Share Your Story : Lisa

A red-headed pirate laughing and holding her tankard of ale

I realized that I’ve asked you to share your story, but haven’t actually put mine out there in one place (maybe a snippet here or there)….time to get everything out on paper so it leaves my head and heart (sorry it’s so loooooong…I couldn’t stop!).  I was diagnosed when I was 35 years old in 2014. 

My Journey:  I started my period when I was 12 or 13 years old.  I remember them hurting (but not as devastating as they have in my adult years), but figured it was normal.  I grew up hearing we were cursed because of Eve’s decision to sin, punished into pain and childbirth. I also heard that some of my family members had really painful periods. So again, it was normal. Classmates said they had cramps, too…so I figured mine were just normal. I became that girl in Junior High and High School that would walk around with a hoodie tied around her waist every month because I’d almost always overflow.  I had classmates come up to me during the really hard cramps, ask if I was okay, that I was white as a ghost and sweating…and I’d spend time curled up in the Nurse’s office after taking an Ibuprofen. But it was normal. Every girl went through this.  Right? My family physician had wanted me to go on birth control, but just to prevent “baby accidents” from happening, which I quickly dismissed since I had no intention of having sex. Little did I know BCP may have helped with the pain…

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Feel Good Fridays!

We made it to another Friday!!

Today’s quote is by English poet, William Wordsworth:

“The best portion of a good man’s life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.”

It’s the little things you do, not for glory, but for others that bring the greatest joy:  dropping change into a cup for a hungry Vet on the street, buying the coffee for the person in line behind you, joining a team to help clean up your local parks or neighborhoods, patiently waiting for someone to cross the street before you turn your car, passing on a smile or a nod to a stranger, volunteering at a nursing home or hospital.  The list is endless.

Each of these things, albeit small and “off-the-record” may be just what someone else needs at that moment.

Don’t do it for you…do it for someone else.  You may just find your day is equally touched by your small acts of kindness.

Happy Friday and weekend!

Yours, Lisa

Symptoms of a Normal Period

A splatter of blood

So I’ve written a lot about abnormal periods caused by Endometriosis: extreme cramps, heavy bleeding, insane bloating, loooooong periods.  You’ve heard it all before.  But what constitutes a NORMAL period? I know they are supposed to hurt, you’re supposed to bleed, and you’re supposed to be uncomfortable. Just not this miserable. My Endo pain started in my teens. But I thought it was normal. So here I sit, curious : what is normal?

So, just for laughs, I figured I’d iron out the details of what a normal menstrual cycle is supposed to be like.  If anything, it may help me catch signs of my Endometriosis returning or worsening, or it may help you in some way…

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The Lion and the Mouse

Aesopes Fables illustration of a lion tied down to the ground being freed by a mouse

One of my childhood favorite Aesop’s Fables is the story of the lion and the mouse.  In short: a mouse wandering through the forest woke a sleeping lion, and was captured beneath his big paws.  Begging for his life, the mouse promised one day to help the lion.  The lion scoffed, “How can you help me?”  Regardless, the lion let him go.  A few days later, the lion was captured by hunters, trapped, upset and roaring.  The mouse scurried over to see what had happened to the lion and saw him all tied down and caught up in the hunter’s net.  So the mouse nibbled and chewed on the rope until it tore, allowing the lion to escape and live.

It has always reminded me that I can do anything. Being small doesn’t matter.  I can try. And I can do.

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Feel Good Fridays!

Rosie the Riveter poster "We can do it"

Good morning! It’s Friday! And that means, Feel Good Friday!

Today’s quote is by Swami Vivekananda, an Indian spiritual leader:

“A few heart-whole, sincere, and energetic men and women can do more in a year than a mob in a century.”

What can you do to help change the world? Even the smallest influence.  Just bringing a smile to a stranger’s face may alter the course of their day (and yours). Together we can make a difference, even the slightest difference.  In anything.

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month.  The whole month!  For us, EndoWarriors!  What will you do to help spread awareness?  I plan on:

  • Wearing my Bloomin’ Uterus button every day (like I do already)
  • Participating in the social media Endo Challenge
  • Whenever I use a public bathroom, placing a Bloomin’ Uterus Endo Awareness card in the mirror
  • Wearing my yellow “Ask Me About Endo” ribbon provided by the Endometriosis Association
  • Wearing my Endometriosis Awareness t-shirt created by Lauren Siciliano
  • Wearing my Bloomin’ Uterus t-shirt created by yours truly
  • Walking in March with other women, friends, and family to raise awareness
  • Trying to start a San Diego area Endometriosis Support Group, to meet once a month

Together we can bring change.

Yours, Lisa

Free Yellow Ribbons for March!

yellow awareness ribbon that reads "Ask me about my Endo"

How do you feel about boasting to the world that you have Endometriosis?  Want to shout it from the rooftops?  Raise awareness any way you can?

Here’s your chance!

The Endometriosis Association is offering FREE “Ask Me About My Endo” yellow ribbons and encouraging everyone to wear them during March for Endometriosis Awareness Month.  They’re also offering free Yellow Fliers you can pass out about Endometriosis. reach out to them for your own free goodies.

Yours, Lisa

Endo & Ovarian Cysts

Illustration of an ovary and fallopian tube

Many women with Endometriosis suffer from recurrent cysts on their ovaries.  But why? And what exactly is a cyst?

What is a cyst?

A cyst is an abnormal sac inside your body, completely enclosed, and it may contain liquid, gas, pus, fluids, semi-solid, or solid materials.  Imagine a blister, full of puss, tight and ready to be popped.  Now imagine that inside your body : a cyst is kind of like that.  However, if a cyst is full of puss, it is known as an abscess.  Cysts are typically non-cancerous, although some may lead to cancerous growths or tumors.  They are usually caused by an infection or clogging of the glands, although they may be caused by genetics, chronic inflammatory conditions, injury, cellular defects, or even parasites.

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Feel Good Friday!

The Mirror by William Merritt Chase. A painting of a woman looking in the mirror in Victorian-era attire

It’s Friday! We made it through another week!  Today’s Feel Good Friday quote is by French writer, painter, and poet, Malcolm de Chazal:

“Monkeys are superior to men in this: when a monkey looks into a mirror, he sees a monkey.”

Labels, fashion, movies, accepted norms : they’ve broadcast a false sense of beauty. This is further worsened by depression, chronic conditions, relationship status, etc.  It’s a horrible, downward spiral.  I wish we could all be as innocent as the monkey.

For any of you who may be having self-esteem, self-love, or image issues, whether it be due to Endometriosis, surgeries, depression, the pending Hallmark Card Day (Valentines), or anything, I want you to truly look in the mirror.  Examine yourself from the inside out.  Tell your reflection…tell yourself, that you ARE beautiful and worth it.  Because you are. Make eye contact with yourself.  Hold your head high.  Smile. Do this as often as you need.  Lift yourself up.

Have a good cry if you must.  But be strong.  And embrace who you are, through and through.

Yours, Lisa.

How do you cope?

A person crying and drying their tears with a cloth
Detail from Descent from the Cross, by Rogier van der Weyden

Hello ladies (and gents).  This blog entry will be reaching out to you for your input…

Many of us deal with depression or just plain sadness over Endometriosis and this incurable cycle.  How do you deal with it?

In the beginning I would stare into space and clam up, or get snappy and moody. While I was on Lupron Depot, I was a depressed lump.

I tend to create when I’m sad. I made the Bloomin’ Uterus logo on a sad day, which turned into a button, which turned into a walk, which turned into a blog, and now t-shirts are out there. All the money raised goes to the E.F.A. so I feel great about that.  And it’s a fun way to give back to a greater cause, embrace my retarded body, and brings a bit of beauty into my day.  And bring that same joy and beauty to YOU!

Also sharing my story with you readers, and having your stories shared with all of us, has been so overwhelmingly amazing.  It reminds me that I am not alone.  That others are where I am at, have been where I am, and have found relief!

So when the gloomy days creep in, I just look back and remember all that has happened SINCE my diagnosis.  All of the good we are doing. Together.  And it makes me forget about my individual incurable problem : it helps me focus on what I, and we, can do to help each other.

I’d love to hear how you cope.  Your answers may help myself and others with their need to deal, to cope, to overcome.  Feel free to leave a comment below. 🙂

Yours, Lisa