My name is Shirley & I suffer with Endometriosis.
I found a way to manage my disease through diet & exercise. I started running to get fitter for all the surgeries I was told to expect. I had already had numerous cysts & tumours removed, fertility treatment, two complicated pregnancies both delivered by C-section, a hysterectomy and oophorectomy by two mixed with PND (Post Natal Depression). I had enough. I had over 18 abdominal surgeries in total, at least one every year for the past 12yrs & surgically induced menopause for my 40th birthday it was time to try something else.
I started to run even though it was painful at first.
I loved the feeling running had on my body and it helped me loose 25kgs which was fantastic for the recovery of my second oophorectomy. I kept running and with a better diet came increased health. I felt good.
I ran with less pain.
I thought I had endo beat but after my 2nd marathon the intense pain returned. Nov ’13 another ultrasound discovered 2 more tumours on my bowel. It was spreading. The tumours were removed along with lots of diseased tissue from around my bowel. Recovery was slow & digestion issues were many.
I ran even though I was in pain and it seemed to diminish some what, which helped me to train constantly for 12 months in order to take on the challenge of an extreme endurance event, an Ironman. Ironman is a 3.8km swim, a 180km bike and a 42.2km run. I finished this event in 13hrs and 7mins.
My family and I celebrated my first 12months surgery free in 12yrs. It was an amazing experience.
I constantly tweak my diet to what my body needs. I listen to my body & feed it mostly with a GF, vegetarian and whole food diet.
I run. Sometimes it hurts less, sometimes more.
There is no cure but I have learned to embrace endo. It has given me a lot more than pain. I am thankful for my husband and two children. I am thankful for every day. I am thankful for every event I can train for and participate in. I am thankful for every run.
So far this year I have completed two 50k ultra marathons with lots more on my racing calendar this year including 3 marathons, a half Ironman, another full Ironman and my 1st 75k ultra marathon.