Thanks for all of your blogoversary wishes. We are ready to look forward to the coming year - and hope that there are fewer disappointments and more successes - please! Loved your comments reminding us to focus on what's important - our love for each other, and to be mindful of the accomplishments the last year has contained. We're with you guys - may this be the last year that this is an infertility blog!
So, finally, to fill you all in on the rest of the Colorado visit...
Our last meeting of the day was with Danielle, the genetics counselor. I'll be honest - I really didn't want to go to this. I mean, I spent an hour and a half with an M.D. geneticist in New York just a couple of months ago. What could this counselor possibly add? That said, once we met Danielle, I liked her immediately. And what she had to say perked up my ears rather quickly as well. We were drawn to Colorado because of their microarray technology. She said, however, that after reviewing our files, she'd spent the day meeting with the scientific director and making calls on our behalf because she felt that microarray wouldn't be enough for us, given my cancer treatment history and the fact that our losses have included both trisomies and polyploidies (overachievers, us!).
Basically, she said that microarray can only detect trisomies. Apparently, the way the technology works, microarray looks for alterations in the patterns of chromosomes - so one more or one less of a particular chromosome, a heterogenous problem. Microarray does not pick up polyploidy - because in this situation, there is an extra set (or sets) of every chromosome. And so the test reads it as normal, since it's a homologous defect across the entire set.
But surely, we're not the first couple to ever cross the Colorado Clinic's threshhold who's had a polyploidy plus a trisomy? I asked this, and Danielle assured me that although it is unusual, we are not.
But she said in our case (lucky us!), they were worried the polyploidy problem (usually a 1 in 1,000 occurrence) might have a tendency to repeat.
Hearing this, part of me was like YES! Finally, someone agrees with us that there is something unusual here - that these silly population statistics may not apply to us! This part of the information was super validating and welcomed. At the same time, I also had a Oh no, we are so f*cked up sort of reaction.
Bottom line, according to Danielle, we will need to do both microarray and FISH screening (the type of screening they use in PGD) to look for both trisomies and polyploidies. Because they do not want me to transfer embryos back thinking they are normal and then find out that they aren't normal after all. So they want to do a single biopsy of each blast (should we be so lucky to get blasts), split the tissue from each blast and send half of it for FISH and half of it for microarray.
Sounds good, right? The only problem is that each of these tests costs approximately $5,000. So it would add an additional $10k on top of the usual ridiculous IVF fees.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
Before we both fainted, Danielle quickly said that the Colorado clinic would never expect us to carry all of this cost and that they were already negotiating with the labs involved to waive fees so that we could have both tests run for no additional cost. In fact, she waived her $150 fee that day to get us started down the road of savings and said they were going to figure out how to shave $5,000 out of things somewhere so we don't foot the bill.
This was our final appointment of the day and we after we finished speaking with Danielle, we got into our rental car and drove directly to the airport to catch our flight home. What a way to finish out the day.
Our final impression was Wow. They are really thorough and have thought about our specific situation and what would be best for us. They are really looking out for us. Needless to say, we were impressed.
We'll keep you posted on what they're able to work out for us.
Developmental Pediatrician Intake
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