We’ll be working with Teespring.com over the next few weeks to finalize the shirt design and get the campaign started. If you’d like to buy a t-shirt, stay tuned – and remember, all of the profits will be donated to the Endometriosis Foundation of America!
Voting for our Coloring Contest will be all closed up tomorrow, May 31st, 2017, at 11:59pm PST. A winner will be announced on Thursday, June 1st. If you haven’t already voted, please click here to see our three finalists and vote for your favorite! The winning design will be featured on a t-shirt, and all profits from the shirt sales will be donated to the Endometriosis Foundation of America.
My best friend…a woman I consider my family (my Seester)…and I have known each other for TEN years this month! T-E-N! And our birthdays are 5 days apart from each other and we often do something special together.
Well, this year: we’re doing a four-day road trip o’awesome! A Seesterversary Road Trip!
So I figured, rather than me find a Feel Good Friday’s quote for tomorrow and post it early…why don’t YOU drop a comment below with your favorite quote? Inundate the comments section! Share them all with everyone ❤
And I’ll see you (and your quotes) when we return next week.
One of our readers, Harley, emailed me a question and I thought I’d put it out there for you to help:
“Can you post and ask questions for Life after Lupron? Specifically weight gain? I’ve read the whole thread on life after lupron but still haven’t quite found a lot of information. My last shot was May 8th so I’m slowly waiting for Lupron to get out of my system. I’ve been on lupron for 8 months now and I’ve gained 30 lbs. I’m so exhausted all the time that I don’t have the energy to work out at all-I usually go home and go right to sleep after working my full time job. I’m wondering if it will be possible to lose this weight, if my body will ever go back to normal, or if this is all my new normal now. I’m really open for anything to get this weight off-I’m miserable.”
If you’ve been on Lupron Depot, please let Harley know your own experience with how long it took for the side effects to dissipate and if you ever truly felt normal afterward.
Today’s quote is from an illustrator named by Pablo:
“Never underestimate the difference YOU can make in the lives of others. Step forward, reach out and help. This week reach to someone that might need a lift”
It goes hand-in-hand with my webinar this week, as well as how I try to live my life daily. Reach out any way that you can to whomever may need it. And if you truly feel that you have nothing to give, offer at least your ear or your shoulder. Sometimes that’s all someone may really need.
So, you may be reading this because you have a surgery pending, or you’ve had surgery and want to know if it was the “right” one. Well, when it comes to Endometriosis, there are typically two ways of dealing with the lesions that I’ve read of. If there’s more, share with me, please! Whichever way your surgeon opens you up : laparotomy or laparoscopy, robotic-assisted or not – your surgeon will still need to decide how best to handle the lesions he or she finds within your body.
Excision – removing the entire lesion by cutting a margin of healthy flesh around the lesion – see the graphic above, scooping the healthy soil around the flower to get the roots, and then some.
Ablation – destroying the lesion by burning the surface away. Like freezing off a mole or wart, but burning away the Endo. The graphic above with the flamethrower may leave the roots of the lesion, and unhealthy Endometriosis tissue, behind…
Is one better than the other? That’s purely a matter of opinion, but the popular opinion is, “yes!” There are countless studies that agree. But why?
Ablation only affects the surface of the lesion by destroying the tissue. It may leave unseen portions of the disease beneath the surface, which may allow for speedy recurrence of Endometriosis growth and symptoms. Ablation may also cause further scar tissue to develop – you are literally burning or melting the lesion away. Other names for ablation may include cauterization, vaporization, and fulgeration. Terms for some of the tools that may be used during ablation can be electrosurgical devices, thermocoagulation devices, lasers, a harmonic scalpel, helium or argon plasma therapy, and the cavitron ultrasonic surgical aspirator (CUSA).
Excision (sometimes called resection) removes the entire lesion, as well as a healthy bit of flesh around the lesion. The surgeon hopes to remove all traces of that particular lesion, in the attempt to make recurrence more difficult. The more lesions that can be excised, the better chances you may have at a longer symptom-free life. Tools can be cold, hard cutting tools such as scissors or even lasers (but…but…heat energy – burning!?!) – nope, lasers are often used for excision surgeries to cut around the lesions and harvest it out whole.
You may be interested to go back, grab a copy of your operation report, and compare these tools and techniques. What exactly DID your surgeon do? Or you can use this information to better ask questions of your doctor prior to a pending surgery.
Imagine an avocado (mmmmm avocadoooo) – you slice that bad boy open, remove the pit, and discover a bit of browning on the surface. Nasty bruises and icky…But, there’s plenty of good avocado still to be enjoyed. If you only scraped off the surface of that brown spot, you’d likely still have MORE brown spot beneath it – that rotten little bruise extends deeper into the avocado flesh (delicious green flesh). You’d want to take a spoon and scoop out the brown spot in it’s entirety, and enjoy the fresh avocado that you have remaining.
Also, think of an iceberg. The tip is only visible above the surface of the water, but the iceberg can extend for quite a long while beneath the waves. Endometriosis lesions do the same. Who knows what’s lurking beneath the surface. And if the entire iceberg – um, Endometriosis lesion – isn’t removed, it may resurface.
Studies have shown that women who undergo excision surgery of Endometriosis lesions have less painful periods, less painful bowel movements, and chronic pelvic pain than women who underwent ablation. Studies also indicate that painful sex levels remain about the same for both excision and ablation surgeries.
Women who undergo ablation surgery for Endometriosis have a 40-60% chance of recurrence, sometimes within months of surgery. In contrast, 75-85% of women who undergo excision surgery claim long-term relief. I personally have undergone two excision surgeries, within two years of each other. Some of my Endometriosis was in similar areas of my body as my first surgery, but some was found in new locations…My surgeon opted instead of excising (or even ablating) a lesion on my diaphragm, to leave it there for safety’s sake – nobody wants a perforated diaphragm! Excision surgery may not be ideal in every situation – and a skilled surgeon will be able to know when, and when not, to cut. Even then, it may not work and you still may be slated for a future surgery. The only guarantee with this illness: there is no guarantee.
In the end, it’s not all about the type of surgery or the tools used – it boils down to the skill level of the surgeon and their method of dealing with Endometriosis. How competent are they? Do they do excision or ablation? How often do they perform excision surgeries? What’s their recurrence rate among patients? Ask questions! Get answers! Be comfortable and confident with your surgeon’s skills.
And, as always – there is no cure for Endometriosis. We may get relief from medication, supplements, lifestyle changes, or even surgeries, but there is always, always, the chance for recurrence. Listen to your body. And don’t be afraid to head back in for another consultation…
I’d like to extend a special Thank You to Sarah Soward, a local artist and EndoSister who granted me permission to use a detail of her Endo-Graphic as our cover photo for today. To view the entire image and all of the information contained there, please visit her site. You can also view and purchase her other artwork here.
~ Again, I am a layman. I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. If curious, do your own research Validate my writings. Or challenge them. And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always. Yours ~ Lisa
Sandy has questions for our readers! Sandy was 33 when she was diagnosed with Endometriosis. Now 39, her pain has returned and she needs our help!
“Hi, I have posted before IDK name maybe Buffie1313. Anyway about 6 years ago I did get the shots that put you through menopause. I have struggled with my weight ever since. I did get the perfect wavy curly hair I always dreamed of. I noticed a few months ago my curls looked as if they where going bye bye. They pretty much are now. I have been able to start losing weight. And….my endo is back!!! The shots took close to 6 years to go away. I am getting the stabbing pain on my right lower abdomen, I always got it there. Now on my far left abdomen like hip bone or pelvic bone. My endo was not just before my period. It was all the time maybe with a few day break. I really feel like it is coming back with vengeance. I hurt through out my day off and on every day. When I am being active I feel like I am being stabbed on both points I said above left hip pelvis can be all day. I am feeling the pressure pain and stabs down in our lady area and other area down in that area. I refuse to do shot ever again!! To be really honest I am scared. Before sex started hurting. I had so much pressure pain down there the slightest extra pressure from sex was tearful. I have a long way to go for real life menopause to end this for good. What have you all tried that helps with this? FYI I am already on hydrocodone for neck problems..Thank God can you imagine how much worse this pain would be? But, never the less I have the stabbing, the feeling someone is taking a melon ball scooper to my insides. Any advice?”
Our friends with the Endometriosis Family Support Group have reached out and will be allowing me the great honor of speaking for their monthly Webinar this month! So, on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, at 7pm PST, please feel free to join us! It’s FREE! Registration is required, though, so you receive log-in information. Please email Megan at megan@RMCcharity.org to RSVP.
I’ll be speaking about how you, yes YOU, can fight back in little ways. Since I’ve no medical or nutritional background, I’m not talking about the diet, exercise, pills, procedures, supplements, or surgeries – nah. Not that.
I mean the small ways of fighting back. Regaining a sense of control. Giving back to the Endo community, participating in studies, fundraising for an organization, speaking to schools, embracing other EndoSisters, etc. We don’t have to have loads of money, be a part of a corporation, or work for a non-profit in order to make a difference. We…