EndoActive’s DVD on Endometriosis is now available from endoactive.org.au SO ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!
I so wish I had a resource like this available to me when I was in the throes of despair – not knowing who to turn to for advice after I’d had a million doctor and specialist appointments with no clear answers as to why I was still in pain after 2 surgeries and what I could do to help myself…
Hellooo people of the internet & fellow EndoActivists! Someway, somehow I am a finalist for The Cosmo Women of the Year Awards. I’m up against 4 other women in the ‘Game Changer of the Year’ category – A huge surprise and incredible honour. I can’t actually believe it. To think that around this time a year ago I was lying on the couch in pain with my little cat Pepi snuggled up next to me, unable to do very much is… I don’t even know how to describe it. It was an exhilarating time because of the excitement from our petition to Bayer going viral but right before that happened, life for me was miserable, unexciting and I was unhappy. Endo was causing havoc in my life.
Taken from those wild wild storms a few months ago – yes that is FOAM not sand.
Side note: I’m eating porridge (gluten free obvs) with coconut milk, cinnamon spiced apple and smooshed banana. IT IS SO DAMN GOOD!
So the last time I wrote on here I’d just had a pre cervical cancer scare – a week after the EndoActive conference. Crikey what a come down! I really was in a glass cage of emotion. Since then I have been back to see my surgeon for a follow-up appointment on June 19 to discuss my results. As I said in my last post, my colposcopy showed pre-cancerous cells on my cervix. It was really scary at the time and I was worried. It just came as such a shock because I always expect investigative medical procedures (including both my surgeries for endo) to come back negative and for all the fuss to be for nothing. Yet they always seem to wind up quite serious! The good news about this one was that by the time my results came back, I’d already had the procedure to laser off the abnormal cells and there was nothing left to do. Despite the initial shock I can honestly say that after my follow-up appointment I’m feeling surprisingly at ease and really not at all concerned.
On Tuesday my Mum / Co-founder of EndoActive and I flew to Melbourne for the launch of the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia. Before we arrived at the launch we were feeling quite out of place and a little nervous that we wouldn’t know anyone. Cocktail parties are for mingling and there’s only so many wines you can quietly inhale and only so many paintings you can point and nod at before someone notices that you’re the Nigel hogging all the canapés.
Today I had my first grown-up job interview. (Years of cruising into bar jobs aren’t quite the same). But just six months ago I was miserably contemplating a life of unemployment. I had started to listen to the shitty little voices in my head, needling away, telling me that nobody would want me because I had Endo. I couldn’t see past my next doctor appointment. I knew that I had a strong work ethic, a mind that craved stimulation and good values to offer, but I was losing confidence.
Going public about having Endo was a big decision and one which I knew could have ramifications for me in the future. I wasn’t sure if ‘outing myself’ was the smartest move if I wanted a career. Would anyone hire me if they knew I had a chronic illness? I had the opportunity to remain anonymous. Instead, I chose to put myself out there – full name, full disclosure, total transparency. Despite the perceived risks, to me it was a no-brainer. How could I express the importance of public awareness about endo and encourage others to do the same while hiding my identity? It would be a total contradiction.
I am comin’ at you live from beneath the Pandanus. Although I’m currently in Noosa on holidays with my family, EndoActive HQ has traveled with us and is fully functioning in the tropics. We’ve literally gone troppo. So much exciting news to tell you so be sure to read to the bottom ok! First things first. Happy new year err’body. I hope this finds you well. It’s been so hectic up here organising the inaugural EndoActive consumer conference (eeee!!!) and getting in touch with lots of brave, enthusiastic EndoActive supporters from Brisbane & the Sunshine Coast who we’re going to interview and film while we’re up here. On top of that, A Current Affair popped in to see us. They were lovely. We ate Tim Tams together! I’ll tell you about that further down.
For those of you who aren’t aware, my Mum and I started EndoActive Australia & NZ a few months ago as a result of the publicity we were receiving after our petition on change.org went viral and received a whopping 74,500 signatures. You can check it out here. Now we are a non-profit, legally incorporated association which feels FANTASTIC and sounds very grown up and legit. We are so proud to have started this little thing from our living room and watched it grow and grow. Our mission is to promote education, awareness and activism about Endo as much as we can. We’ve already achieved a lot with the help of our fantastic supporters and have lots of exciting things in the pipeline. Mum has ideas coming out of her eyeballs, even while she’s asleep! She is an absolute powerhouse and I’m learning a lot. Together, we make a great team. We are currently planning the first ever consumer conference on Endo to be held in Sydney in the first half of 2015.
Today, Mum and I attended a special event at the Mamamia office. (Doing our best to rep EndoActive and our cause wherever we can) The Hon. Julia Gillard came in for a Q and A session about her recently released autobiography, ‘My Story’ and to answer questions from Mamamia readers. She was interviewed by Mamamia’s Editor in Chief – Jamila Rizvi, while a select few (about 40 staff and us) got to sit very close and watch. What a privilege. She spoke so candidly and honestly about a whole range of topics; her life before, during and after being Prime Minister, gender issues, education, policies & politics, that WONDERFUL misogyny speech (which I remember watching live during Question Time while I was interning at Mamamia, on the telly with a room full of women standing, cheering and applauding – it was beyond amazing) and a whole bunch of other stuff.
HOLLER!! Today is a new day and it’s hard to believe I was a depressed cave woman unable to pry my white-knuckled fists from the corners of my doona for the past 2 days because today I feel fantastic! I was up bright and early, back on track with Kayla Itsine’s workout plan, hit the gym, read over my Endo fact notes, dressed up like I was Hittin’ da cleerb and at my meeting with the gorgeous Lauren from Cosmo by 11am.