Feel Good Fridays

Desert Tortoise crossing roadway, by Brad Sutton/NPS
Desert Tortoise crossing roadway, by Brad Sutton/NPS

Happy Friday!

I know a lot of my friends have had a rough week. Pain. Cancelled plans. Lots of self-care. Today is for you:

“It does not matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop.” ~Confucius

One foot in front of the other. Or, just stand still…for a moment. Then, keep forging ahead. And if you need it, reach your hand out. I’ll take it and we shall walk together.

Love you guys. Have a great weekend. ~Lisa

Blogs I Added This Week:

New Study: Elagolix vs. Lupron: Abbvie’s findings of which of their two drugs will be more cost effective for patients…(insert grumble here)

Blogs I Updated This Week:

Orilissa: Abbvie’s New Drug: added a June 2019 study showing women no Elagolix/Orilissa had improved work attendance (an extra 2-4 hours per week)

Feel Good Fridays

Inviting couch

The end of the week already? And June will be done before we know it?!?

Today’s quote is a simple reminder:

“As important as it is to have a plan for doing work, it is perhaps more important to have a plan for rest, relaxation, self-care, and sleep.” 
― Akiroq Brost

Do not forget to find time during your busy week to do…simply nothing. Rest. Relax. Breathe. Take care of yourself. (Please)

Much love to you! ~Lisa

Feel Good Fridays

Back of Lisa's Endometriosis Journey tank top which shows each year of surgery and where endo was found
Back of shirt

As is my customary Friday morning tradition, I found myself back at my favorite bagel place for my breakfast and an almond milk hot chocolate. As I waited for my wares, I noticed a woman waiting in line eyeballing the front of my shirt.

If you haven’t seen the front, it’s a wonderful design, created by a friend, representing my insides after my Endo surgeries. Ha.

Front of tank top showing fun cartoon of uterus, no fallopian tubes, and a resected intestine
Front of shirt

Once she paid for her bagels, she walked right up to me with a big smile.

“I was standing in line reading the back of your shirt,” she said. “So then I had to try to read the front of your shirt to see what it is.”

“Oh?” I prodded.

“You’ve had quite the ride,” she said, with a li’l bit of sadness in her voice.

“It sure has been.”

“I’m familiar with the disease…” she said, leaving it open-ended.

Familiar? Did she have it? Does her daughter??? She looked to be in her sixties. “Are you?” I prodded further. “Do you have it?”

“No,” she smiled, “but I’m an OB nurse.”

We talked for a little while longer while we both waited for our bagel sandwiches and beverages. She seemed surprised at how extensive it could be, how entwined it can get, and how often my surgeries were warranted. I let her know that my pain levels were in a good place since my last one. She placed a warm hand on my shoulder, “I hope it stays that way.” And we said our goodbyes.

Such a wonderful way to start a Friday. And now? On to today’s Feel Good Friday’s quote:

“Finding healthy coping mechanisms are as essential as breathing fresh air

Find what works for you.

Do it with zest and fervor 

Unapologetically” 

― Renee A. Lee

For me, striking up conversations, spreading awareness about Endo, and making connections is a huge part of my coping mechanism and self-administered therapy. That being said, I know it’s not for everyone. What helps you cope? Let me know in the comments below!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Love, Lisa

Blogs I Updated This Week:

Endo & Liver Function: added a 2019 study of a 42-year-old woman who complained of right quadrant pain, vomiting, and nausea. Turns out she had the super-rare Endo on the liver!

Feel Good Fridays

Thunderstorm clouds on the horizon
photo by Kevin, Colorado Clouds Blog

Here we are again! A Friday! Already!!!

Earlier this week I was in a little Facebook chat bubble with one of my local EndoWarriors, Heidi. Heidi has been a HUGE part of my life since we came together and she’s a very active member of our Bloomin’ Uterus San Diego support network. She also hosts supoprt group meetings and events at her house, finds time to run our Instagram account, and is such a strong source of strength and encouragement to our Sisters! Thanks Heidi! FOR EVERYTHING!

I’ve been relishing the mostly pain-free life since my November surgery. And every little tiny prick of pain sends me deep into a “Oh no, is it coming back already?” thought process. The poor April ultrasound results don’t help and I’m eagerly awaiting the July follow-up ultrasound.

But, I ran to Heidi and we had a little conversation yesterday during a moment of doubt. Heidi has had some glorious results from pain management and physical therapy and I figured she may very know the fear I was feeling:

Text conversation with Heidi.  Me: "Do you almost fear all the shit just coming back and rendering you incapable gain?  I do." Heidi: "Oh man, yes hunny!  Every twinge of back pain makes me think it's coming back again.  It's this stormy cloud just over the horizon that's taunting me. I'm so grateful for where I'm at & I just have to remember how hard I fought to be here, & try to enjoy each moment.  We got this, & we're beasts."

See? SUPPORTIVE! Heidi is amazing. And, she’s right: WE GOT THIS AND WE’RE BEASTS!

But yesterday’s moment has led to today’s quote search. It captures the fear I have. It gives it a visual that many people can relate to; a fear that gnaws at the fiber of their being. I suffer from a painful chronic illness, and although I’m in a wonderful position right now, I still have these fears:

“That’s the point. This healthy-feeling time now just feels like a tease. Like I’m in this holding pattern, flying in smooth circles within sight of the airport, in super-comfortable first class. But I can’t enjoy the in-flight movie or free chocolate chip cookies because I know that before the airport is able to make room for us, the plane is going to run out of fuel, and we’re going to crash-land into a fiery, agonizing death.” 
― Jessica Verdi, My Life After Now

Okay, so it might be a little dramatic…but it really captured how I feel about this relentless disease. Endometriosis.

I have my Sisters, my Warriors, my Family to get me through these moments. I’ll enjoy the in-flight movie and complimentary cookies. I’ve embraced having my nights and weekends back to enjoy. And maybe…just maybe…I can acknowledge these fears when they bubble to the surface and let them go.

May we all be able to do such a thing.

Love, Lisa

PS – Heidi, I love you so very, very, very much.

Feel Good Fridays!

The "Worlds Largest Rose Bush" in Tombstone, AZ
Worlds Largest Rose Bush taken by “A Rancid Amoeba”

Happy Friday!

I am continuously amazed at the strength of those I know: friends who have been through so much pain and trauma, yet continue to find the positive. Find the strength to move on. Have the stamina to embrace and help those in need.

Today’s quote is for you strong ones. You broken ones who continue to lift your head up and continue life, one step at a time.

“The sun shall always rise upon a new day and there shall always be a rose garden within me. Yes, there is a part of me that is broken, but my broken soil gives way to my wild roses.” 
― C. JoyBell C.

In Tombstone, Arizona there is the “world’s largest rose tree.” It was planted back in 1885. And it’s something I grew up visiting often. A gigantic mass of twisted, thorny, beautiful roses. HUGE. It blooms wildly for a few short weeks in the spring, before the desert heat takes over. May we be a conglomeration of rose bushes together, deeply rooted within one another, holding each other up when needed. May we be a continuous reminder of our strength, beauty, and worth; even during the hot summer months of our lives.

Have a beautiful weekend.

And if you ever do make it to Tombstone to visit this beauty, stay at the Larian Motel! Say hi to the gal behind the front desk for me. ❤

Love you, Lisa.

Scrolling roses image

Feel Good Fridays!

Amethyst Geode by Clint Budd
Amethyst Geode, by Clint Budd

Good morning and happy Friday!

I started mine off my locking my keys in my Jeep. Ha! A great way to start a holiday weekend. 🙂 So, I calmly called AAA and waited for their tow truck driver to swing on by. 15 minutes later (and a lot of frustrated grunting from the driver) and my vehicle was opened and I was reunited with my precious keys.

How’s your day goin’?

Today’s rocky start led me to today’s quote. May it give you a bit of peace and insight, too:

“Maybe it’s not about having a beautiful day, but about finding beautiful moments. Maybe a whole day is just too much to ask. I could choose to believe that in every day, in all things, no matter how dark and ugly, there are shards of beauty if I look for them.” 
― Anna White, Mended: Thoughts on Life, Love, and Leaps of Faith

May you have a wonderful weekend, regardless of what’s going on. But if you do need someone to talk to, you know I’m right here for you.

Love, Lisa

Blogs I Updated This Week:

Bladder & Endometriosis: added a May 2019 study of a 40-year-old woman who suffered from two years of right flank pain. After several tests and imaging studies, she was found to have an Endometriosis lesion inside her right ureter.

Dungeons & Dragons & Donuts: added our February 2019 session; Chapter 24! If you’ve been following our saga, you don’t want to miss this!

Feel Good Fridays

Tattoo of Ad Astra Per Aspera

Today’s quote is a bit odd in its origin.

It’s a tattoo on my back. It’s the state motto of Kansas. It’s engraved on a plague at the Apollo 1 launch site, honoring those who fell. It’s used on Pall Mall cigarette packages.

What the heck is it and what does it have to do with Endometriosis???

“Ad astra per aspera.”

Many years ago (yes, before my Endo diagnosis), a friend helped me find myself once more. I had been lost and floundering and he pulled me out of a deep, dark pit. He came to visit for the weekend to make sure I was okay. Before he left, he wanted to make sure I remembered our long talks, our soul searching, and our discoveries.

It was to be memorialized in a tattoo. The only condition was whatever phrase we both chose, it had to be in Latin. So we scoured the internet for our independent phrases. And I found this one: Ad astra per aspera.

I’d seen it translated in two ways:

  1. To the stars through difficulty; and,
  2. Through thorns to the stars.

And I knew I had to have it.

When I was a little girl, I was molested by my grandfather on numerous occasions. While going through counseling as a young teenager, my counselor would have me draw and she’d analyze my drawings. One day, I drew a rose growing out of a fly-covered pile of poop. She reminded me that something beautiful could grow out of the worst, most disgusting, conditions. And that I was the rose.

The phrase reminded me of that rose. It encompassed my sexual abuse, my divorce, my losing myself. I could – no – I WOULD rise up. Through thorns to the stars!

And every time someone asks me about that tattoo, I have a renewed sense of strength. I can, and I will, rise to the stars.

And it’s made moreso relevant because of my Endo diagnosis. Through thorns, through difficulty, through a fly-covered pile of shit – we continue to reach up toward the heavens, the stars, to beauty and vast possibilities. Yes; that means you, too.

You are beautiful. You will endure. And you will flourish.

Always remember that.

Love, Lisa

…and to that friend from many moons ago, thank you. You know who you are…

Blogs I updated this week:

Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide – added a 2019 study of a 26-year-old woman who used a hydrogen peroxide enema.

Feel Good Fridays

A 1903 engraving of Joan of Arc by Albert Lynch featured in the Figaro Illustre magazine

A 1903 engraving of Joan of Arc by Albert Lynch featured in the Figaro Illustre magazine

I hope you all had a wonderful week! Mine has had wonderful ups and laughable downs, but here we sit at the end of the week! Happy Friday!!!

Today I’m inspired by the tenacity of my fellow EndoWarriors. Women who have been handed a nasty hand of cards, yet continue to move forward, stand tall, and are not afraid to reach out for help or comfort when needed. Even on the downer days, wrapped up in a heating pad, popping pain medications, rubbin’ on CBD oil, or crying in a ball on the floor: that inner strength remains.

We lift one another up. Hold each other when we’re down. Fight for one another when the cause arises. We are a sisterhood. An army. A mighty force. We are incredible. And moreso with the bonds we’ve forged.

“Behind her gentle character, the strength of armor was found.”
― Erin Forbes, Fire & Ice: The Kindred Woods

Whatever sort of week or day you’re having, know that you ARE a mighty Warrior. And you have the support of those around you.

Stand tall, Sisters, and consider yourself hugged.

Love, Lisa

Blogs I updated this week:

C-Sections & Endometriosis: Added a March 2018 study of a 35-year-old woman with c-section Endo; added a February 2019 study of 8 cases of Endometriosis developing in c-section scars; and added a February 2019 study of 2 women with c-section scar Endo.

Dungeons & Dragons & Donuts: Added our January 20, 2019, adventure (Sorry we’re a little behind…). Find out how tabletop gaming can help people deal with a chronic illness, forge friendships, and disappear into a fantasy realm for a few hours once a month.

Endometriosis & the Lungs: Added a May 2019 publication of a woman who suffered from recurrent collapsed lungs NOT during her period; yet received a surgical diagnosis of thoracic endometriosis. Your symptoms do NOT have to coincide with your period. Also added another May 2019 publication of a woman who suffered repeat collapsed lungs during her period.

Endometriosis & Wine: Added a Feb. 2019 study about resveratrol and its possible anti-inflammatory benefits for fighting Endometriosis.

Feel Good Fridays!

Desert Oasis by Rennett Stowe; a pond in the desert surrounded by joshua trees at sunset
“Desert Oasis” by Rennett Stowe

Here we are, again! Already. FRIDAY!

As I saw contemplating what quote to find today, I thought of my closest friend. My seester, Rosie. We’ve known each other for over a decade, and have had some amazing adventures and have been there to hold each other as we cried over loss and turmoil.

I don’t want to imagine my life without her. We are to grow old together, rock that light-purple tinted hair (or blue), and cruise around the country in a short bus until we die.

Thinking of her made me think of all of my other sisters; my EndoSisters. And I realized that I, too, want to grow old with them, hold their hands as they cry, celebrate our victories together, and cannot imagine my life without them.

So, today’s quote is inspired by you, Rosie:

“Best friend, my wellspring in the wilderness!” ~George Elliott

Your friendship truly is an oasis in the desert. I mourn your absence. And spending our birthdays apart was hard. Know that I love you…as I know you love me. You truly are my other significant other.

And my EndoSisters, you truly are my family.