Feel Good Fridays

Screenshot of Facebook memories from October 18, 2010: is grateful for the strength of friends

Good morning! And I hope it is a good morning for you. Well, it’s Friday! Another week has fled. Time flies far too fast. October is more than halfway over.

Today’s quote is brought to you by Facebook Memories and is pictured above.

Nine years ago, I was going through a very rough time. The exact details? Oh, I don’t recall, but it was likely heartache-related. The posts around that same time were filled with self-doubt and judgment. And even today, I am still oh so grateful for the strength of friends. Sometimes you just can’t go it alone.

But whatever you are going through, you aren’t alone. Friends, loved ones, family, and extended family: we are all here for you. Whatever your need may be.

Have a BEAUTIFUL weekend! And, remember, if you ever need me I’m right here for you.

Feel Good Fridays!

Text reads The Sun will come up, the seasons will change

So, here we are at another Friday.

I haven’t written a new blog piece in so long that I feel like a slacker. I’ve got many, many, many drafts going, research looming, events to plan, and life to live – but I promise a new one will be coming soon.

I didn’t realize how much it was bothering me until I read today’s quote, which hit me like a punch in the gut.

“You can do this, and if you can’t do it today, you’ll do it tomorrow. You are not a failure.”
― Alisha Rai, Wrong to Need You

Whatever…and I mean WHATEVER…it is that is dragging you down because you haven’t (or can’t) do it yet, embrace the thought that there will come a time that you will be able to. Whatever it is. Don’t let it be a personal reflection of who you are. hang in there. Stand strong. You aren’t a failure. Your body isn’t a failure. Your life isn’t a failure. Persevere.

And please, always remember, to set aside some time to focus on your own well-being, whether it be mental or physical. Even if it’s just 5-10 minutes of “Me” time. Do it.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. And remember just how wonderful and special you truly are.

Love, Lisa

Feel Good Fridays

A clock about to strike midnight

If we only had a bit more kindness in the world, could you imagine how we would be?

I stumbled across this quote today and immediately fell in love. Although not in line with my usual Feel Good Friday’s quotes, I wanted to share it with you guys:

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” ~Og Mandino

I absolutely would LOVE to see what the world would become if we could all just do this.

I hope you have a great weekend. And I hope you’re doing well.

Love, Lisa

Stronger Than Endo : Merritt, An Endo Warrior Interview

Words that read Stronger Than Endo

Over a year ago, you may remember we shared a sneak peek of a project we were involved in: Stronger than Endo. We interviewed a few women with Endometriosis, as well as my excision surgeon.

Well, my friend Exxes has completed and released the first of the three full-length videos. This one is an interview with my beautiful friend, Merritt.

It’s about 50 minutes of her Journey with Endometriosis. Her spouse, Jess, pops on and offers the perspective of a partner with endo. It was a long, rough, but beautiful morning for all of us, including Exxes. We also discussed what we, as individuals and a community, can do to help others. Raise awareness. Be there for one another. And don’t be afraid to share your story with others.

Thank you Merritt, Jess, and Exxes, for making yourselves available, vulnerable, and for allowing this to happen. I love you guys.

Here’s the video! For some reason, it starts close to the 2-minute mark; you may want to rewind it a bit when you watch it. Enjoy and share!

And, please stay tuned. As soon as they’re available, we’ll be releasing the videos of another EndoWarrior, Heidi, and my surgeon, Dr. Mel Kurtulus.

Pain Journal: September 2019

September is behind us…and I’m spending my lunch hour reviewing and publishing my pain journal. A good use of time, right? I think so, too!

Let’s just start by saying it’s October 1st…and I still haven’t had my September period. I wonder if it will arrive in a few days? Back in August, I started my period on the 26th…so we’ll see if I am graced with two periods in October?

Okay, let’s review September’s adventure!

On September 6th, I woke up with a bit of abdominal cramping. Oh no! Is my Endo back already? No…I just had a big ol’ fart and all that cramping ceased the second I let ‘er rip! C’mon, laugh with me. Sometimes it’s all we can do. But seriously, the “oh no it it back already” thought did enter my head. I’m glad it was just gas…although my husband was none-too-pleased with the funky morning aroma.

I continue to experience staple-area pain around my new guts if I eat too much. And I still either get insane diarrhea after I drink too much booze…or I don’t poop at all for a day or two. Ten months since surgery and I still lack a lot of self-control when it comes to delicious things.

On September 7th, I contracted The Plague: some sort of craptastic upper respiratory infection that led to a chest cold, bronchitis, sinusitis, laryngitis, and hives. It was a doozy! Three weeks later and I still have a little bit of chest congestion and my voice isn’t quite at 100%. BUT…I blame the sudden spike in diarrhea and medication-use over the next few weeks on fighting the Plague. (PS – if you didn’t already know, sugar-free cough drops or throat lozenges GIVE YOU DIARRHEA!)…

A few impromptu roadtrips with my husband in September led to some fun and pain-free sex. So that’s still super exciting to not have insane pain. I mean, we have to still avoid deep penetration poses, such as Doggy Style, because of my unique anatomy (two cervix which still hurt when they’re bumped), but at least there’s some pain-free sex in my life. So woohooo!

A lot of the abdominal discomfort I experienced in September can easily be attributed to the aforementioned liquid-shits…but every once in a while a sneaky “what the hell was that?” sharp pain would kick in out of nowhere:

On September 25th, I had the only true amount of sharp pain that had me worried; everything else in September was still on the level of “discomfort” and was easily explained away due to The Plague. But on that particular Wednesday, I had already pooped three times that day (just a good ol’ normal poo). That morning, I had an appointment with my colo-rectal surgeon for the last of my hemorrhoid band ligation procedures; a relatively simply and painless (mostly) procedure. At 2:30 that afternoon, I was poopin’ and had a sharp, horrible, agonizing pain on the left side of my lower abdomen that literally took my breath away while I sat on the porcelain throne. But, it was quick. At 5:20 that same afternoon, the pain returned while I was driving home and lasted several seconds. Then again at 5:26pm, it returned…and didn’t fade until 6:00pm. Was it poop-related? Was it my cyst on my left ovary rearin’ it’s ugly head? Was it a sign I’d be starting my period? I didn’t have any other pain that day, or any following day, until a little throbbing discomfort in the same area on September 29th. Still, though, no period. And that throbbing pain was minimal and quick.

I see my gyno/excision surgeon again in November for another transvaginal ultrasound and will be sure to mention that lower left abdominal pain. It’ll be interesting to see if my left-sided 3cm cyst has done anything.

But my favorite news? The only reason I took any pain killers in September: The Plague and my hemorrhoid procedure. YAY! Following is the slideshow of my September pain journal, if it interests you.

Pooping? You’ll see a spike in diarrhea episodes in September. OH MY GOD. Yep, you already read it: the laxative effect of a certain brand of sugar-free lozenges that shall remain unnamed (*cough cough* Ricola *cough*). Here’s the all-over-the-place poop chart…including the first instance of poopin’ pain since i recovered from my bowel resection! And that’s AMAZING!

If you don’t already track your pain, symptoms, diet, and bowel movements, I cannot stress how important it is to understanding and acknowledging what’s going on inside your own body. PLUS it gives us something to tangibly point to out to our physicians: “I hurt…HERE!” If you’d ever like some pointers on what I use to track mine, please reach out to me.

And…welcome to October!

Feel Good Fridays

Sign that reads "Keep Going"

The last Friday of September. Already. Do you have any fun plans for October??

Today’s quote is inspired by one of my local EndoWarriors, Heidi. She’s had a rough past few months, but has taken charge and is advocating for answers, has pushed for multiple doctor’s appointments with numerous specialists, and is literally charging through the muck that’s trying to hold her down.

It’s not all been strength and positivity (how can it be??), but yet she continues to embrace those around her, ask for help, and push on.

She’s a god-damn inspiration.

“Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.” ~Unknown

I’m so proud of her, and grateful to have her in my life.

May we all be inspired to continue to smash forward, crush those doubts and fears, and realize we’re not alone in whatever we may be going through.

Have a wonderful weekend. Much love, Lisa.

Feel Good Fridays

Sprout plant growing through asphalt
Photo by Skeeze

Another week has flown by. And here we are: Friday.

My favorite t-shirt from several years ago read, “Be the reason someone smiles today.” I mourn the loss of that shirt – I wore it ’til it just couldn’t be worn anymore. But it’s been on my mind lately, which has inspired today’s quote:

“Believe me. Your hardship, tears and sorrows you are facing now are the training of your spirit. The strength you learn from there brings you more love and smiles in your future. Wherever you are, love all the people around you like your family. then you are not alone anymore.”
― Hiroko Sakai

Whatever you may be enduring, know that it is not everlasting. And know that you are not alone. Reach out to friends, family, strangers, loved ones, people you trust, or even a complete stranger. It will fade. And you will find the strength to smile.

And if you would like, email me. I’m always here for you.

Love, Lisa

Blogs I Updated This Week:

Endometriosis & the Heart: added a 2019 study of a 28-year-old woman who complained of chest pains and collapsed. Turns out she had Endometriosis along her pericardial lining.

Feel Good Fridays!

Bloomin' Uterus logo

Happy Friday. September is already half-way over. Already!

This week has been full of ups and downs:
I came down with a case of what I suspect is bronchitis, followed by laryngitis.
I had a follow-up appointment with my surgeon to discuss my ultrasound results.
I’m not sleeping well due to said bronchitis and accompanying coughing fits.
I’ve discovered the healing power of humidifiers!
And tomorrow a few of us Bloomin’ Uterus gals are getting together at a winery to honor our shared surgeon and his office staff.

A busy week indeed. I’m so looking forward to tomorrow. I don’t know if I’ll be able to speak, but I cannot wait to celebrate and honor San Diego Women’s Health and Dr. Kurtulus.

But for today? Today’s quote goes out to all you chronic-illness warriors (whatever it may be):

“Pain diminishes us, and it is so important to remember, in the midst of pain and everything that pain takes from you, that still … you are enough. You are enough just as you are. You are worthy of love and kindness. You are enough. And you have enough.”
― Steve Leder, More Beautiful Than Before: How Suffering Transforms Us

Never forget that you will endure, you will flourish, and you are still beautiful.

Much love to you. Have a wonderful weekend and I hope to be able to blog very soon.

Love, Lisa

An Update on my Cysts

Ovary plushy from I Heart Guts
Ovary plushy from I Heart Guts!

So last Thursday I had another pelvic ultrasound (both transvaginal and the traditional techniques).

The ultrasound tech noted that the cyst on my right ovary appeared to have ruptured and there was evidence of fluid around the ovary. There were also a series of very tiny cysts on the right ovary, which she commented was normal.

The left ovary still had a cyst on it, and it had nearly doubled in size since July. It’s now 2.3 cm (a little under 1-inch). What appeared previously to be an endometrioma now appeared to be a simple, non-complex cyst.

So, I stowed that information away for a few days until I met with my gynecologist/surgeon yesterday. And it was a good meeting.

He agreed with the ultrasound tech:

  1. The cyst on the right ovary appeared to have ruptured. If it was an endometrioma, there’s the possibility that it’s spread endo-goo around my pelvic cavity. If it was a simple or hemorrhagic cyst, the fluid around my ovary is just normal goo.
  2. The cyst on the left ovary does, in fact, appear to be a simple cyst. NOT an endometrioma as previously suspected!
  3. The ongoing suspicion of Adenomyosis remains.
  4. There’s no way of knowing if Endometriosis is back, or if the cyst that ruptured was an endometrioma, or the cyst that remains is an endometrioma or a simple cyst. The only way to know for sure is to operate. And neither my surgeon nor I feel it’s necessary at this time. So, his advice?

Simply wait. Don’t dwell on the fact that it may or may not be. Thinking about it won’t solve anything. Hold onto the hope that they were both simple cysts. And continue to monitor any symptoms.

I also took some time to talk about my uber-painful period day in late August. He’s not opposed to filling a painkiller prescription for me (yay!), but I’ve asked that we wait to see what happens with my next period.

We’re both in good spirits over the news. And I go back in two months for another pelvic ultrasound to see what my ovaries are up to.