Week twenty seven – Run for Endopendence

Posted on: October 9, 2011

Week twenty seven- my run for endopendence
Yesterday Duncan and I with my sister traveled to London to take part in the 5k Adidas Womens challenge in Hyde Park.  Both Clair and I had chosen to raise funds for Endometriosis UK.

Not long after I left hospital following my hysterectomy I registered to take part in this event – setting myself a personal goal of being well enough to take part. Of course I never imagined  I would still be in recovery mode – I kinda assumed that by 6 months my surgery physically and mentally would be a thing of the past!  By July it had become apparent that there was no way full training could resume.  Therefore I reconciled myself with the fact that I would be able to walk at least.

On the eve of the run, Duncan, myself and Clair checked in to a hotel in Harlow – we had planned to meet another Endosister at this hotel. On the morning of the run, I met up with Lea and her hubby in reception,  on my way down to reception a fellow guest was quite taken aback by my outfit.

Picture the scene, it was 7am on Sunday morning, I had black leggings,  with yellow leg warmers, a yellow tutu and bumble bee wings! This poor man was walking towards reception with a £5 note in his hand – looking for a machine that dispensed toothbrushes and toothpaste.  He took one look at me and asked why I was dressed like that ,  I replied and told him about the run and what I was raising money for – he asked me what endometriosis was and I told him simply what it had done to me and that I had endured major surgery 6 months ago.

He looked at me and said ‘what you had major surgery 6 months ago and you are raising money today’ , then he gave me the £5 note he was clutching .  This simple act of kindness made me beam from ear to ear.  It was the start of an incredible day.

It was awesome to finally met Lea,  she was the first endosister that I met on line.  After having her hysterectomy last year her journey has not been easy.  Unlike me Lea had her surgery very quickly.  Whatever your background is to having a hysterectomy there are so many emotions tied up with loss, bereavement and identity that need to be worked through.  The last 18 months for her have too been a very personal journey.

Upon arriving in Hyde Park we made our way to the assembly point,  to finally meet so many of the amazing ladies I am privileged to call my endosisters was just incredible, as I walked closer to the assembly point I was suddenly overcome with nerves – what if the girls didn’t like me ?

I can’t remember who I saw first but I do remember Jacqui Tavares-Weeks nearly strangling me when we finally met. Jacqui and I became friends via FB in February of this year.  She is one of the most incredible endosisters.  Her illness has not become her.  Prior to her hysterectomy in July and post op she continues to struggle with the ravages of this illness, in addition to having Fowlers syndrome. Her determination to take part in the 5k run and actually run was just amazing!

I think there were around 50 endosisters there – I will upload some photographs on to my blog.  There are many incredible shots.  Hugs and emotions were running high as well as an abundance of adrenaline! So many of the girls have a place in my heart Fran , Leanne, Lucy, Jayne, Bee – the list goes on and on. I am only sorry that the whole experience went by too quickly and sadly there was not enough time to speak to everyone, I am especially sad that I didn’t get to meet Lucy Palmer properly – her blogs move me incredibly. I only hope we get to meet again sometime.

Most of the girls there were members of the facebook group I had started up – so we all knew ‘ish’ each other which made a big difference.

We all made our way to the startline – the amount of people there was just incredible!  as we walked over the discussion turned to who was walking and who was running – I maintained the stance that I was walking , as did many of the other ladies. As we got closer and closer to the start line,  we were all checking with each other

‘so you are walking’ …… ‘yes I am walking’

then again ‘so you are walking’ …… ‘yes I am walking’

this went on for some time till eventually it changed in to ‘I think I am gonna run’ ….. ‘oh okay I will run too’

I checked that my sister didn’t mind – she wasn’t able to run it.  She told me to go ahead and before I knew it we crossed the start line and I was running.  Suddenly I was like a woman possessed – running alongside Fran and Lea, spurring each other on.  I didn’t manage to keep up with them, but that didn’t matter , I had something to prove. I needed to prove to myself that I could run 5k.  I needed to prove that what ever had happened this year, however much endometriosis has taken from me – I have survived.

As I ran , I could feel myself and the anger that exists within me burn away – I wanted to scream and shout at Endometriosis …. you may have taken my fertility but you will not take me …… if there is ever a time for emotional outbursts that was it –  I wanted to shout and scream,  the feeling inside of me was just incredible.  I keep telling myself to run that little bit more.  I managed to run to 3k , then I allowed myself to stop, knowing that I wanted to run the last 1k – the pain I was in by this stage was quite unbearable.  The pain from my left lower rib was searing coupled with a stitch on my right side. None of that seemed to matter – but in the blazing sun it seemed appropriate to slow down.

Finally I crossed the 4k line and could feel within myself that I wanted to run again, as I started slowly jogging I started to cry.  Tears rolled down my cheeks as I realised how far I had come.  I remembered sitting at my computer hardly able to move, only days after my op , registering to take part in the run. I remembered my lost babies, I remembered how Duncan and I made the decision that I had to have a hysterectomy,  I remembered how foolish I had been thinking that my recovery would be quick and that emotionally I would be able to move on and face the rest of my life without looking over my shoulder at endometriosis at every which turn.  Foolish maybe …. yet its what has carried me through these 6 months…. foolishness and some fantastic friends, and my husband.

As  I approached the finishing line I heard Matt (Jacqui’s husband) shout at me words of encouragement – this gave me the extra ounce of energy I needed to cross the finishing line ……. I had done it ……. all of those people who had sponsored me ……. the last 6 months which have been the hardest in my life ……… I had taken part in the 5k Adidas womens challenge in Hyde Park. I had run 4k out of 5, only 6 months after having major open abdominal surgery.  No one could take this achievement away from me.

A huge huge thanks has to go to my family and friends , who helped me to raise over £700 for the charity.  Elizabeth in the states for donating on behalf of her sister inlaw who had a hysterectomy only days before the run, and to Sophie for donating what she would have spent on her Mum for her birthday had her Mum been well enough.

My eyes have been opened to a world full of so much kindness – thank you all
Love Endosister Liz


2 Responses to "Week twenty seven – Run for Endopendence"

Elizabeth — I have only just found out how to accces and then read your wonderfully concise write up and can only reiterate just how proud we both are of all that you have faced and surmounted on the ongoing battle with Endometriosis. As you begin your next journey as an Ambassador on behalf of Endo I, as a woman first – then as your very proud Mum, can only wish every success in this new strand of your life. As always without doubt you are a beacon of hope to so very many people.

Hi Mum, thanks for dropping in to read my blog – its been one hell of a journey this year but writing has been part of my healing xxxxx

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