval like fluid build up in the abdomen (that will go away). Was I up for this?

Really, the biggest decisions were the ethical ones, ones that would be with us forever. What would we do with these eggs/embryos down the road? What if we did the preservation but could conceive naturally after therapy anyways?

We had to make a decision on this immediately. Dashing and I talk it over together, and shared our decision with our family. Still today, we know we did the right thing for US.

I'll tell you tomorrow what we are glad we chose to do.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fertility Preservation? What is that? : Part II

Please excuse the divergence from my usual "Words of Wisdom Wednesday" post.
Part I Part II / Part III / Part IV

So, here I am, following up to Monday's post.

We don't have kids, are not pregnant, and are not currently TTC. So, why have I been to a fertility doctor?

In 2009, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma and was told I needed to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments. These kind of treatments are a sea of the unknown.
Will I lose my hair? Probably, but maybe not. (I did)
Will I feel sick all the time and be vomiting? Probably not, but maybe. (Just exhausted and frail)
Will this affect my fertility? Probably not, but we can't guarantee that. (??)

I didn't even know to ask that fertility question! Most patients don't know that either. My primary doctor prompted that discussion, and before the diagnosis week was over, I was sitting in Dr. Rychlik's fertility clinic's office for a consultation on fertility preservation.

So what is fertility preservation? Cancer treatments have varying risks of infertility to both men and women. For women, they cannot guarantee you will resume a normal menstrual cycle, but the other big issue is that women are born with all of the eggs they will ever have already in their body. Therefore, undergoing a harsh, toxic treatment like chemotherapy would also "treat" these eggs. No one know to what extent this effects the eggs and if it leads to miscarriages, difficulty conceiving, birth defects etc. Fertility preservation is an option for patients to have eggs (or sperm for males) BEFORE they begin chemotherapy treatment so the eggs are never "treated." . The fertility team can preserve eggs or sperm separately or together as embryos. I had no idea this even existed!

On this Friday afternoon, Dashing and I were not only facing my inevitable, upcoming chemotherapy treatments, but now faced with decisions on the future of our family, our ethical and religious beliefs, and the support of our family. So what did we do?????? I'll tell you........soon.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lights, camera, action - Not my typical Saturday: Part I

Part I Part II / Part III / Part IV

To my and your surprise, this atypical Saturday adventure has nothing to do with the Derby or Cinco de Mayo. In a very strange turn of events, Dashing and I were filmed in a test pilot for a reality/documentary television series. Yup. That happened.

In my best attempt to explain what kind of production this is, think something like the Cooking Channel's Chuck's Day Off mated with ABC's Extreme Home Makeover. The cooking show revolves around Chuck doing what he does - cooking, however, it's also about his personality, adventures, and stories MIXED with ABC's Extreme Home Makeover's personal and touching stories of the family receiving the gifted home. You cry, you laugh, you learn (You will NOT learn how to do your hair Jersey Shore style nor learn how strangers stop acting nice and start getting real).

This project revolves around the life of one of my doctors. He is dynamic, silly, unique, quirky, suave, and intelligent. He is a father, guitarist, singer, doctor, and pilot.  I would say he rivals The Most Interesting Man in the World (see right).

Now I said he is a doctor, and that is the role I met him in. Nothing is ordinary about this man, and neither is his medical specialty. His medical specialty is as unique as they come - infertility and fertility preservation.

You might be confused as to why I have gone to a fertility doctor because if you know me or have been following me, I am not pregnant, we do not have children, and we are not trying to conceive right now. I eluded to it a few years ago during my battle with cancer, but I've decided to lay it all out over this week as I talk about why were were in this tv show test pilot and what happens at this kind of doctor's office.

An interesting week it shall be; I think it will deserve a Dos Equis.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Words of Wisdom Wednesday


Blog Template by - Header Frame by Pixels and Ice Cream
Sponsored by Free Web Space