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. ❤
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.
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.
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:
To the stars through difficulty; and,
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.
…and to that friend from many moons ago, thank you. You know who you are…
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.
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.
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.
It’s Friday. The end of the week. The middle of April! I hope you’re doing well.
Today’s is a lesson in courage…
Yesterday I had my annual ultrasound; it was my first since June 2018…and I had both the transvaginal and the traditional over-the-belly ultrasounds. My first since my two 2018 surgeries. And I was excited.
Both ovaries were found. Exhale a sigh of relief! I’m always worried one will be hiding (usually my right)…and tucked under something via adhesions. The right was visualized and the image captured on still-frame. The tech moved to do the same to the left ovary. She found it, snapped an image, and:
“It seems you have a little cyst action going on,” she says.
“My left one is known for that,” I reply.
She looks a little deeper and longer. Snaps a few images. “Maybe one of those endometriomas…” she pondered.
My heart sank. “During all my past surgeries, it’s always had one on the left ovary.”
Maybe. Maybe not. But…maybe.
I won’t see my doctor until April 22nd to talk about the results of the ultrasound. I know that I need to wait to hear it from him. I know that I am not in any pain. I’ve not had the symptoms of Endometriosis since I healed from my November surgery. I know that I shouldn’t be dwelling on the “maybe.”
But I cried on the drive home. I tried to cheer myself up with a manicure at the mall. It worked until I was alone again in the car. And I cried again. I walked through the front door…and my husband was there. He immediately scooped me into a hug, “What’s wrong?”
I blabbered about the visit through sniffles and that weird grief-voice people sometimes get after long cries. He led me to the couch, shifted our position so I could more readily smoosh into his armpit and shoulder, and he stroked my head and just let me cry and worry.
He reassured me that I will see my doctor on the 22nd. And reiterated that I hadn’t been in any pain. But also agreed with me that just knowing it may be in my body again, this soon, was disheartening.
“I feel like it’s never going to end,” I remember saying.
We watched a bit of TV together on the couch and I then decided to clean the bathroom. We have guests coming this weekend and it’s needed…and I thought the distraction would be helpful. But in the middle of scrubbing the tub, I broke down again. A good ol’ ugly cry.
I wrote about it in my journal. I went to bed still feeling saddened and betrayed by my body.
And I’m sharing it here. Why?
Today is a new day. Life is full of maybes. And I am NOT in any pain. I may have a regular cyst. Or I may have an endometrioma. But as of right now: I don’t have ANY pain. My doc may likely order another ultrasound in a few months to monitor the cyst. Hopefully it’s just a regular cyst and will fade on it’s own.
While getting dressed this morning, I found my old t-shirt from Lauren Siciliano. On the back of it, it reads, “Endometriosis Awareness. Courage, Faith, Strength & Hope.“
Today I need each of those qualities. And wearing the shirt helps.
Maybe you’re going through something similar today…hold onto that courage, faith, strength, and hope that I know you possess. Cling to it, desperately. Don’t let it go.
Today’s quote is about personal growth and forging ahead. It’s a poem by Roy T. Bennett titled “Don’t Just.” And I love it. Take it to heart. And do what you can. Have wonderful weekend and I’ll see you guys next week. I hope to have time to blog about our walk next week! An army of Warriors!
Don’t just learn, experience. Don’t just read, absorb. Don’t just change, transform. Don’t just relate, advocate. Don’t just promise, prove. Don’t just criticize, encourage. Don’t just think, ponder. Don’t just take, give. Don’t just see, feel. Don’t just dream, do. Don’t just hear, listen. Don’t just talk, act. Don’t just tell, show. Don’t just exist, live.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
My 4th Endo Excision Surgery: updated the billed costs of surgery since I received Assistant Surgeon bills for both the Endo excision and the colo-rectal surgery. The total billed for my entire November procedure is $235,429.60. Insurance paid their shares and I’m (so far) zero out of pocket, other than my $2,250 co-pay. How do people do this without insurance?!?