March 1st 2017. How ironic March is Endometriosis Awareness month and here I am two days post surgery from Endometriosis.
I have suffered from Ovarian Cysts for over 10 years (who knows if it's related or not) and just last Spring I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. I have friends who have had it for years and it looked painful but I never really understood what it was.
To be basic about it, it's the cells of your uterus growing outside of your uterus. Which you can imagine with the wanes and waxes of women's cycle's can wreak havoc on the inside.
Many women suffer infertility as a result of this disease. Endometriosis itself has no cure and not any particular reason why women have it for the most part. For me, we believe it to be caused by my c-sections. Cells were transferred from my uterus into my abdomen during the process of my daughter(s) being born. I never seemed to have an issue after my first c section, I only noticed after the birth of my second daughter.
I noticed a small lump on the end of my c-section scar. I sort of noticed it and then it would seem to not bother me. In the heat of the summer it would "flare up" a bit but then be fine. Then last spring it started to really bother me. It would feel like a hot knife being put to my belly and it would radiate up my side, back and across my abdomen.
According to The Endometriosis Network Canada one in every 10 women have this disease. Now I can only assume some maybe don't feel it as much as others, because by this fall I was in excruciating pain and even the 4 weeks leading up to my surgery I was in pain daily. I believe of course a lot of my pain was exasperated by stress (this is a while other blog post coming for you). But also of course, as the cells grow more through the abdomen, more pain comes.
This lead to just two days ago me being in a hospital. They removed the lump like scar tissue at the end of my c section scar, Endo growth and my Fallopian tubes. Removal of the tubes reduced chances of cancer later in life. Since I was done having babies, this was of course a no brainer for me. Sad still? Yes of course, but my heart bleeds for those that struggle with the inexplicable infertility that goes hand and hand with Endometriosis.
Again there is no cure. The cells removed have been removed, but they will grow back. Potentially leading to further surgeries. But for me, I am in the process of discovering proper diet to help control what I can in the meantime. Prolong any future surgeries as much as I can.
I can only tell me story of Endometriosis, and it's different for every woman. I encourage you to research and ask friends whom may be suffering to gain a better understanding. It's far more then just "painful periods". I have a friend who tells me the first day of her period she throws up. Every single time.