Feel Good Fridays

Sprout plant growing through asphalt
Photo by Skeeze

Another week has flown by. And here we are: Friday.

My favorite t-shirt from several years ago read, “Be the reason someone smiles today.” I mourn the loss of that shirt – I wore it ’til it just couldn’t be worn anymore. But it’s been on my mind lately, which has inspired today’s quote:

“Believe me. Your hardship, tears and sorrows you are facing now are the training of your spirit. The strength you learn from there brings you more love and smiles in your future. Wherever you are, love all the people around you like your family. then you are not alone anymore.”
― Hiroko Sakai

Whatever you may be enduring, know that it is not everlasting. And know that you are not alone. Reach out to friends, family, strangers, loved ones, people you trust, or even a complete stranger. It will fade. And you will find the strength to smile.

And if you would like, email me. I’m always here for you.

Love, Lisa

Blogs I Updated This Week:

Endometriosis & the Heart: added a 2019 study of a 28-year-old woman who complained of chest pains and collapsed. Turns out she had Endometriosis along her pericardial lining.

Feel Good Fridays!

Bloomin' Uterus logo

Happy Friday. September is already half-way over. Already!

This week has been full of ups and downs:
I came down with a case of what I suspect is bronchitis, followed by laryngitis.
I had a follow-up appointment with my surgeon to discuss my ultrasound results.
I’m not sleeping well due to said bronchitis and accompanying coughing fits.
I’ve discovered the healing power of humidifiers!
And tomorrow a few of us Bloomin’ Uterus gals are getting together at a winery to honor our shared surgeon and his office staff.

A busy week indeed. I’m so looking forward to tomorrow. I don’t know if I’ll be able to speak, but I cannot wait to celebrate and honor San Diego Women’s Health and Dr. Kurtulus.

But for today? Today’s quote goes out to all you chronic-illness warriors (whatever it may be):

“Pain diminishes us, and it is so important to remember, in the midst of pain and everything that pain takes from you, that still … you are enough. You are enough just as you are. You are worthy of love and kindness. You are enough. And you have enough.”
― Steve Leder, More Beautiful Than Before: How Suffering Transforms Us

Never forget that you will endure, you will flourish, and you are still beautiful.

Much love to you. Have a wonderful weekend and I hope to be able to blog very soon.

Love, Lisa

An Update on my Cysts

Ovary plushy from I Heart Guts
Ovary plushy from I Heart Guts!

So last Thursday I had another pelvic ultrasound (both transvaginal and the traditional techniques).

The ultrasound tech noted that the cyst on my right ovary appeared to have ruptured and there was evidence of fluid around the ovary. There were also a series of very tiny cysts on the right ovary, which she commented was normal.

The left ovary still had a cyst on it, and it had nearly doubled in size since July. It’s now 2.3 cm (a little under 1-inch). What appeared previously to be an endometrioma now appeared to be a simple, non-complex cyst.

So, I stowed that information away for a few days until I met with my gynecologist/surgeon yesterday. And it was a good meeting.

He agreed with the ultrasound tech:

  1. The cyst on the right ovary appeared to have ruptured. If it was an endometrioma, there’s the possibility that it’s spread endo-goo around my pelvic cavity. If it was a simple or hemorrhagic cyst, the fluid around my ovary is just normal goo.
  2. The cyst on the left ovary does, in fact, appear to be a simple cyst. NOT an endometrioma as previously suspected!
  3. The ongoing suspicion of Adenomyosis remains.
  4. There’s no way of knowing if Endometriosis is back, or if the cyst that ruptured was an endometrioma, or the cyst that remains is an endometrioma or a simple cyst. The only way to know for sure is to operate. And neither my surgeon nor I feel it’s necessary at this time. So, his advice?

Simply wait. Don’t dwell on the fact that it may or may not be. Thinking about it won’t solve anything. Hold onto the hope that they were both simple cysts. And continue to monitor any symptoms.

I also took some time to talk about my uber-painful period day in late August. He’s not opposed to filling a painkiller prescription for me (yay!), but I’ve asked that we wait to see what happens with my next period.

We’re both in good spirits over the news. And I go back in two months for another pelvic ultrasound to see what my ovaries are up to.

Feel Good Fridays

Help Wanted sign in window

Happy Friday!

Today’s quote is straight out of the Quotationary book my Mum gave me a few years ago 🙂

“We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.” ~Mark Vonnegut

Seriously…just help one another. In anything and everything. Expect no compensation or glory. If there’s a need you can fill, fill it. No matter how small.

It may even be as simple as passing on a smile or listening. Or as secretive as an anonymous gift during a time of need. Or even driving a friend to a doctor’s appointment.

Just be there. And if you need help, reach out.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Love, Lisa

Pain Journal: August 2019

August has ended. The bulk of the month went well, except for one day: Day Two of my period.

A week before before my period began, I had a strange instance of severe pain (8 out of 10) in my lower left abs. It only lasted for a few seconds, though. Day one of my period came with mild abdominal cramping (0-2 out of 10). Day Two was such a painful day that I used my last paid sick day at work, and had to pop 2 Naproxen and 1 Tylenol throughout the day. Luckily, it was just one day. And then the rest of my period went on without a single cramp.

I have my next scheduled transvaginal ultrasound to check on the status of my bilateral endometriomas this Thursday. And I’ll meet with Dr. Kurtulus to discuss the findings early next week.

As usual, I had my standard staple, belly button, and left lower gut discomfort if/when I ate too much. And I still really need to remember to have just one drink; no more than two if I’m enjoying it with friends.

If you’d like to review my journal of food, drink, pain, and poop, here’s the slideshow:

And if you’re intrigued enough to review my poop chart, here ya go:

Bring on September! I hope your month goes well.

Feel Good Fridays!

A card of stones that reads "Resilience"

Good morning. Well, I hope you’re having a good morning. Today’s Feel Good Friday will require some explanation.

Resilience can be found
in mind
in body
in spirit;

Getting back up
pushing forward
trying again
and again;

Sometimes
every part of our being is required
on other occasions
one deep breath
is all you need
to bounce back;

A rebuilt the shelter
is stronger than the first
for it has the advantage
of experience.

~Jayme Allen; Mood Body Studio; creator of The Moody Deck

This past Tuesday I had an incredibly painful Endo day on Day Two of my period. I had to stay home from work, pop pain pills, take several hot showers, and nurse my heating pad all day. It was the first of such a day since October of 2018. The pain was intense. And it had me spiraling hard with my thoughts. Luckily, though, it was only one day and now just feels like Tuesday was a bad nightmare; no traces of its physical presence. Although the mental fears still linger.

And just yesterday I received The Moody Deck in the mail. Consider it a deck of uplifting, encouraging, and self-awareness cards. I drew a card yesterday for a meditation exercise: Resilience. Its explanation is above.

And this morning? I drew another card for the Theme of the Day. Having shuffled the deck about five times before I pulled out a card: Resilience.

Well hello, Universe. You’re right: I can get through this.

Whatever you may be going through, we can all get through this. We are strong enough. And when we don’t feel strong enough, reach out for help. You have many around you who will gladly support and hold you up. And if you feel that you don’t even have that…remember: you have me. Contact me anytime if you need it.

Visit Mood Body Studio for more information about The Moody Deck, including how you can purchase your very own deck for $40.

Feel Good Fridays

Folding chair atop a quiet lake in the mountains
“Enjoy the Silence” by Thomas Leuthard

Good morning, guys! And happy Friday!

I know we all have our bad moments, days, weeks, months, or even years. Life can be ruthless, unfair, and tough. Whatever you may be going through, I want you to take a moment and really let today’s quote soak in:

“Do something nice for yourself today. Find some quiet, sit in stillness, breathe. Put your problems on pause. You deserve a break.” 
― Akiroq Brost

Did you read it? Take a deep breath, clear your thoughts, and read it again.

Really let it sink in.

Then give it a moment and identify something you’ll do for yourself today. It could be anything. Tell me about it in the comments. Then come back later and reply to your comment: were you able to do it?

We all deserve a moment to ourselves.

Even if it’s just to get away for five minutes and take a walk around the block.

May you have a weekend filled with a few relaxing moments. Enjoy.

Love, Lisa

Blogs I updated this week:

Dungeon & Dragons & Donuts: How RPG Games May Help with (Fill In The Blank): added Chapter 26 from our April 2019 session. Our adventurers have landed in the Anauroch desert in search of the City of Shade and Zeke, the man with the jars of souls. While in town, they meet a mysterious woman also searching for Zeke. Deals are struck and the adventure continues! Let’s deal with a little bit of heat and sand in places where it doesn’t belong!

Got Decals?

EndoWarrior and EndoSupport yellow ribbon car decals
Good Little Fly’s Endo Warrior and Endo Support yellow ribbon decals

I want to take a moment to introduce you to a good friend of mine, Brandy.

Brandy Sebastian is an incredible photographer, the mother of two furbabies, a devoted wife, the daughter of an incredible Mum, AND she’s a fellow EndoWarrior.

But not just any EndoWarrior; one with a mission to raise awareness of this disease on a multi-media platform!

Without giving away too many details on her Secret Squirrel project, I can tell you that she interviewed me for several hours last year. Then she followed me around during my July 2019 surgery from check-in to being wheeled away in my gurney, and again during my recovery at home. And she arranged an incredible photoshoot with me to raise awareness about the disease.

And if that’s not enough, she’s done it for SEVERAL of our local SoCal EndoWarriors. All in the name of Good Little Fly, all out of the goodness of her heart…and forking all of the expenses out of her own pocket.

Behind the Scenes: Brandy Sebastian shooting "Endo Fog" of an anonymous EndoWarrior on location in Death Valley.  Photo taken by photographer's mum and incredible assistant, Penny Kachuck
Behind the Scenes: Brandy Sebastian shooting “Endo Fog” of an anonymous participant on location in Death Valley. Photo taken by photographer’s mum and incredible assistant, Penny Kachuck

And she still has several more interviews and photoshoots lined up. She needs our help!

In order to fund this ever-growing project, Brandy has created and is selling EndoWarrior and EndoSupport yellow ribbon decals. If you’d like one, they cost $5.00 each and Brandy is accepting Venmo payments to @Brandy-Sebastian. And you can follow Good Little Fly on Instagram or Facebook, too! And please feel free to contact her for other payment options if you don’t have Venmo.

Brandy and Sam manufacturing the yellow ribbon EndoWarrior and EndoSupoprt decals
Brandy Sebastian and Sam Jorgenson hard at work manufacturing the decals

Support a great cause! And announce to those driving around you just what you are. You’re strong. Endo strong.

Yellow ribbon EndoWarrior decal in front of an unsealed mailing envelope
The first sale ready to go to its new home!

And please feel free to follow Brandy and Good Little Fly on social media…and share the heck out of this. Even if you can’t afford a decal. ❤

Feel Good Fridays

August 2019 calendar with the 16th circled

And now August is officially half-way over. Already! Where is 2019 going?!? Well, happy Friday!

Years and years and years ago, I purchased a little book from Barnes & Noble. I no longer have a copy of it, but may need to purchase it again. It changed my life. Well, it changed my perspective on my life.

And I forgot alllllll about it, until I went scouring the internet for today’s quote:

“True happiness comes not when we get rid of all of our problems,but when we change our relationship to them, when we see our problems as a potential source of awakening, opportunities to practice, and to learn.”
― Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and it’s all small stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life

I think I’m gonna go hit a used bookstore online and pick up a copy right now. What other nuggets of perspective-changing wisdom have I forgotten? Have you read the book and do you have a favorite blurb? Share it in the comments below.

And, most importantly, have a wonderful weekend.

Love, Lisa