Feel Good Fridays

heart drawn into a steamy window
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

Today’s quote is for you. Just for you.

“No matter how much darkness life brings, fight, because darkness can’t exist without lights. As long as we’re alive and trying, we’ll get through this hell,”

― Jessica E. Larsen

Please, never ever ever stop fighting.

Much love, Lisa.

Feel Good Fridays

woman in a long yellow gown standing against a rock arch near Lone Pine, CA
Featuring: Lisa Howard “Measured by Numbers: Foundation” Photo by Brandy Sebastian

Today is a special day. A few years ago, a wonderful Warrior, friend, and photographer started a project to raise awareness of Endometriosis and follow the journeys of several fellow Warriors.

Brandy Sebastian has a gallery showing of several of these images opening tomorrow in Escondido at The Photographer’s Eye: A Creative Collective.

Each image features a different model and each image discusses different aspects of dealing with Endometriosis.

This is my image. My word, granted to me by Brandy, is “Foundation.”

Measured by Numbers” an Endometriosis Awareness Project by Brandy Sebastian Featuring: Lisa Howard: “Foundation”

”We are all strong enough to stand up and reach for the hand of a Warrior in need.Each of us possesses the power to build greatness. We each started alone, fought the emotions, and found our strength.And we all found each other, brought together in a group, united by our circumstance.

Forged and bonded by our bodies and hearts. We accompany one another to difficult doctor’s appointments. Encourage each other through surgeries and treatments. Reach out and embrace others who are struggling. Cry together. Laugh together. Grieve together. And push on together.

What started as a quest for answers has morphed into a group, a walk, a presence – an incredible show of force. Countless Warriors, together, always.

Never alone.

Ever again.

Written by: Lisa Howard

Dress Rental Designed by & Discounted by: Alice Andrews Designs

Portion of Dress Rental cost paid for by: Lisa Howard

Photoshoot assistants: Erin Curlee & Lora Aimswill

I am honored. Humbled. And uplifted. You always make me feel stronger than I think I am.

If you wish to see the gallery in person, please visit either the opening show Saturday, July 10th, or the gallery while the exhibit is available until August 7, 2021.

If you wish to see other images from Brandy’s project, you may check out her Instagram and Facebook pages. This project is ongoing and far from finished.

Thank you, Brandy, for all that you do while you continue to endure your own Endometriosis journey. We love you.

If you feel alone with this illness, know that you are not. And if you ever need to talk, I’m right here.

Feel Good Fridays

log cabin in the mountains
Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

It’s July! Already! Woohoo!

How the year is flying by!

While searching for quotes today, this one settled into my heart nicely.

“If you are faced with a mountain, you have several options.

You can climb it and cross to the other side.

You can go around it.

You can dig under it.

You can fly over it.

You can blow it up.

You can ignore it and pretend it’s not there.

You can turn around and go back the way you came.

Or you can stay on the mountain and make it your home.”
― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

I absolutely love it.

So many of us have been dealt a hand of cards that we’re literally stuck with. So, let’s nestle down, get comfy, have a nice cup of tea, and own it. ❤ Who’s coming over for my “Embrace This Life” housewarming party? 🙂 I can’t do it without ya.

Have a beautiful weekend. And stay safe.

Blogs I Updated This Week:

New Case Study – Endo In the Buttcrack: I didn’t think I’d EVER get to update this one…but (butt?) I did! There’s a June 2021 study of a patient with an Endometrioma on her BUTTHOLE three months after an anal fissure surgery! OMFG.

Feel Good Fridays

astronaut taking off helmet
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

It’s been another draining week. A good friend of mine, Lora, left me a little Marco Polo video that I finally watched this morning. And it was so damned uplifting I asked for permission to share a portion of it here.

And here it is. May her words remind you that you, too, possess the strength to get through this.

“You’ve got this. Really. I know you’ve got this…And I know that it makes you tired. And I know that it makes you not happy. Um, but I know – I know also that things are going to work out…

I just want you to know that you are strong. I know you know that, and I know you have your bad days and I know you’re on the ground sometimes just balled up in tears, but you find strength in places where I just cannot imagine. And you’ve got to reach for that.

Okay?

You’re going to get through this….

Keep up the positive thinking….

Just know that I am thinking of you and you have this amazing, beautiful, magical strength about you and just bring that up – bring that up into your heart and give yourself a limited amount of time to dwell on the negative, then focus on the positive…”

~Lora

I’ve been absolutely non-stop jumping from medical appointment to medical appointment over the past few months and have a few weeks more ahead. I’ve had discouraging news on the Endo-front. And a lot of dental issues, mystery butthole issues, I haven’t been sleeping well, and whacky hormones. I’ve been hit with a few financial whammies as well. I’m just exhausted. So if you’ve reached out or wondered where I’ve been, sorry…just haven’t been in a good place lately. I miss researching and blogging, though.

But Lora’s message is well-received.

I’ve listed out the craziness of my medical appointments for 2021. No wonder I’ve been exhausted and feeling overwhelmed and overall-sad…this too shall pass and everything will be okay:

  • January 5, 2021: hemorrhoid band ligation
  • January 26, 2021: Covid-19 Rapid test result
  • January 27, 2021: standard results Covid testing
  • February 1, 2021: dental cleaning
  • February 2, 2021: 1-month hemorrhoid follow-up
  • February 9, 2021: 3-month Endo post-op follow-up
  • February 17, 2021: cavity filling & dental implant work
  • March 1, 2021: suture removal re: implant post
  • March 9, 2021: 1st Covid-19 vaccination shot
  • March 16, 2021: consult for throbbing root canal tooth
  • March 31, 2021: scan of root canal tooth
  • April 5, 2021: 2nd Covid-19 vaccination shot
  • April 12, 2021: root canal tooth extraction
  • April 14, 2021: consult with PCP to discuss anal leakage and possible hemorrhoids
  • April 27, 2021: recurrent hemorrhoid consultation with colo-rectal surgeon
  • May 3, 2021: dental cleaning
  • May 11, 2021: hemorrhoid banding ligation and external hemorrhoidal anal skin tags cut off
  • May 18, 2021: annual exam and pap smear
  • May 24, 2021: consultation with GI regarding anal leakage
  • June 1, 2021: mammogram
  • June 2, 2021: annual bloodwork
  • June 3, 2021: pelvic ultrasound
  • June 7, 2021: cavity filling and dental impression for upper & lower implants
  • June 8, 2021: follow-up re pelvic ultrasound
  • June 8, 2021: hemorrhoid band ligation
  • June 9, 2021: telemedicine visit to discuss bloodwork results with PCP
  • June 10, 2021: eye exam
  • June 21, 2021: picked up new glasses
  • June 22, 2021: consult with dentist regarding newly-chipped crown

Upcoming:

  • June 30, 2021: chipped crown #13 removal
  • July 2, 2021: follow-up bloodwork
  • July 6, 2021: hemorrhoid band ligation follow-up
  • July 7, 2021: dental implants (upper#14 and lower#30) delivery & fitting
  • July 9, 2021: telemedicine follow-up with PCP re bloodwork
  • August 4, 2021: dental cleaning
  • September 21, 2021: 3-month follow-up with eye doctor
  • December 9, 2021: pelvic ultrasound re Endometriosis
  • December 14, 2021, pelvic ultrasound follow-up

Whatever you are enduring, too, shall pass and we will pull through this together.

Much love. Lisa

PS – I don’t know why, but the image above just spoke to me. I love it. ❤

Feel Good Fridays

Well, I’ve had another whirlwind week. I’m exhausted. There’s been no real time for R&R. I’m looking forward to spending tomorrow with my husband doing 100% n-o-t-h-i-n-g.

I hope your week has gone well.

Today, I share a quote by my cousin. He says it every time we hug. And every time we talk on the phone. A girlfriend of mine who had met Aaron a few years ago texted it to me last night. And right now, it’s exactly what I need to hear.

So, you get it, too:

“You be good to you.” ~Aaron Edlund

Always.

This will forever be one of my favorite awkward-selfies with friends and family ❤

Feel Good Fridays

Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

It’s been one hellava week. Insanely busy at work. Insanely busy with doctor’s appointments. And insanely busy at the house.

I’m sorry I don’t have enough gas to scrounge the internet for a quote this morning.

I’ve used up all my spoons with countless doctor’s visits, medical bills, house bills, and small crises and I’m just plumb pooped out.

But, I wanted to take this moment to still post a feel good day, just without a quote.

Whatever crap I’m going through and whatever crap you’re going through, keep going!

Keep moving.

If ya need it, ask for help.

And always remember we’re all in this together.

Much love to you…

Lisa

Feel Good Fridays

woman crying yellow tears
Photo by Lucxama Sylvain on Pexels.com

Good morning. Happy Friday.

Can you believe 2021 is half over already? ALREADY!?!

Yesterday I had an ultrasound with the possibility of Endo growth in my cul-de-sac. This technician is so amazeballs she hasn’t been wrong yet with my body, my Endo, and my surgery outcome. I’ll talk to my Doc on Tuesday to go over it, his thoughts, my (lack of) of horrific symptoms, and a plan. I know it will be a lot of “sit, watch, and wait,” but even the possibility of it being back led me to a tail-spin of grief last night.

I made it most of the 40-minute drive home without crying…until The Killers “Everything Will Be Alright” popped on the radio. Then the waterworks started. I vented to some friends and sobbed into my husband’s shoulder when he got home from work. We went out for comfort food for dinner, talked about it, and I’m a lot calmer today than yesterday.

But while digging around the great big Internet this morning for a quote, I was hit in the face with this one:

“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.”

― Elizabeth Edwards

Yesterday’s news was not the end of the world. And it’s only just a possibility. And, right now, my pain levels have been ooooh soooo minimal. Everything will be okay.

But it hit me. And it hit hard. And I began to mourn all of the things I may not have because of it. BUT…I wouldn’t be where I am right now in a better frame of mind if it weren’t for the support of friends and loved ones. So, thank you.

And the offer always stands: if you need someone to talk to, I am always here for you. Even if we may be in this same boat together. Last night I needed friends to pull me out of the sea, and it was beautiful. I may need my own help from time to time, but it doesn’t mean I’m not here to help you, too.

Much love,

Lisa

Feel Good Fridays

Sapling
Photo by Skyler Ewing on Pexels.com

The last Friday of May is upon us. Already.

Where is this year going??

How have you been? The year is half-over. Let me know in the comments below. Any victories? Trauma? Need to talk? I’m here.

Today’s quote is to remind us that it’s all freakin’ possible. All of it. Even if it’s just baby steps to get there…keep moving, keep trying, keep fighting.

“Now to think that this tree was a mere seed seed someday seems unthinkable. A seed that could be carried away by the air and thrown anywhere.A seed that had no choice of its own to decide where it would grow had the inherent potential that could grow a forest!”
― Sanchita Pandey, Lessons from My Garden

And I’m serious: if you ever need to talk, shoot me a note.

May you have a wonderful weekend.

Love,

Lisa

Blogs I Updated This Week:

Endometriosis & Semen: In March 2020, Reproductive Biology published a study comparing peritoneal fluid of patients with and without Endometriosis and how it affected spermatoza. It found that the spermatoza cultured with peritoneal fluid from those with Endometriosis showed negative changes, including decreased movement and altered aminos. Although, the viability of the sperm remained intact. As usual, more studies are needed, but also points toward a potential for infertility causes in patients with Endometriosis.

Endometriosis & the Pancreas: Oooh! A new study has hit my inbox! Finally! In May of 2021, Case Reports in Surgery published an article of a 51-year-old woman who had an enlarged pancreas that also had a cyst on the tail. The cyst was discovered in 2014 and was suspected to be intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (cells which may cause pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer). It did not appear to be malignant and was therefore monitored. Later, she presented to the hospital due to epigastric pain, back pain, diarrhea with greasy stools, and anorexia. She had a prior hysterectomy, but denied any symptoms of Endo. Labs were normal. An MRI showed the defect on her pancreas. The pancreas and spleen were surgically removed and she was discharged from the hospital six days later. Pathology found the “cyst” to be consistent with Endometriosis. A year later she denied any recurrent symptoms and imaging studies showed no regrowth of any cysts.

Endometriosis in the Psoas Major Muscle: The September 2021 edition of the Journal of Gynecology Obstetrics and Human Reproduction will be publishing an article of a 25-year-old patient who successfully “treated” their symptoms with hormones (estrogen-progestogens). The study is only an abstract and I cannot access the full article, but it’s worth noting here as it is “the third case of psoas Endometriosis reported.” I’m hoping the entirety of the study becomes available online at a future date.

Parabens & Endometriosis: A study published in Environmental Research in May of 2021 concluded that parabens found in cosmetics and personal care products may increase the risks of Endometriosis, but more studies were needed.

Feel Good Fridays

Legs hanging out of a bahtub
My awkward hotel room selfie; Oct. 2019

What a week it’s been! Crazy at work. And endless chores and repairs at home. But one huge reprieve from a stressful week?

Doctor-ordered soaks in a hot bath for my healing bum.

They’ve been glorious. I’d forgotten how much I miss just relaxing in a hot, sudsy or epsom-salty bath. I even found a few “bath time meditations” on Youtube to further that relaxation.

“I love the magic of a hot bath, how time pauses and every grievance melts away.”

― Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year

What do you do to relax after a tough day or week?