Recap: Endo Workshop in San Diego

img_6409tn2

Well, it came and it went!  February 23, 2017, was the day that Dr. Mara Killen of San Diego Womens Health and I presented an Endometriosis workshop at the San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot for their Exceptional Family Member Program.  (You may remember that Dr. Killen presented on PCOS back in December.)

Our presentation and Q&A session lasted roughly two hours and Dr. Killen gave an excellent talk about Endometriosis, the theories of causation, symptoms, medical treatment options, etc.  I covered the alternative options such as diet, lifestyle change, Eastern medicine, mental health, and physical therapy.  The gals (and one husband) who showed up came with some incredible questions!

I cannot thank the EFMP and its staffmembers enough for granting us such an incredible opportunity to reach out to our community.  And, Dr. Killen, thank you for taking time away from your busy schedule and personal life to offer such valuable information.  I will be forever grateful.

Share Your Story: Heather

img_3944

Heather was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 24 years old.  Now 37, she lives in Florida and has started “Heather’s Hope Endo Strong”, and is also a model advocating for chronic illness.

Heather’s Journey: I‘ve suffered with Endometriosis over half of my life. I’ve had 4 surgeries and all were unsuccessful. I did 2 Lupron injections a few years ago for the Endometriosis in my bowels. After the Lupron treatments my stomach completely stopped emptying and I now have a gastric pacemaker. I’m 1 in 4,000 people in the United States with a gastric pacemaker.

I’m infertile and don’t have any children.

After being in an abusive marriage of over 11 years I also suffer with PTSD severe anxiety. It’s been a rough road to travel but I have my supportive husband and Endometriosis Sisters to help brighten my day. I’m having my 5th surgery this year. I’m also part of Models With A Cause representing women with chronic illnesses.

Words of Advice for Us:  Remember your not alone! Please seek an Endometriosis Specialist and stick to the Endometriosis diet. It’s very important to keep the diet and stay away from Soy, Dairy, Caffeine & Alcohol.

The Last Word: I started Heather’s Hope Endo Strong by myself last February. I do post on chronic illnesses and mental illnesses. Being an advocate has helped me meet other Endometriosis sisters and help raise awareness all over the world.

If you wish to contact Heather, you may email her here or check out Heather’s Hope Endo Strong here.

I want to send a special Thank You out to Heather for being brave enough to share her personal story, struggle, and victories with us today.  I am so grateful that you stepped away from that abusive relationship, have found a loving husband, and continue to share your experiences and help others!! You are a beautiful, brave, and strong woman.  Thank you!!!

download

And if YOU would like to share your story, you can do so by clicking here.  The best part about this disease is the strong network of love and support from our fellow EndoSisters, and our friends and family, too.

Yours, Lisa.

One Lovely Blog Award

one-lovely-blog-award

I’ve been nominated by fellow EndoWarrior, blogger, and friend, The Endo Zone (maaaan, I’d really like to use her real name, but respecting privacy! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!), for the One Lovely Blog Award! This is a huge honor for me since I’ve loved her blog since we first met.  And she’s always been a huge encouragement to me, not only for my blog, but in my life, for my journey, and supporting my efforts to raise awareness and funds.  You, my dear, are an incredible woman – and thank you for the nomination. ❤  I highly recommend her blog – she’s recently undergone another Endo surgery and I enjoy following her healing progress, as well as uplifting and informative posts.

To “The Endo Zone”: I’ve learned such fun things about you via your own One Lovely Blog Award! I’m a paralegal, tooooooooooo!  Good luck with your certification test next week!

Here are the Rules:

rules-one-lovely-blog-award

  1. Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog
  2. Post about the award
  3. Share seven facts about yourself
  4. Nominate other people (15 at most)
  5. Tell your nominees the good news!

Seven fun facts about me that you may not already (well, Mum, you know all this stuff…):

  1. I was born 3 1/2 months premature, weighed 1 pound 15 ounces, and have two cervix(es?)!!
  2. I’m a paralegal by trade, but am also a Desert Wanderer; photographer; art model; Adventurer; a trained pyrotechnics technician *BOOM* (well, at least on the Fourth of July);  volunteer Forest Fire Lookout; California State Parks volunteer; blood donor; bone marrow donor; am certified in basic and advanced first aid, blood borne pathogens, and CPR/AED; have my Extra license in amateur radio; and a primitive skills survivalist.  Learn ALL THE THINGS!
  3. My first divorce really instilled in me a great sense of financial responsibility and independence.  Thanks Mr. First Husband – haaaha!  Now good riddance!
  4. I have my motorcycle license – I don’t have a motorcycle (yet), but really wanted to get the license in honor of my Gramma Tilly – she always used to joke about one day going out and riding a motorcycle.  Well, now in her memory, I can! Wahoooooooooo!
  5. In the past, I’ve had a 9-pound dog…and a 112-pound dog (and all the pounds in between)…but am now the proud Prisoner of a 15-pound Maine Coon cat who just likes to terrorize my ankles.
  6. I’d prefer to take the Long Way Home as opposed to the highway.  I totally love small town country roads, backroads, and alleys.  Explore! Get lost! Find your way home again…
  7. My favorite era of music?  1950s – 1970s.  Also love him some ’80s.  But 90s & up:  I can definitely live without.

 

nominations-one-lovely-blog-award

I nominate (in no particular order) a few blogs that I follow and love:

  1. Adenomyosis Journal
  2. RibbonRX
  3. The Endo The World
  4. Caring for Your Cat
  5. Mirror & Soul
  6. Snowdroplets
  7. Holistic Dentist Paige Woods
  8. Wild Heart Wanderings
  9. Spendometria Jewelry
  10. A Pain in the Pelvis

 

Feel Good Fridays!

frog-1073427_960_720

Whew. The end of the week! FINALLY!

I’ve been suffering with a head cold since Sunday.  Monday was a work holiday, and I also took Tuesday and Wednesday off to stay in bed and be a sniffling, sneezing, coughing, miserable mess.  Today – today I’m beginning to feel better 🙂

But, my nasty little plight this week inspired today’s Feel Good Quote by Elaina Marie:

“Honoring yourself is not selfish, it’s vital.”

Take the time to honor yourself – whether that be a day of rest, a special sweet snack, an hour of quiet time, a drive to your favorite place – whatever it may be that you’ve neglected for so long.  Take some you time…time for YOU!

And have a wonderful weekend!

Much love, Lisa.

T-Shirt Money Donated to EFA

frontA HUGE thank you to all of you who purchased a Bloomin’ Uterus t-shirt!  We sold 13 shirts and raised $76.67 for the Endometriosis Foundation of America!! Woohoo!

I received my confirmation email this morning that Teespring has already sent the $76.67 to the EFA!

I cannot thank you enough for your support!  Together, we are doing great things and hopefully one day a cure will be found.  In the meantime, remain strong and positive!

Yours,

Lisa

Feel Good Friday!

pexels-photo-100733.jpeg

It’s FRIDAY! Woohooooo!

Today’s quote is one that I found personally affirming as a woman with Endometriosis.  I stumbled across it in my research this week and it just struck me as powerful.  The Nezhat doctors wrote in a 2012 article titled Endometriosis: Ancient Disease, Ancient Treatments:

“The clock is definitely ticking as we know that millions of women still live lives awash in anguish, just as they did thousands of years ago, and just as they will centuries from now unless we can steer ourselves faster toward the long elusive cure. Four thousand years is long enough; the time has come to end the empire of endometriosis.”

It’s been five years since this quote was published.  And it was referenced in a February 2017 article published in the International Journal of Reproduction, Contraception, Obstetrics and Gynecology…which is how I stumbled across it.  And it seemed relevant this week, considering the amount of women who have been sharing their Endo stories with all of us!  We are building an army of Warriors – an army to stand against the “empire of endometriosis!”

One day there will be a cure.  In the meantime, remain positive, hold onto hope, lift each other up, and continue to live your life as best as you are able.

And if you’re interested in some reading, these blogs were updated this week:

Adhesions: What Are They?  Added a study that will be published in the March 2017 edition of Annals of Medicine and Science

Birth Control Pills & Endo.  Added an abstract published in the January 2017 edition of Fertility & Sterility

Chronic Pain Affects Your Brain. Added an abstract published in the January 2017 edition of European Journal of Pain

C-Sections & Endometriosis. Added a 2017 abstract published in the January 2017 edition of Diagnostic Cytopathology

Have a wonderful weekend!

❤ Lisa

Share Your Story: Patricia

 

IMG_2866.PNG

Patricia was only 16 years old when she was diagnosed with Endometriosis.  Now 42, she lives in Montreal, and tells her tale now.  It includes a progressively worsening diagnosis, a full hysterectomy, ongoing medical treatment, and 32 surgeries!  Despite her medical efforts and treatment, she continues to suffer with the illness.

Patricia’s Journey: I was diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 16. It wasn’t too bad at that point, but between the age of 16 to 21 it went to stage 4. So it was decided at the age of 21 to have a full hysterectomy, thinking it would be a cure. I also had tried all the medications that were available at the time to treat it. Nothing worked not even the full hysterectomy.

From the age of 21 until now I’ve had 32 surgeries.

Nothing would stop the endometriosis and at the age of 42 I now have it on my bladder and cysts around my pelvis. I never imagined this would be a life long fight against a disease I have no control over.

When I had my hysterectomy at 21 it was soul shattering, I thought I won’t be a real woman anymore. Like Pinocchio wasn’t a real boy, I was no longer a real woman. It also affects every part of my life, my relationships, my dreams, everything I wanted my life to be. It took a while for me to accept my fate but eventually I had no choice.

Till this day I fight chronic pain and this crazy disease called endometriosis. I will never stop fighting for myself and my fellow endometriosis sisters. We also fight for the next generation of women who may have endometriosis, we fight for them too.

We are 176 million women affected by endometriosis worldwide.

We deserve a voice and a cure 💛.

Words of Advice:  You will have days where you feel like giving up, but you are stronger than you think. We must fight together to find a cure. We must also lean on each other when things become overwhelming. We are stronger together in this fight than we would be alone💛

The Last Word: I wish the medical community would take endometriosis more seriously. When we come to you for help, don’t belittle how serious our pain is. We live in chronic pain that most cannot even begin to comprehend. We don’t want pity, we just want understanding, more awareness and a cure.

If you wish to contact Patricia, you can email her here.

I want to send a special Thank You out to Patricia for being brave enough to share her journey with us today.  And those strong words of encouragement!! THANK YOU!  Wishing you luck in your future procedures and, as always, wish you relief. ❤ Yours, Lisa.

downloadAnd if YOU would like to share your story, you can do so by clicking here.  The best part about this disease is the strong network of love and support from our fellow EndoSisters, and our friends and family, too.

Yours, Lisa.

Share Your Story: Katrina

img1482003286384.jpg

Living in Barbados, Katrina was 29 when she was diagnosed with Endometriosis.  Today she’s 34 years old and shares her Journey with us.  She truly is a Warrior!

Katrina’s Journey: Life started out normal like any teenager but it soon came to an abrupt hault when I started to mature a bit more then the pains associated with my period was terrifying on the onset of my menstruation. As I grew older the pain got worse at age I was hospitalized for a low blood count due to the amount of blood I had lost in that one cycle it was terrifying.

In 2012 and I remember it like yesterday cause that where it was at its peak the pain was unimaginable having being hospitalized twice for a rupture ovarian cyst treated and sent home not knowing I would return two months after the last discharge. On my outpatient visit I was in crippling pain to the point where I couldn’t walk there and the doctor at the time who was my physician, Dr. Chatranni, decided that a laparoscopy was needed because of the severity of the agony that I was in . When I came back from surgery the next day they came to my bedside to break the news of the finding my world change for the worse because I was discovered with the condition endometriosis that has no cure.

I cried I couldn’t cope because it was the first time I heard of it which took me 20yrs to find out what was causing so much havoc in this body of mine.

In 2013 I had a DNC to see if that would stop the bleeding as I was losing so much blood and also became anemic that didn’t work. In 2014 under the team of Dr. Chase and Dr. Bayo I had a surgery done that brought me some comfort, but it didn’t make sense removing my reproductive organs as the Endo had has spread to various parts of the body.

I live daily with pain but I also learn to fight when I want to give up most ’cause most people don’t understand how I do it most days especially the ones close to me ’cause friends on the outside looking in only see a smile but behind closed doors are the cries and the grimacing the hospitalizations, but most of all the long for a cure so you can be comfortable.

In 2016 after meeting so many women with the condition during hospitalizations and the passion to get the public in the know I created the Katrina Endometriosis fund association of Barbados registered charity #1281.  It became the focus on teenager and women with this dreadful condition and since then we have done a great job getting them in the know ’cause even though we have a small country, many people are not aware of the condition.  So my passion is to bring about sensitization to Endometriosis and being the ambassador for Barbados is a privilege because I can speak out for the women who are afraid to speak about the journey with endometriosis because of the stigma associated with endometriosis. The infinite fight is far from over in my ongoing journey with endometriosis, but giving up is not an option #iamanendolioness.

Words of Advice:  Endometriosis is our weakness, but let our weakness become our strength .

The Last Word: Having the endometriosis foundation give me something to look forward and that’s to fight for our Endo community and get our voices heard .

If you wish to contact Katrina, you can email her here.  And if you’d like to check out the Katrina Endometriosis Fund Association, their Facebook page is here.

I want to send a special Thank You out to Katrina for being brave enough to share her journey with us today.  And congratulations are starting up the Katrina Endometriosis Fund Association and spreading awareness! Thank you for ALL of your efforts!  Yours, Lisa.

downloadAnd if YOU would like to share your story, you can do so by clicking here.  The best part about this disease is the strong network of love and support from our fellow EndoSisters, and our friends and family, too.

Yours, Lisa.