By: Jahara Victoria
Two years ago I was diagnosed with Endometriosis and given the Lupron shot. Thirty minutes after receiving my first dose, I nearly collapsed. I called the hospital in a state of panic, it was Christmas Eve and I couldn't drive. My tongue was thick and heavy as I dialed the hospital. They assured me defensively it wasn’t the shot. My six month contract with Lupron left me in a state of silence. A wet blanket covering the body of who I used to be. Suffocating an illness, while quietly breaking me.
I didn’t feel like a woman anymore. To be honest I felt nothing. Just vacant. After six months I refused to continue treatment, my life was at stake. If I felt the extraordinary pain of a flare up, at least it meant I was alive. Lupron masked my illness and for awhile I felt no pain. 8 months to be exact. But then it came back with retribution. Extraordinary pain it was. I graduated with honors last Spring and was walking into a successful career as a research analyst and technical writer. It wasn’t my passion as a writer but it opened doors. I lost that job due to this disease.
My little life slipping through my fingers.
It’s been five months of unemployment, tears, and self reflection. I was fortunate enough to encounter Dr. Sanjay Agarwal. He is the director of the innovative UC San Diego Center for Endometriosis Research and Treatment (CERT, www.cert.ucsd.edu) He’s prescribed me Letrozole (used for breast cancer chemotherapy) and Progesterone. I feel very much medicated and drained. But, the pain is subsiding. I have hope. I have consistent breakdowns. But most importantly, I have hope.
At a ripe age one begins to bloom. Slowly. Steadily. Standing like a solitary cherry blossom tree against the wind. As a young woman you don’t envision yourself fading. You see the tree. Magnificent in her beauty and growing in wisdom. Etched with unkind indentations of life. But still there, relentlessly standing, undefeated against darker storms. Sometimes, I think I am the cherry blossom tree, up on the hill standing alone: waiting to bloom.