Feel Good Fridays

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It’s FRIDAY!  Welcome to the Almost-Weekend! Here we are…and we made it through yet another week.  Can you believe July is almost over? Where has the time gone?!?!

Today’s quote is inspired by the great time I had out with friends last night.  Just a wonderful evening of swimming, playing pool, eating, and enjoying each other’s company.  Lots of laughter.

“It’s laughter that lubricates our irritations, that releases our tensions, that feeds our joy… it’s the laughter that helps keep things warm and joyful even in the midst of pain.” 
― Emilie Barnes

I hope that you’re able to have a good, deep-down belly laugh today. And this weekend. And next week. 🙂  Have a lovely weekend!!!

Yours, Lisa

Blogs I’ve updated this week:

Can Men Get Endometriosis – added studies from 1971 and 1979 of two men who developed Endometriosis in their bladders.

Dungeons & Dragons & Donuts – added our 6/11/17 session to the running storyline (scroll down)

Question from our Reader, Candace

Candace needs your help, feedback, and advice!  She writes:

Hello, I have been an “endo” sufferer for MANY years….many, many, MANY surgeries and a hysterectomy with surgeries to follow! I don’t ever pretend to be an expert on the topic and this question certainly has thrown me for a loop….I’m hoping one of you can help!

I have had a “mystery illness” since February. Extreme fatigue, hoarseness, and right side facial pain, numbness. I have had a slew of tests all of which come back “ok”. Just this past weekend, I started with my “typical” “endo” pain. I am just wondering if this all could be related to “endo.” Anyone else ever experience facial issues related to endo?

I am looking forward to any and all responses. I have been debating on calling my specialist…. Thank You in Advance!

If you comment below, I’ll pass it on to Candace. ❤

Feel Good Fridays

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Friday! Already!?!  This week flew by!  Busy, busy, busy…

I love today’s quote and wanted to share it with you.

“Life is painful and messed up. It gets complicated at the worst of times, and sometimes you have no idea where to go or what to do. Lots of times people just let themselves get lost, dropping into a wide open, huge abyss. But that’s why we have to keep trying. We have to push through all that hurts us, work past all our memories that are haunting us. Sometimes the things that hurt us are the things that make us strongest. A life without experience, in my opinion, is no life at all. And that’s why I tell everyone that, even when it hurts, never stop yourself from living.” 
― Alysha Speer

If you’re in the middle of some…crap…hold on.  Endure.  Push through.  You’ll come out the other side, eventually.  And when you do, look back and know that you possessed some incredible strength.  And still do.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend. ❤

Blogs I’ve updated this week:

Endometriosis on your Skin : an abstract about a 25-year-old woman who developed Endometriosis in her belly button.

Totally Not Endo-Related

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Good morning!

WordPress allows me to upload videos to my site, so I thought I’d give it a try with a very, very important video.  Well, important to me. ❤

On April 1, 2017, my husband and I pulled off a fantastic April Fool’s Day event.  We got married…again!  🙂  James and I were formally wed on June 8, 2016, in a small ceremony at our local County Registrar’s office.  My mum, brother-in-law, and his lovely wife attended.  And we kept it a secret from *most* of our friends and family.

On April 1st, we had our ceremony at the Desert View Tower in Jacumba Hot Springs, California, with our friends and family.  The Tower is one of our favorite places to visit, not only for the beautiful views, but for the history, the pups, and the beautiful people who live there.  The desert, a Dune-themed ceremony, tacos, cupcakes, dancing, and camping.  It was perfect.

We didn’t exchange rings during our ceremony.  Instead, we offered rings to each of our guests, as a pledge of our love and loyalty to each of them.  I still get warm and fuzzy when we hang out with friends who are still wearing their rings.  ❤  We made our big “April Fool’s” announcement after our ceremony and dinner. 🙂  And I’m so glad we opted to keep it a surprise.

Celebrating our union with friends and family in our own wonderful way.  Such an incredible memory.

I am so grateful.  And we are both so loved.

Our 3-minute video:

 

Video by Compass Media Productions

Photographs by Lynn Fernandez

Feel Good Fridays!

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It’s FRIDAY!  I hope you’ve all had a good week.

Today’s quote is about bravery.  This week has been full of EndoSisters speaking up, sharing their stories, encouraging others, or even just answering some questions that may be considered too personal.  And for that, I commend you. ❤

“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater.

But sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life. 

That is the sort of bravery I must have now.” 
― Veronica RothAllegiant

May you continue to have a good week, a wonderful weekend, and peaceful sleep in between.

 

Free Endometriosis Webinar: Dr. Justin Lin

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Our good friends at the Endometriosis Family Support Group in Riverside at doing it again! July 19, 2017, they’re offering a free online webinar by Dr. Justin Lin entitled “Fearing Endometriosis and Your Function.”

If you’d like to log on and attend, please email Megan at Megan@RMCcharity.org or follow this link.  Registration is free, but required.

A huge thank you to Megan and the Endometriosis Family Support Group for all that they do!  For more information on their organization and when they meet, please click here.

 

 

 

We have Mugs & Stickers Available!

Only five days left to order stickers or mugs 😀

Bloomin' Uterus

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Woohoo!  I got a hankerin’ to do more fundraising!  And as usual, all of the profits are donated to the Endometriosis Foundation of America!  None of this goes in my pocket.  Why should it?

Now’s your chance (well, until July 10, 2017) to purchase your very own Bloomin’ Uterus mug ($10 for an 11 ounce mug) or Bloomin’ Uterus sticker ($6 which is roughly 3″ x 5″…or they have a larger size available, too).  After July 10th, Teespring will end this campaign and send everything off to the printer!

Head on over to our little store https://teespring.com/stores/bloomin-uterus (only the mug and sticker are presently active…shirts will go on sale once more in Feb. 2018 before our Endo Walk).

Mugs: Enjoy your morning coffee or tea while reading our blog?  Why not enjoy it in your very own Bloomin’ Uterus mug?  Support Endometriosis research and awareness – 100% of the profits (that’s…

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Thoughts for my Third Year Anniversary

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Three years ago today I went in for a surgery to remove a possible dermoid cyst from my left ovary. A simply, 1.5 hour surgery. Four hours later, surgery was completed. My Mum and Jim were never advised why my surgery was taking so long, didn’t have their questions answered. So it was a very stressful four hours for them. No cyst…but Endometriosis lesions and adhesions everywhere inside my pelvic cavity. And it was a three-week recovery process, but months before I felt good.

Three years ago today I learned I wasn’t crazy. I wasn’t weak. All of the pain I’d experienced since my teenage years wasn’t normal. I wasn’t supposed to HURT like that. I wasn’t supposed to miss days from school or work. I wasn’t supposed to bloat up like a balloon. It wasn’t normal to bleed for 10 days.

Most importantly, I learned I wasn’t alone. One in Ten women suffer from this invisible illness. An estimated 176,000,000 (yes, that’s million) women worldwide suffer. Well, we call it an invisible illness because Joe Public cannot see it from the outside. But it can bee seen…from the inside. Invasive growths throughout the body, leakage, blood-filled cysts, spiderweb-like scar tissue that weaves organs together or twist them out of shape. Surgery is the only way to diagnosis the disease…and considered the best way to manage it.

A recent study found that Endometriosis lesions shared cancer-causing mutations. Endometriosis is not cancer…but it can spread like it. For most who suffer from Endometriosis, it’s found in the pelvic region: fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus. But for others, it can be found anywhere: liver, diaphragm, bladder, ureters, lungs, heart, brain, bowels, spine, belly button – there are even cases of people having it in their sinus cavity, their fingernails, muscles, and nerves. The list goes on and on and on.

Some lucky women don’t suffer from the pain the disease may cause. Others suffer several days a month. And, yet, others suffer every single day. And there have been cases of men developing Endometriosis, as well as animals (including a dog!). And so many women are killing themselves because there is no end in sight, no hope for a pain-free existence. What helps one woman may not help another. And they just…let go. It’s ruining lives.

There is no cure. And treatment options can have horrendous side effects, be insanely expensive, or have little to no effect. And none of it is permanent. I had my second Endometriosis excision surgery in September of last year. Two surgeries in three years. Some women have surgeries every year…or every few months. I consider myself lucky.

You may wonder why I post so often about Endometriosis. Why I blog about it. Why it’s consumed my life. This. This is why:

There are physicians out there that are still advising their patients that their pain is normal. “It’s just part of being a woman.” Or “get pregnant and you’ll feel better.” Or “A hysterectomy will cure it.” Or they refuse to perform a diagnostic surgery to at least *LOOK INSIDE* to confirm the presence of the disease. And, yet, some surgeons will cut you open, find lesions, have them biopsied and confirm they’re Endometriosis – and yet fail to REMOVE the lesions. WHY?!? Why would you LEAVE that in there?!? Cut it out!!!!! It’s not doing anything but causing havoc, pain, and internal scar tissue. It will only continue to fester and worsen.

I’m ranting…so today, three years ago, I woke up with answers. And started an endless quest for more. I have a greater understanding of this horrible disease. And have met so many amazing women and physicians along the way. Three years ago was an amazing day.

And I celebrate it today. 

If you know someone with Endometriosis, please be patient with them if they need to cancel plans, or just stay in bed all day, or need to go home early. It can be so debilitating.

And if you suffer from Endometriosis, consider yourself hugged.

Feel Good Fridays!

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Today’s quote is from an anonymous reader of my blog who wrote me shortly after Bloomin’ Uterus came to be.  She simply emailed me one day:

“Endo is such a stupid disease, but your image symbol for endo gives it so much more meaning to me.  I am a woman.  I have an invisible illness, I still have value, and I am still beautiful!”

I’ve shared this in the past.  But why am I sharing it again today?  Because today is special.  Today is the third year, to the DAY, that I received my Endometriosis diagnosis.

June 30, 2014…a day that changed my life.  I went in for a cystectomy to remove a possible dermoid cyst from my left ovary.  The surgery was only supposed to last 1.5 hours.  Four hours later, I emerged from under the knife…No dermoid cyst, but –  *surprise* an Endometriosis diagnosis.  My life hasn’t been the same since.  And I couldn’t be more grateful for it.

I also went through six months of Lupron Depot injections (and all the “glory” that came with that) and was on a continuous birth control pill for 18 months.  My pain returned, daily, with a vengeance.  So I had a second excision surgery on September 21, 2016.  I have also altered my lifestyle choices and diet in the hopes of keeping my Endo at bay.  So far, so good – minimal pain from time to time.  Life has it’s ups and downs, both mentally and physically, but I have to just pick myself up when I can and continue living. ❤

More importantly, I’ve met hundreds of women who share this condition and connected with even more online.  I have learned about an illness I’ve had since puberty, have embraced the fact that I wasn’t weak or crazy, and learned that I am not alone.  And have been able to spread awareness to others, teaching (and learning) from friends, family, and strangers.

I started blogging a few months after my diagnosis, a way that I could learn more about our condition and share what I found.  It’s been therapeutic for me since Day One, but now I get to help others, too!  I designed a logo to help me cope with the ugliness within my body, which morphed into buttons and t-shirts.  I’ve also started a local support group here in San Diego.  What started with two people now has 117 members in our local support group on Facebook.  Several of us also meet once a month face-to-face.  We’ve had three annual awareness walks and have raised over $5,800 for the Endometriosis Foundation of America since 2014.  Bloomin’ Uterus was asked to host two workshops here in San Diego (one for Endometriosis and one for PCOS, which we did).  AND have had the pleasure of working with several local groups and businesses who have also raised funds for the E.F.A. in their own way.  It’s glorious!

So many people ask me how they can start something in their area, and I tell them : just start something.  I’m amazed at how this happened.

Three years ago today truly changed my life.  Happy Third Endoversary! And I wouldn’t be here without the support of my friends, family, physicians, and fellow EndoWarriors. Thank you.

I will endure.  I will flourish.  And I am still beautiful.

And so are you.

Have an incredible weekend and a safe Holiday (for those of you in the States).