I guess it is kind of bitter sweet to be sharing an awareness month of such crappy diseases with my mom, huh? March is not only Endometriosis month, but it is also Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month. Both take time to be diagnosed with and neither are curable at this time. My mom, Janet (shown below) and I are both strong women who want to use our experiences and knowledge to help create awareness in order to help others, so I guess it is really only fitting we share the awareness month! So before March is officially over, please take a moment to read just a little about each.
Multiple Myeloma: The clearest description of multiple myeloma for me comes from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation’s (MMRF) website: “Multiple myeloma is a hematological (blood) cancer that develops in the plasma cells found in the soft, spongy tissue at the center of your bones, called bone marrow. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell responsible for producing antibodies (immunoglobulins) which are critical for maintaining the body’s immune system. Through a complex, multi-step process, healthy plasma cells transform into malignant myeloma cells”. I know you may still be scratching your head, but it’s important to know about this cancer especially because for many patients, like my mom, think they just have some sort of back or hip problem. An MRI ordered by my mom’s doctor is what gave us answers as to why she was not getting any better with rest and physical therapy.
Endometriosis: I’m going to try and break down the description of endometriosis myself since that is the disease I have personally lived with and find that when I read about endo on the internet, many women may have a hard time understanding visualizing. Here’s my try so let me know if it is helpful or not:
- Your uterus is lined with tissue called endometrium.
- In a women with endometriosis, that tissue (endometrium) is found outside of the uterus in places such as ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowels and the pelvic floor.
- This tissue is then considered “abnormal” since it is growing where it shouldn’t be and it starts to grow and causes pain and often times infertility. Think of this tissue looking like a blister. As these “blisters” grow, they can press on nerves and/or stick to other organs causing severe pain that interferes with daily life.
- Most women go to an average of 8-10 different doctors having different procedures done and not getting answers prior to finally being diagnosed by laproscopic surgery.
- Most women and doctors still do not know about deep excision surgery performed by an endometriosis specialist is a treatment option.
This cancer and this disease suck, but there has been tremendous research being conducted on multiple myeloma and my hope is that through awareness we can do the same for endometriosis.
Note: Endo Mom Strong is an information website about endometriosis. Endo Mom Strong does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and this content is not to serve as a substitute for such. Please make sure to always seek the advice a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.