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.

Feel Good Fridays

Woman with eyes closed, smiling, and spinning in the falling leaves
Photo by Bruce Mars

Another week has come to a close. Already. Oh my goodness, how time flies!

Do this with me:

“Take a deep breath. Inhale peace. Exhale happiness.” 
― A.D. Posey

And do it again. Close your eyes, let it in, fill your lungs and your being. Feel your ribs expand. Deeply. Hold it a second…then exhale. Think of some favorite memory while you do.

And smile.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Love, Lisa

Feel Good Fridays

A moment of feeling broken and betrayed while scrubbing the tub

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.

Love, Lisa

Feel Good Fridays

It’s FRIDAY! And a beautiful one at that.

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

Blogs I updated this week:

Dungeons & Dragons & Donuts: I added our December session, Chapter 22!

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?!?

Feel Good Fridays

Handwritten alphabet

This one goes out to all of you who may be struggling with…well, anything.


“Who cares if plan A, B and C didn’t work, there’s a whole darn alphabet!” 
― Haleigh Kemmerly


Never, ever, ever give up. Whatever it may be. Always keep pushing.

Have a glorious weekend! Love, Lisa

Blogs I Updated This Week:

Dungeons & Dragons & Donuts: added Chapter 21 (our November 2018) session and reformatted the page to make reading it a little easier.

Endometriosis & the Appendix: added a March 2019 study of a woman who went to the hospital because of bloating, right-sided abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Guess what they found?

Endometriosis & the Lungs: added a March 2019 study of a woman who coughed up blood during her period. Her surgery, diagnosis, and prognosis await your prying eyes!

Feel Good Fridays

Ripples of a pond

March 22nd already! Endo Awareness Month is almost over. But that doesn’t mean we have to stop spreading awareness!

Mother Theresa said it best:

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” 
― Mother Teresa

Never feel like you have no worth, no affect on others, or no power. You do. You absolutely do.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend. Love, Lisa

Blogs I Updated This Week:

Free Webinar with Dr. Aykut Bayrak – the Endometriosis Family Support Center posted the video of the webinar, in case you couldn’t watch it live.

Feel Good Fridays

Blood red full moon

Another week is over. March is half-way through! How are you doing? Good, I hope. Do let me know in the comments below.

Today’s quote is inspired by my week of ups and downs. I’ve been a moody beast, that’s for sure. Lo and behold, my period snuck up on me…I had skipped February and had no clue when I would start this month. Yesterday…I started yesterday 😉 Which explains the nearly week-long ordeal of insane, extreme emotions.

“It takes a lot of time, focus and energy to realize the enormity of being the ocean with your very own tide every month. However, by honoring the demands of bleeding, our blood gives something in return. The crazed bitch from irritation hell recedes. In her place arises a side of ourselves with whom we may not—at first—be comfortable. She is a vulnerable, highly perceptive genius who can ponder a given issue and take her world by storm. When we’re quiet and bleeding, we stumble upon the solutions to dilemmas that’ve been bugging us all month. Inspiration hits and moments of epiphany rumba ‘across de tundra of our senses. In this mode of existence one does not feel antipathy towards a bodily ritual so profoundly and routinely reinforces our cuntpower.” 
― Inga Muscio, Cunt: A Declaration of Independence

Embrace your inner You-ness. In all it’s (irritated) glory. I know we gals tend to be on our period in groups. If you’re riding the crimson wave with me today, hold your head up high and know it’ll be over soon. Then…THEN…we get to do it again in 25-30 days!!!

Have a glorious weekend and be well. Love, Lisa.

Feel Good Fridays

Back of a woman showing her shoulders and neck line

Man, these past two weeks at work have been exhausting. Purely exhausting. It’s been tense, we’re short-staffed at the moment, and it’s full of deadlines. And also getting ready for our upcoming March Endo events is equally poopy-outty. I’m sleeping at night, but don’t feel rested when I wake up.

I’m wiped.

I’m excited about March 16th and March 30th. So, no regrets. But it’s important to realize that when you’ve stretched yourself too thin or have too much on your plate that you MUST focus on some sort of proper rest and relaxation.

Make some “Me” time. Set down everything else. Breathe. Let it all fall away.

So, if you’re like me today and you’ve just reached a point of pure exhaustion, let’s do this together:

“Relaxing the shoulders is vital for relaxation in general. However, owing to the effects of gravity, relaxation is problematic unless we let the shoulders remain in their natural place. Let the shoulders drop, or settle in harmony with gravity, into their most comfortable position. It isn’t too difficult to do this for a moment, but to sustain this condition unconsciously in our lives is another matter. We raise our shoulders unnaturally when we lean on a desk or hold the telephone between our shoulders and ears, when we are shocked by a loud noise, and who knows how many other times throughout the day. And the unsettling of the shoulders doesn’t have to be large to produce anxiety, stiff necks, and headaches. Just slightly raising them will create tension, and this tension throws the nervous system out of balance.

When do we raise the shoulders in daily life? What are we feeling at that moment and leading up to that moment? Remembering that the body reflects the mind, and that the raising of the shoulders not only creates tension but also is a physical manifestation of psychological tension itself, what are the roots of this tension? Bringing the mind into the moment, let’s observe ourselves in a state free of preconceived ideas or beliefs. Don’t guess at these questions. Observe yourself in relationship to others and the universe” 
― H.E. Davey, Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation

It isn’t much. But it’s a little. An easy, non-time consuming, quick way to take a moment, draw a breath, and relax those shoulders.

That’s one step. The rest we’ll find time to relax a step at a time. Sometimes we cannot control our outer-stressors. And deadlines must be met. But today? Today I can do this.

Breathe. And drop my shoulders.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend. And find some time to just relllllaaaaax.

Much love to you. Lisa.

Feel Good Fridays

Lisa Howard holding a sign that reads "I am 1 in 10. My disease gave me purpose. And I fight with an Army of Warriors.  Endo Awareness"
(yes, that IS a plant sticking out of my head)

Today is March 1st. A jumpstart to Endometriosis Awareness Month!

I embrace my diagnosis. Am grateful for answers. And am so thankful for the family and community it has created.

The pain sucks. The surgeries suck. The worry it causes my family sucks. The treatments suck.

But I have you. And you have me. And that doesn’t suck.

Not one bit.

Keep on fighting, Warriors. And if you ever need to talk, I’m right here.

Love, Lisa