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).