On October 21, 2020, I went in for my tag-team surgery with my fellas: Dr. Mel Kurtulus and Dr. Matthew Schultzel. Each had their own specific tasks while they worked together to make sure I was happy, healthy, and well:
Dr. Mel Kurtulus was going to peek around inside to see if I had any new Endometriosis growths since May or any scarring or other things that may need to be cleaned up.
If this sounds familiar, we did a similar tag-team effort with these two amazing surgeons back in November of 2018, but for the opposite side of my colon.
The best part? I have had ZERO, zilch, nada, no pre-op pains! The only pain I’ve had since October 21st has been healing from surgery! My November pain journal screamed of the difference in my symptoms and Endometriosis pain!
Diagnosed at 32 years old, Chenille shares her Endometriosis journey with us today, four years later. She’s had a total of seven surgeries for Endometriosis, including a hysterectomy and recurrent Endometriosis. And she has recently started seeing an immunologist. Hopefully this new course of treatment leads to long-lasting relief! Chenilles is sharing her story in the hopes that she can talk to others that have seen a similar journey of aggressive recurrent endometriosis.
I have had a long, long journey that seems like it will never come to an end. When I was first diagnosed with stage 4 endo I was experiencing very painful, heavy menstrual cycles. Within 2 years and after 2 surgeries I had a complete hysterectomy.
What an incredible Journey leading up to my fifth surgery! Covid-19 postponed my surgery date by a week but, just in the nick of time, California’s governor lifted some lockdown restrictions that allowed for my surgery to move back to it’s original date of May 13, 2020. Today, June 10, 2020, marks one month since my surgery! Already! I am overjoyed with the results and the skilled hands of my surgeons.
MariaElisa am was diagnosed with Endometriosis this year at the age of 25 after a 10-year struggle for answers.
MariaElisa’s Journey: I got my first 10cm cyst at age 12, delayed removing it because I was “too young”. Once they decided to do emergency laparoscopy it ruptured and had a torsion which damaged my right ovary and Fallopian tube.
Got my first period at 14, all seemed normal until I turned 16. Severe, heavy painful periods. They started to become more irregular and i was left in debilitating pain on my legs and lower back. Doctor after doctor kept telling me being a girl with these pains isn’t anything to be worried about because my sonograms and paps were “normal” except my enlarged left ovary which I’ve known about for years.
Recently, a study hit my inbox about Endometriosis mimicking an inguinal hernia. So, of course, my interest was piqued and research had to take place! Be warned, though, it’s considered VERY rare. In all the literature I’ve read, only 42 cases have been referenced as being documented inguinal Endo. But when has rarity stopped me from sharing something about Endometriosis? Yeah. Never. Here we go!
What is AN inguinal hernia?
An inguinal hernia is the most common type of hernia (about 70% of hernias are inguinal) and usually manifests as a small lump in the groin area. Both men and women can get inguinal hernias, but it’s apparently more common in men. It occurs if there’s a small hole in your abdominal cavity which allows fat or intestines to seep through, which can a lump or swelling to occur.
“Jenny12” is a 39-year-old woman living in New York. Officially diagnosed with Endometriosis five years ago, she shares her journey with us today.
I have always had heavy, painful periods since age 9. After many OBGYN’s trying different B.C. I finally had my first lap surgery 5 years ago, and was told stage IV with some adhesions on bowels that were unable to be excised. Did not really help with the pain with my periods, so I was then given Mirena, that was a huge mistake.
Zoe, a brave EndoWarrior, shares her journey with us today…even while she has another surgery pending. We wish you all of the best of luck, Zoe!!!
I started my period by having waterfalls for periods with no regularity from age 13 but was put on the pill to manage that at age 15 and that worked. I from my teen years thankfully had no interest in having children. I am not a career woman either, I just don’t get the clucky feeling other women get when they see kids – I get that feeling when I see animals instead so I have fur babies.
Thank you to everyone for the outpouring of support from my emotional Friday. I’ve received so many virtual and in-person hugs. It’s awesome. You guys are awesome.
I wanted to let you know I’m doing well. I look forward to my meeting with my physician on April 22nd to go over the ultrasound results and have a heart-to-heart talk. And trying to remain positive.
What’s up with the above-photo? I recently developed a roll of black & white film that had been in my camera for the past several months. I couldn’t remember what was on it, but I do have one rule when it comes to my photography: one weird, creative, or special selfie must be taken. It’s often hit and miss as it’s an old camera (a Minolta XG-1 from 1982) as there’s no auto focus…haha, but it always makes for a fun project.
Yesterday I picked up my pictures from the developer here in San Diego. And the above photograph is the very first one in the pile. I had totally forgotten about taking it. Was clueless it was on there. And wasn’t prepared for the flood of emotions that boiled up to the surface. This was taken about a week after my July surgery.
I felt sad, then angry at this relentless disease, then sad again. Overwhelmingly so. But as I stared at the photo while safely tucked inside my Jeep parked in the parking garage in downtown San Diego trying not to cry, those negative feelings morphed into something else: a sense of pride, strength, and courage.
There I was, a week after my surgery: I felt well enough to shower alone. And set up the camera on the bathroom counter, tinker with settings, and cross my fingers hoping it would come out. Unashamed of the broken body that the camera would capture, I stood tall and strong.
And this photograph captured that moment.
Our moment. I know that you, EndoWarriors, have stared into the mirror at your incisions, your bandages, your scars, your pain. Stand tall with me.
We can get through this.
All is well.
Regardless of the journey…We are alive, and we are in this together.
Melanie Rossiter is writing a book about Endometriosis (which is available on Amazon) and wanted to share her Endo journey with us today.
This story is taken from the introduction of my book ‘Reclaiming Feminine Wisdom: An Empowering Journey With Endometriosis’.
My struggle back to health began two weeks after the birth of my second child. I had to have postnatal emergency surgery for a retained placenta, which was followed by pain, adhesions (scar tissue sticking tissues or organs together), and endometriosis.