ohmygod it’s already Friday? And after NOON on Friday? Okay, okay…let’s go find a great quote!
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Some of us beat ourselves up over how slow and carefully we must now traverse life. But keep moving. Keep going. You will get there, wherever *there* happens to be.
So, surgery took place on Wednesday, September 21, 2016. It’s main intent was to take a look inside to see if my Endometriosis had returned, to excise any lesions and free any adhesions. The official list of procedures to be possibly done that day, “Robotic Assisted Right and/or Left Ovarian Cystectomy, Excision of Endometriosis and Lysis of Adhesions, Possible Enterolysis, Urethrolysis, and Cystoscopy.”
The surgery took a little over two hours. I did not get to meet with my surgeon afterward, unfortunately, but did have the pleasure of speaking with him on the telephone before I left the hospital that day. What I remember:
Meg, the nurse, “Lisa, I have Dr. Kurtulus on the phone. Do you have any questions?”
Me, “Did he find anything?”
Meg to phone, “She would like to know if you found anything. [pause] He would like to talk to you,” and she passes me the phone.
Dr. Kurtulus, “Hi Lisa! How are you feeling?”
Me, “I’m okay. Did you eat lunch?”
Dr. Kurtulus,”[laugh] Yes, I ate lunch. [Pause] So you want to know if we found anything?”
Dr.Kurtulus,”Well, your Endometriosis was far worse than your first surgery. No wonder you were in so much pain. I cut out what I could, freed up adhesions, and restored your anatomy. You have Endo on your bowel now, too. I took lots of pictures. We’ll talk more on the Fourth.”
Me, “I’m so glad you found it!”
That’s all I remember. And I am grateful for that post-op-haze-memory. My post-op appointment will take place on October 4, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. And I cannot wait.
I did “everything right.” Six months of Lupron Depot. A continuous birth control pill. Altered my diet to “The Endo Diet.” Treated my body better. My MRI, CT scans, and ultrasounds were all normal prior to surgery. Yet I continued to press the issue and sometimes all that is left is to take a peek under the hood. And I am so grateful that Dr. Kurtulus listened and performed the surgery. It wasn’t all in my head.
If any of you read about my 2014 recovery, it was horrible. This time around, it’s not so bad at all. I plan to write more about that once recovery is over, after I talk to Dr. Kurtulus to find out if he did anything differently this time.
But for now? I’m going to walk around the house, drink my water, pop a stool softener and hope today (Day Six) is the day I poop. My god…sending the man out to buy prune juice today. 😉
I hope you have all had a wonderful week. For those of you who are fighting the pain, continue to endure. And advocate for yourself. You’re not crazy. You’re not weak. We suffer from an invisible illness, which may be invisible to all tests and scans, yet may be wreaking havoc in our bodies. You know your body. Listen to it and take action.
Thank you, all, for your support before and after my surgery. I can only hope to be as supportive to you when you need me. ❤ Lisa
“Be thankful for a breath of fresh air to be alive and well. Allow love and happiness to penetrate throughout your mind and soul. Take time to relax and live in the moment, the now, the present. Enjoy today.”
Whatever you’re doing when you read this, take a moment to pause, inhale and exhale deeply, think of something that brings you joy. Let a smile come across your lips. And resume your day. Wash, rinse, and repeat tomorrow. And the next day. And the next…
Hi! It’s Lisa. I’ll be away for possibly a few weeks as I rest and recuperate from surgery. I hope this message finds you well! Feel free to have fun with the “Search” feature to the right side of your screen while I’m away. Or you can pass the time by entering our coloring contest! Otherwise, I’ll see ya when I get back.
If you’d like, leave a message at the beep. *BEEEEEEEP*
So, Wednesday is the big day. I was talking to my Mum last night and she asked me what exactly my upcoming surgery entailed. Figured I’d share it in case you didn’t know.
Endometriosis lesions (also called implants) grow wherever they damn well please inside the body. My brain interprets them much like mushroom spores that *poof* and attach to wherever they land and grow. However, much like an iceberg, more than just the visible tip exists beneath the surface. Some people liken it to an invasive cancer, although not fatal.
There are a few different ways different surgeons handle removing Endometriosis:
Burning it away. The surgeon destroys the lesion/implant by burning them, much like you would freeze or burn a wart. Often times, this does not destroy the entire implant and may lead to the development of more scar tissue and regrowth of Endo.
Shaving it away. The surgeon again destroys the lesion/implant by cutting off the top surface of the implant, similar to the removal of a mole or skin tag. This, again, may lead to the regrowth of Endo.
Cutting it away. The surgeon removes the lesion/implant by not only removing the visible surface of the implant, but by removing some of the healthy tissue around and beneath the surface; in the hopes of removing the entire implant and slowing the rate of regrowth. This is considered by most experts as the way to do it correctly.
My surgeon may also run into adhesions, scar tissue which forms spider webs or rubber bands around the pelvic cavity, pulling organs out of place or sticking them to one another. These adhesions will need to be removed and treated with a barrier medication to prevent immediate reformation.
It is not an easy surgery, sometimes taking between 1-7 hours to complete. My 2014 surgery took four hours. It’s not as simple as removing tonsils or repairing a broken bone, although I’m certain those are not easy either. It is extensive, requiring great focus and skill on behalf of the surgeon. And due to the complexity of the damage and repair done, recovery can take several weeks.
During my first surgery, Endometriosis lesions/implants were found on my Pouch of Douglas (a void between your uterus and your rectum), my ovaries, my liver, my diaphragm, the lining of my pelvic cavity, my left fallopian tube, and on the scar tissue throughout my pelvic cavity. My surgeon was not able to remove the Endometriosis from my liver due to the risks involved.
My uterus was also stuck to my bladder and my bowels, my bowels also stuck to the left side of my pelvic wall, and my left ovary was completely lost within the knotted mess of Endometriosis and scar tissue.
Once my doctor excised (cut out) all of my Endometriosis that he could and freed up my organs and removed the scar tissue, he treated certain areas with a barrier medication called Seprafilm, in the hopes to prevent the adhesions from immediately redeveloping. I know he will do the same this time around, too.
There. If you were curious what surgery I was going in for, now you know. Everything will be okay. *deep breaths*
All the things I’ve read since my diagnosis and conversations with my doctor.
~ Again, I am a layman. I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. If curious, do your own research 🙂 Validate my writings. Or challenge them. And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always. Yours ~ Lisa
“Don’t let the expectations and opinions of other people affect your decisions. It’s your life, not theirs. Do what matters most to you; do what makes you feel alive and happy. Don’t let the expectations and ideas of others limit who you are. If you let others tell you who you are, you are living their reality — not yours.
There is more to life than pleasing people. There is much more to life than following others’ prescribed path. There is so much more to life than what you experience right now.
You need to decide who you are for yourself. Become a whole being. Adventure.”
Now, read it again. Slowly. Let it sink in. Go find yourself. Find some adventure! And live well!
THEY’RE HERE! My wonderfully talented friend, Brandie Britt, designed three beautiful drawings for our Endo coloring contest! (If you love the designs and want to help out a wonderful single mom, click here. She and her son are near and dear to my heart…love you BB&kiddo). The contest is open to EndoSisters worldwide!
Why are we having a coloring contest? It’s simple! I wanted a fun way for you and I to share a few things:
Where our Endometriosis is located in our bodies, or
How Endometriosis makes us feel, or
How we’d like to feel, or
Just have a bit of relaxing fun and a nice way to express ourselves and color, or
We can even bring the piece to our doctor appointments to express where our pain resides.
Be creative!!! And share something together.
Don’t have Endo, but know someone who does? Put your own interpretational spin on it for that person. Express how you see Endo affecting them…or how you wish they saw themselves. Be that support pillar I know you are!
You can choose to color one or two or even all three of the designs! There’s no limit. You can use paint, color pencils, pens, pastels, crayons, markers, Photoshop, some other computer program if you wish, or anything else!! These designs are your standard 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper.
And you can WIN one of our Endo Awareness Bracelets! I’ll randomly choose a few winners every month until we run out of bracelets (there’s approximately 100 to give away). Winners will also be featured on our blog, their stories and artistic masterpieces shared around the internet. Didn’t win? Submit another! Another 100 bracelets will be earned at our 2017 Endometriosis Awareness & Support Walk by walkers answering questions about Endo.
Okay, so how do you get the design(s) and where do you submit your completed masterpieces?
Download any one of the three designs by clicking here. You will be directed to a Google Drive folder with the three .pdf files to download (if you have any issues with the link and/or downloads, please email me here and I’d be happy to send them to you).
Print them out if you’re using old-fashioned non-digital means. Black & white printouts are juuuust fine. Remember, digitally manipulated masterpieces are acceptable, too.
Go nuts! Have fun! Stay within the lines or go craaaAAzzzZZyyy!
Send me your submissions. You can do so by email or snail mail. If you’d prefer to mail me your submission(s), drop me an email and I can send you my mailing address. Be sure to include your name, location, and email address (or phone number). That way I can contact you if you’re a winner! By submitting your artwork, you’re granting me permission to post it on our blogs, social media, emails, and future fun things, etc.
Feel free to post your submission on social media! Just add a #bloominuterus to your post or just tag our Facebook page directly. 🙂 Let’s see how wild this can get! (you’ll still need to separately email me your submissions, please).
I’ll be posting all of the submissions here on our blog, as well as featuring articles on each winner! Have fun with this. Enjoy. No stress allowed!
*bounce bounce bounce* I’m excited! And will be picking up some color pencils to do this myself during my recovery.
If any of you fantastic readers feel inclined to reblog or share this link, please do. The remnants of the Daffodil Society are trying to get the word out to as many people as possible who may have donated so they can contact the Society and request a refund.
But, as usual, you’re under no obligation whatsoever to share anything 🙂 Just figured I’d put out the Call to Arms and see what happens. ❤ Lisa
A note upfront: This Daffodil Society is NOT affiliated with the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days OR The American Daffodil Society.
The Daffodil Society is based out of Illinois and their mission statement is as follows: “The Daffodil Society is a nonprofit corporation with the sole purpose of supporting women suffering with endometriosis.”
According to the Daffodil Society, Sue Kerivan, President of the Daffodil Society, has admitted to embezzling funds for her own personal use, including monies that were raised for 3-day Endometriosis Awareness Conference and Walk. Sadly, the walk never took place and the funds disappeared…vendors were not reimbursed for deposits, people who purchased purses as part of the fundraiser never received the purses or a refund, and those who paid actual ticket prices for the event were also not reimbursed for the cancelled conference. None of the money made it’s way to The Daffodil Society’s coffers. Sue has since stepped down…
The Endometriosis Foundation of America needs our help! Have you been wanting to spread awareness in your local community? Educate the masses, especially young girls? The EFA has finalized their EduKit (based from their 3-years of experience teaching schools in New York about Endo). Do you work in a school? Know someone who does? Have an interest in contacting schools or even leading a course yourself? The EFA says you can even help from the comfort of your own couch! Fill out this application for more information!
I’ve said that I wish I knew about this disease since High School. Wish I had even heard of it and the symptoms so I could have talked to my doctors in my teens, 20s, and 30s. Ugh. Well, the EFA is taking steps to implement a nationwide education campaign and you can help in the tiniest of ways!
I really don’t have an excuse not to try to pitch in. I don’t have a schedule that allows me to speak to kids during school hours, nor do I have public speaking abilities! BUT I may a few hours a week to be able to reach out to schools on behalf of the EFA and send them materials, information, etc. I’m going to look into this after my surgery. 🙂
Thanks EFA! Share this link with anyone you think may be interested!! Nationwide education!