On 15/15/2017, I began my walk against a disease I didn´t knew. After a severe pelvic pain earlier in the month I went to an appointment with my gynecologist. A gynecological ultrasound revealed something in my left ovary that wasn´t supposed to be anything big. After some tests that my doctor prescribed I saw my tumor markers high and I was very worried.
Of course I had to do more tests and two possibilities came up: either I had ovarian cancer (10% probability), or endometriosis (the remaining 90%). The first one unfortunately everyone has heard of, the second though less known is a reality that many women face.
Endometriosis occurs when small portions of endometrial tissue (usually found only in the inner lining of the uterus) appear outside the inside of the uterus, implanting elsewhere (pelvic peritoneum, ovaries, rectum, bladder, appendix, intestines, diaphragm, etc.). It is a disease with a big expression and today it is recognized as a social disease. Its impact on society is tremendous, and it is considered as a serious public health problem. The pains she causes are uncontrollable, and the infertility issues associated with her are frightening!
I expected the results with some anguish, but always with positivism and good energies. Surrounded by the best friends in the world, the most present family i could have, a fantastic parents and sister and a husband who as always was the companion of all hours.
On this walk I found Dr. Filipa Osório, a doctor at Hospital da Luz, with an absolutely fantastic CV and specialist in endometriosis. She accompanied me from this stage and it was she who asked me for all the tests that were needed to be sure of what was happening and the extent of my problem. An extraordinary doctor and a magnificent human being!
On 23/1/2018, my results arrived. I had endometriosis. The ovary, the fallopian tube and a left ligament of the uterus were "invaded", i had to be operated. Dr. Filipa explained everything to me, as always, with her calm, honesty and clarity about what was going to happen. There was even a strong possibility of running out of the left fallopian tube.
Everything good in my life happens on the 7th, I was engaged on 7/5/2015, I married on 7/5/2016, we launched our blog on 7/5/2017 and it was on 7/2/2018 that I was operated. Dr. Filipa wished me "good dreams" and woke me smiling with one, "ran better than we were expecting", had managed to "take everything that wasn´t good" and kept all my structures, I wasn´t without the fallopian tube. Now I am recovering and me and Dr. Flipa will be longtime companions since the disease is chronic. I can´t be more grateful than I am.
There are many thousands of women who follow my adventure and André's. There are many who send us messages that support us and encourage us. To all of you I am also grateful and for you I also feel "responsible". My purpose with this testimony is to be able to help those who have encountered this problem. Endometriosis exists, possibly is unknown to many of you (as it was to me), but I believe that with an early diagnosis and a proper clinical approach one can even overcome it.
However, I discovered that we are a community, on the page www.mulherendo.pt are more information about the disease, diagnosis, treatment and testimonies.
And from a woman to other women (and men, who also accompany us and are essential in these struggles), to always believe that if today was bad, tomorrow we born again and we have a new opportunity to live better.
I hope to recover fast to start our trip to Jordan, we are already full of desire to put the dress in the suitcase and continue!
Joana Salgueiro, 2017