Bloomin’ Uterus on Instagram!

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Well, it’s done!  One of our local EndoSisters from San Diego impressed upon me the importance and outreach Instagram could offer.  But, I myself an sooo not savvy when it comes to technology or these *new* *hip* sites…so, I’ve been resisting.

Luckily, this same Sister, Heidi, graciously offered to set up a Bloomin’ Uterus Instagram account and post on behalf of our group.

If you have an Instagram account and want to connect, please feel free to check out www.instagram.com/bloominuterus or @bloominuterus.

Thank you, Heidi, for all of your help!!!  You’re amazing.  And I *heart* you.

Endometriosis Awareness bracelets are here!

Yellow Endometriosis awareness bracelets


So, one night I was bored, and what do I do when I’m bored? I go shopping!

I was perusing the vendor’s site where I order the Bloomin’ Uterus buttons and decided to purchase some yellow bracelets to share with my friends, EndoSisters, and strangers!  Spreading awareness and solidarity in one fell swoop!

The outside has wrapped text that reads, “Endometriosis Awareness” and “We Stand Together.”  The text is slightly raised.  The inside has our blog’s webpage tucked away, almost invisible to the eye.  And, of course, they’re YELLOW!

Want one? Are you squirming in your chair, “HOWDOIGETONE?!?” *flailing arms and bulging eyes*

Donate $5 to my GoFundMe campaign (all proceeds are sent immediately off to the Endometriosis Foundation of America). Sorry, US orders only. No international shipping.

PS – want to make your own bracelets?  I severely enjoy http://www.24hourwristbands.com for their quality and customer service.

(Updated March 27, 2019)

Share Your Story : Mirror & Soul

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A fellow blogger, known as Mirror & Soul,  was 32 when she was diagnosed with Endometriosis.  Today she’s 38 and she wants to share her story with us.

Mirror & Soul’s Journey: She has shared her story on her blog and wishes to share it with us.  Follow this link to read her tale.

Advice to EndoSisters: Don’t give up. Look for experts in the field to treat you.

The Last Word: There is hope for cure.

If you would like to contact her you can email her here.  Or you can follow her blog here.

I want to send a special Thank You out to Mirror & Soul for sharing her story with us today and sharing a message of hope and strength!

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And if YOU would like to share your story, you can do so by clicking here.  The best part about this disease is the strong network of love and support from our fellow EndoSisters, and our friends and family, too.

Yours, Lisa.

My Pain

I’m a visual kind of person.  And I’m thinking of printing and bringing this to my surgeon for my pre-op appointment…Although I must say the past two days have been pretty much pain free. 🙂

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Where do you hurt?

Share your Story : Nurah

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Nurah was 10 when she got my first period and right away knew something was wrong. She lives in Nairobi, Kenya and shares her story with us today.

Nurah’s Journey:  You can read Part 1 of Nurah’s journey on her blog, here:  nurahpalesa.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/period-pains-endometriosis/

Words of Advice for Us: Talk about it. Don’t be quiet. Collect all the info you have & keep getting. Make a scrapbook for your daughters & sons to give their daughters (I got endo from my grandad’s mom) Just talk about it.

If you would like to contact Nurah, you can follow her blog, Nurah Palesa.

I want to send a special Thank You out to Nurah for sharing her story with us today.  And thank you for your powerful words and spreading awareness of this disease with your own blog.  You truly are a Warrior, Sister, and friend.

downloadAnd if YOU would like to share your story, you can do so by clicking here.  The best part about this disease is the strong network of love and support from our fellow EndoSisters, and our friends and family, too.

Yours, Lisa.

Share Your Story : Jen

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Jen reached out to us to share her story about her diagnosis with Endometriosis.  Now seven years after she found out she had the disease, see how she’s doing today…AND if you’re in the Sarasota, FL, area and hosting any Endo events or need a local EndoSister, here’s your gal!

Jen’s Journey: I was 23 when I was diagnosed with endometriosis, it took Doctors 5 years to diagnose me, I was lucky it wasn’t longer like most. I never had bad periods, but I did have extreme cramping & headaches. I feel pregnant a lot of the time & unfortunately I have to deal with that feeling knowing I’ll never have another child because I had a complete hysterectomy when I was 28.

I never had a support system because no one understood how I felt & that was very frustrating for me, so I kept everything hidden deep within my soul. I’ve had 8 surgeries due to this awful disease have there’s a lot of people that know me & don’t have a clue that I live with chronic pain on a daily basis. The endometriosis has come back 3 times now after my hysterectomy, in the past year I’ve had 3 surgeries to remove the endometriosis. I’m thankful that I have finally found a doctor that listens & believes me.

I walk around tall & with a smile on my face even when I feel like I’m dying. I cry in the shower & toss & turn every night because of the discomfort. After surgeries, I’ll feel good for 3-4 months then boom….I’m in severe pain AGAIN.

Two years ago I met the most supportive man I never thought was out there, I’m grateful everyday for him, he tries his hardest to understand what I feel every single day. I also feel very guilty because I show no interest in sex with him because it’s extremely painful & my guilt leads me to trying to please him every single day.

I was also recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, having these 2 chronic illnesses is life altering. I’m learning how to deal with this more & more as time disappears. I’ve taught myself to meditate & relaxation breathing; I’ve also learned how to clear my mind from over thinking because it always ends in stressful situations & if I’m even the slightest stressed, I become very I’ll for days & sometimes even weeks.

Words of Advice for Us:  You’re not a lone! Do not allow this unfortunate disease to run your life, you show endometriosis who the boss really is!

The Last Word: Do not feel sorry for yourself every day. It’s completely normal to have pity for yourself & to be depressed; any human has that right because life is challenging even being as healthy as one can be. You just have to know when to pull yourself out of that mental breakdown so it doesn’t become worse or even permanent.

If you would like to contact Jen, you can email her at jvandyke85@yahoo.com.

I want to send a special Thank You out to Jen for being brave enough to share her personal story, struggle, and victories with us today.  You are a beautiful, brave, and strong woman.  Thank you!!! Please continue your meditative efforts, every little bit helps! And please, stay in touch.

downloadAnd if YOU would like to share your story, you can do so by clicking here.  The best part about this disease is the strong network of love and support from our fellow EndoSisters, and our friends and family, too.

Yours, Lisa.

Recap : Nigeria’s 2016 Endo Awareness

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Abuja is the capital of Nigeria, located in West Africa.  I contacted the organizers of the 2016 Awareness Walk for Abuja to get some information about how their walk went.  Chukwudi Eze responded to my inquiry went above and beyond! Not only did he provide me info on their walk, but supplied a recap and photographs of several other Endo events The Endometriosis Support Group Nigeria (ESGN) hosted over the past few months.  The ESGN was founded in 2005 by Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, who was also recently awarded the Endo Hero of the Year Award by the EndoMarch Worldwide in recognition of his contribution to the cause.  Dr. Ajayi has been the financial and moral backbone for the ESGN and I’m very glad that he’s been recognized for his efforts.

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Nigeria had two Endometriosis Awareness walks, one on February 18, 2016, in Abuja, and another in Lagos on March 5, 2016.  They had over 1,000 people attend!  There was also a fundraising gala on April 9, 2016, in Lagos, themed “Come Yellow for Endo.”

Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, the wife to Nigeria’s Vice President, made an appearance and spoke to the guests at the gala event.  She encouraged doctors to rise up and find a cure for Endometriosis, stating, “It is scary and disturbing to me that millions of women and girls are living with this condition without diagnosis and more sad that several are misdiagnosed and heartbreaking to think that as we speak, so many are suffering because of the condition.”  The wives of 5 state governors also attended!  Nike Oshinowo and Millen Magese, two very strong women who have been very public about their Endometriosis battles also appeared at the Lagos fundraiser.

The ESGN also partnered with the Physicians Roundtable to fly in Dr. John Dulemba (The Womens Centre; Texas, USA), Dr. Klaus Buhler (Germany) and Dr. Victor Ajayi (Nordica, Nigeria) to train and educate medical doctors about Endometriosis and share their experiences in treating the condition.

Congratulations to all involved for such a successful and highly-publicized series of events! It’s so encouraging and uplifting to know that you only have the attention of the medical community, but the attention of politicians in your area! Together, you will accomplish greatness!  Thank you for all that you do, and all that you will continue to do, to help raise awareness, research, and funds toward combating this disease!

Know that I am saluting you from San Diego, California, USA, right now.

All photographs used with permission.

Resources:

Dr. Klaus Buhler

Endometriosis Support Group Nigeria

Newswatch Times

Nordica Fertility Centre – Dr. Victor Ajayi

Physicians Roundtable

The UnionNordica Boss Urges Nigerians to Unite Against Endometriosis

The Womens Centre – Dr. John Dulemba

This DayESGN to Hold Gala Night

Uberstyle Nike Oshinowo, Tiwa Savage, Millen Magese, Betty Irabo & More for the Endometriosis Support Group in Lagos

Vanguard – Find a Cure for Endometriosis, Dolapo Osinbajo tasks Nigerian Doctors

 

 

Our 2nd Annual Endo Awareness Walk

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Our group photo, by Richard Reyes

Well, March 26th has come and gone!  On that day, we had our 2nd Annual Bloomin’ Uterus Endometriosis Awareness & Support Walk in San Diego.

If you’d like to read about our first walk in 2015, click here.

Reading this and wondering exactly what Endometriosis is?  Read all about it by clicking here.

This year we had nearly 50 walkers (47 to be precise)! And of that, 17 of us suffer from Endometriosis.  The numbers were amazing (more than half of those who registered were able to attend)!  And we made quite the yellow wave walking around Lake Miramar!! Not only did I have the pleasure of meeting so many new EndoSisters and their loved ones…and watching them meet each other, but we had the honor of telling people about Endometriosis!  Some of our attendees even traveled from Riverside (100 miles), Redlands (110 miles), Lake Elsinore (75 miles), Escondido (30 miles), Bakersfield (231 miles), and Taft (238 miles)!  And my Mum made the drive from Tombstone, AZ (478 miles), to walk with us.  Thank you guys!  I know it was quite a hump for just a walk…but it meant so much to me.  And I know it meant so much to you.

On multiple occasions as we walked around the lake, I was stopped and asked, “What’s with all the yellow?” or “What are you guys walking for?”  And we’d have the opportunity to talk about Endometriosis, what it is, and what we were out doing.  After our walk, several of our walkers said it happened to them, too! *yay* Support and awareness!!!

A five mile walk…a few hours together…footin’ it around a gorgeous lake.  I cannot express what a beautiful day it was…not only were we blessed with beautiful sunny skies, but I mean emotionally beautiful.  I may be sore now, but every step, every blister, every aching muscle was worth it.  And it was perfect.  And I am so proud of everyone who walked, as I know that you’re proud you made the trek, too.

Knowing you’re not alone, and showing other EndoSisters that they’re not alone…that’s what the day was all about.  And thanking our families, friends, and loved ones for their support; so important!  We could not continue our days without you.

Others have expressed the same sentiment : for many, it was their first Endo event.  And many were touched by our numbers, by hugging women and talking to them about their experiences.  Talking with someone who knows precisely what they’re going through.  Truly understanding that they are not alone.

As of today (March 29, 2015), we raised $2,037.35 for the Endometriosis Foundation of America!  That’s over $1,000 over our goal!  Thank you everyone who donated!  For transparency’s sake : $1,966.00 (gofundme.com donations, button sales, skully sales), $28.00  (goodsearch.com/goodshop.com), and $43.35 from Bloomin’ Uterus t-shirt sales (teespring.com), totaling $2,037.35 sent directly to the Endometriosis Foundation of America!  And that’s not counting the $111 raised by the San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence! Thank you, Sisters (they also had several members walk with us).  Such joy!  I also have a lot of miles to still walk…haaaha.  I pledged to walk one mile for every $10 donated. I’ve got another 156 miles to walk and I will!

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2017 plans are already underway!  If you’re interested in joining us, save the date : March 25, 2017.  I do believe if we’re as big, or bigger, for 2017 we’ve outgrown the parking lot at Lake Miramar and I’m already talking to other parks and venues.  Stay tuned for more info!  I’ve also update our Gofundme campaign goal to $5,000.  Let’s see if we can raise at least $1,280 for 2017!

If you’re in the San Diego area, we meet once a month or so for our support group.  You can find more info by clicking here.

And if you’re interested in starting support groups or even a walk in YOUR area, know that YOU CAN!  Want to know how?  Get in touch with me 😉 I’d be happy to point you in a direction.  Together, we can do great things!

All photographs used with permission.  If you’d like to see all of the pictures by Richard Reyes, click here.

 

 

Padma Lakshmi spoke at the San Diego Women’s Week Inspirational Conference

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Last Friday, March 18, 2016, was the San Diego Women’s Week Inspiration Conference held at Harrah’s Casino in Valley Center, California.  I coughed up the $170 to go because I really wanted to see one of the scheduled speakers, Padma Lakshmi.  Don’t know who Padma is? Not only is she a model and TV personality, but she’s the co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America.  And a little bit of my Hero.

She has recently written a new book Love, Loss & What We Ate: A Memoir, and was on her book tour around the west coast at the time of the conference.  So, I knew I’d pick up a copy of her book on Friday.  I expected she was going to talk a lot about her book, and maybe touch up a little bit about Endometriosis and how it has affected her life and career.

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Boy, was I surprised!  She spoke for 20 minutes to the crowd of over 500 women (and a handful of men).  And the entire 20 minutes she spoke about Endometriosis!  Not only of her journey, but how it affects so many of us, the signs and symptoms, and the need for greater advocacy and research!  She encouraged women to self-advocate, to push hard in their lives and to push for the proper medical care.  It was amazing!  Blew my mind!  And she is such an incredible speaker!! She then followed her presentation with a short Q&A session about her book.

I couldn’t contain myself and yelled out, “Thank you, Padma!!!” prior to the standing ovation and applause. And she thanked me back! Now I meant it. Not only thank you for attending, but thank you for sharing your story, for advocating for women with Endometriosis, for educating others that don’t have it (or suspect they have it), for constantly pushing for new research, for hosting medical conferences, and for all that you are doing! Thank you for using your outreach and influence.

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Padma’s presentation also started a conversation at my table.  The woman to my left, Sue, has family members that suffer from Endometriosis.  And the woman to my right, Lucille, had heard about it and asked all kinds of questions about the illness.

We are not crazy. It’s not all in our heads. This is an incurable disease. And with the help of people like Padma Lakshmi and organizations such as The Endometriosis Foundation of America, we have hope.

With that being said, there were so many speakers on Friday!  And I scribbled down a few of my favorite quotes from the various speakers and want to share them with you:

“Reignite your passion and purpose in what you do.” ~Elizabeth McCormick, former Black Hawk Helicopter Pilot and Chief Warrant Officer 2 for the US Army.

“Find the thing that you want to be good at, even if someone wasn’t paying you.” Padma Lakshmi, host of Top Chef and co-founder of The Endometriosis Foundation of America.

“There is no white horse, you have to rescue yourself.” ~Jennifer Farnham, Vice President and Operations Manager of Gilbane Building Company’s Southern California Business Unit.

“Character is developed, not inherited.” ~Frank Shankwitz, co-founder of Make A Wish Foundation.

“Measure your worth in this world not how others treat you, but how you can carry yourself and how you treat others.” ~Naomi Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“This is not the end of the story. Look at what you dream for…about..and prepare yourself for that world. Live that life.” ~Naomi Tutu

“It’s not just okay to dream. It’s imperative to dream.” ~Naomi Tutu

“The difference between imperfect and I’m Perfect is an apostrophe. Change your perspective.” ~Kim Coles, actress & comedian

“Go on that quest for your own Secret Sauce. Embrace your individuality.” ~Kim Coles

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I’d like to thank the North San Diego Business Chamber for hosting the event and Xavier Bailey Photography for giving us permission to use his beautiful images that he took at the conference for today’s blog.