If you’ve been a long-time follower of the blog, you may remember in 2014 when my surgeon found Endometriosis on my diaphragm. Several years later, it had completely disappeared (yay!). And it hasn’t been found in any of my subsequent surgeries. This research has been a lot of fun because of my own personal journey.
We’ve previously shared Endo Lady UK‘s experience with her own diaphragmatic Endometriosis, as well as a surgery to remove diaphragmatic Endo. We’ve even had a few brave readers, Lyndsayand Tabitha, share their own stories about endo on their diaphragm.
Lyndsay was 32 years old when she was diagnosed with Endometriosis. Now 37, she lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her beautiful family and wants to share her Endo Journey with us. Lyndsay is one of the rare EndoSisters whose lungs are affected by the disease!
Lyndsay’s Journey: I always had painful periods as a teenager, and into my twenties. I didn’t really think anything of it at the time.
Well, here I am, alive and doing well! Surgery was on September 21, 2016, and today is my 3-week surgiversary.
In a nutshell : my Endometriosis had returned, bringing with it a leaking cyst and a bunch of adhesions. Endo had also decided to now grow on my bowel (the outer layer of my sigmoid colon) and my ureter (the tube that carries stuff from kidneys to bladder – he had to detach my ureter, clean it up, and reattach it). AND it disappeared from my liver (doc couldn’t find any there this time). He was able to cut out all of my Endometriosis, except for a lesion that is on my diaphragm. He cut away all of my adhesions and put my organs back where they belong. I’ve still got both my ovaries and fallopian tubes. My uterus was stuck to my bowel, my ovaries and tubes were a rat’s nest, and my uterus was also stuck to the right side of my pelvic wall. It just sounds like such a mess…But, he did confirm that my bladder’s exterior AND interior were completely healthy and Endo-free.
So, Wednesday is the big day. I was talking to my Mum last night and she asked me what exactly my upcoming surgery entailed. Figured I’d share it in case you didn’t know.
Endometriosis lesions (also called implants) grow wherever they damn well please inside the body. My brain interprets them much like mushroom spores that *poof* and attach to wherever they land and grow. However, much like an iceberg, more than just the visible tip exists beneath the surface. Some people liken it to an invasive cancer, although not fatal.
A video released on April 19, 2016, discusses three surgical options for removing diaphragmatic Endometriosis. As you may know, I have Endometriosis on my diaphragm (and I’m not talking about the birth control), as do several other EndoWarriors that I know. What does that mean? Read all about Endo and the lungs or diaphragmatic Endo. If you’d like to know what Endometriosis looks like inside some patients, fast forward to the 4:01 mark of the video…
I’ve read bits and pieces here and there that Endometriosis can grow on your heart (or the lining of your heart). And have heard from a friend that she may have it on her heart. That’s scary business!
Which got my juices flowin’ to find the documented cases of Endometriosis on the heart, how it was excised (if at all), etc. Here goes ( PS – there’s not a lot out there…)!
Endometriosis is usually found within the pelvic cavity, but has also been known to travel northward and latching onto the liver and diaphragm. It has also been found on the membranes surrounding the lungs. Even rarer, it has been found on the brain, in the lymph nodes, and on the eyes. But today, we focus on the heart…which is also SO INCREDIBLY RARE. Please, I’ll preface it by saying this is so super duper rare.
I’ve read bits and pieces here and there that Endometriosis can grow on or inside of your lungs. An EndoSister had posted in one of the many Facebook support groups that I follow that she has Endo on her lungs, which causes her to cough up a lot of blood. Others replied that they have it as well, but it leaves them in the hospital with collapsed lungs every month. Which got my juices flowin’ to find the documented cases of Endometriosis on the lungs, how it was excised (if at all), etc. Here goes! This is NOT meant to scare you. Just educate us all, including myself.
Endometriosis is usually found within the pelvic cavity, but has also been known to be found northward and latching onto the liver and diaphragm. It has also been found on the membranes surrounding the lungs and heart. Even rarer, it has been found on the brain, in the lymph nodes, and on the eyes.
Thoracic or Pulmonary Endometriosis is when Endometriosis implants/adhesions are found in your thoracic region, and can be found on your trachea, bronchi, diaphragm, lungs, or heart. It was first medically documented in 1953. Today, we focus on the lungs.
I realized that I’ve asked you to share your story, but haven’t actually put mine out there in one place (maybe a snippet here or there)….time to get everything out on paper so it leaves my head and heart (sorry it’s so loooooong…I couldn’t stop!). I was diagnosed when I was 35 years old in 2014.
My Journey: I started my period when I was 12 or 13 years old. I remember them hurting (but not as devastating as they have in my adult years), but figured it was normal. I grew up hearing we were cursed because of Eve’s decision to sin, punished into pain and childbirth. I also heard that some of my family members had really painful periods. So again, it was normal. Classmates said they had cramps, too…so I figured mine were just normal. I became that girl in Junior High and High School that would walk around with a hoodie tied around her waist every month because I’d almost always overflow. I had classmates come up to me during the really hard cramps, ask if I was okay, that I was white as a ghost and sweating…and I’d spend time curled up in the Nurse’s office after taking an Ibuprofen. But it was normal. Every girl went through this. Right? My family physician had wanted me to go on birth control, but just to prevent “baby accidents” from happening, which I quickly dismissed since I had no intention of having sex. Little did I know BCP may have helped with the pain…