All is well

Woman standing in towel showing stomach after laparoscopic surgery a week earlier; four incisions covered by bandages. Taken by Lisa Howard, July 2018
© Lisa Howard; 2018

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.

My 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.

Healthline.com Asked Me to Help!

 

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Screenshot from Healthline.com; 1/31/18

 

I’m so excited I’m going to BURST!

Earlier this month Healthline.coms staff asked if I would be interested in writing a few pieces for their site.  I’ve enjoyed the information they’ve had to offer in the past, and have been honored with a few of their blog awards, so I jumped at the chance to help!

They requested two things:

  1.  An Open Letter to their readers about my experience with Endometriosis, and any thoughts I wanted to share; and
  2. Tips & Tricks on handling painful sex that can sometimes accompany Endometriosis.

I jumped at the chance and began writing.

After I submitted the two pieces, I was then advised that Healthline.com would like to compensate me for my work.  Whua?!? You’re going to PAY me to write about Endometriosis and spreading awareness and helping support others?  …Now if you know me, you know I have this little unwritten moral code: if I make any funds dealing with Endometriosis awareness, fundraising, or the blog, I’m donating it straight to the Endometriosis Foundation of America.  I asked if they could just donate the money directly to the EFA for me; however, due to accounting reasons and stuff, they couldn’t.  So as soon as these funds hit my bank account *poof* they’ll be going straight to the EFA.

I will not, nor will I ever, profit from this damn disease.

BUT, I’m SO honored and excited and jazzed and thrilled and … excited! 😀 I wanted to share these two pieces with you.  If either of them resonates with you, please feel free to share with anyone and everyone.

The Open Letter:  Hey Girl, You Don’t Have to Live with Severe Period Pain

Painful Sex:  The Boss Babes’ Guide to Sex with Endometriosis

Thank you, Healthline staff, for this incredible opportunity for outreach and support.

If you read the articles and want to chime in your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you 🙂

Totally Not Endo-Related

Desert View Tower in San Diego County, California

Good morning!

WordPress allows me to upload videos to my site, so I thought I’d give it a try with a very, very important video.  Well, important to me. ❤

On April 1, 2017, my husband and I pulled off a fantastic April Fool’s Day event.  We got married…again!  🙂  James and I were formally wed on June 8, 2016, in a small ceremony at our local County Registrar’s office.  My mum, brother-in-law, and his lovely wife attended.  And we kept it a secret from *most* of our friends and family.

On April 1st, we had our ceremony at the Desert View Tower in Jacumba Hot Springs, California, with our friends and family.  The Tower is one of our favorite places to visit, not only for the beautiful views, but for the history, the pups, and the beautiful people who live there.  The desert, a Dune-themed ceremony, tacos, cupcakes, dancing, and camping.  It was perfect.

We didn’t exchange rings during our ceremony.  Instead, we offered rings to each of our guests, as a pledge of our love and loyalty to each of them.  I still get warm and fuzzy when we hang out with friends who are still wearing their rings.  ❤  We made our big “April Fool’s” announcement after our ceremony and dinner. 🙂  And I’m so glad we opted to keep it a surprise.

Celebrating our union with friends and family in our own wonderful way.  Such an incredible memory.

I am so grateful.  And we are both so loved.

Our 3-minute video:

Video by Compass Media Productions

Photographs by Lynn Fernandez