Stephanie Havens | CaringBridge

Stephanie Havens

First post: Mar 16, 2018
  Greetings, my name is Stephanie Havens and I am an endometriosis warrior!  Endometriosis is a painful disease which robs women of their quality of life, fertility, health, happiness, and the ability to be productive contributors in the workplace and at home.  Most of you are unaware I am struggling with endometriosis and these very same issues.  My health journey has been difficult; trying to navigate an illness as insidious and painful as endometriosis, which has been the most adverse experience of my life.  With limited family support and reduced income; I have decided to speak up, share my story, and ask for help.

In 2017, I was diagnosed with Stage IV Endometriosis which has infiltrated my entire pelvis including my uterus, bowel, colon, and urinary bladder.  Although I put on a brave and stoic face, the daily pain is intolerable.  I require a lengthy and labor intensive laparoscopic excision surgery and the care of a specialized surgical team located outside of Montana, my state of residence.  The excision of endometriosis tissue requires a highly skilled surgeon and because the disease is poorly understood by most of the medical community; only a hand-full of elite surgeons are capable of completing the task with good patient outcomes.

I have been blessed enough to gain the attention and care of one of the best endometriosis surgeons in the country; Dr. Cindy Mosbrucker of Pacific Endometriosis and Pelvic Surgery in Gig Harbor, Washington.  I started out with an appointment for a consultation in October 2018 as her busy schedule was booked for eight months.  I felt great despair, thinking of how I was going to cope with living in intense pain until October.  However, despite my gloom I prayed and within several days, I received a miracle.  The phone rang and it was Dr. Mosbrucker's office calling to tell me they had reviewed my medical records and due to the severity of my condition they had bumped my appointment up to April.  Wiping the tears of joy and gratitude from my eyes, I knew I was blessed as there are thousands of women in my shoes and I was fortunate enough to have this amazing opportunity for quality care. 

Because my surgeon is in Washington, my health insurance will not cover my surgery and will be a tremendous out-of-pocket expense.  The cost of travel as well as surgery; including time off of work for recovery has put me in a grave financial hardship.  Therefore, I am in urgent need of financial assistance in order to secure this incredible godsend so I can get my life back!  I am raising funds to pay for my surgery which will occur within the next three months.

I have been a lifelong student which has provided me with unique insight into the world of public health.  I have a passion for caring which has led me to become an advocate for veterans, the elderly, animals, the environment, and endometriosis awareness.  I hope to utilize my public health and business degree to create a campaign geared towards education of this disease and its effect on women's health.  I can make the promise to empower other women and girls to seek medical treatment early in their endometriosis journey so they can mitigate a life of suffering and replace it with hope and a future where our medical community embraces effective treatment methods and searches for early detection modalities. 

The facts are staggering, 1 in every 10 women suffer from endometriosis; that is nearly 176 million of us!  Some more severe than others, Stage IV is associated with adhesions and deep infiltrating tissue growth on multiple organ systems within the body.  Mostly limited to the pelvic region, endometriosis can grow above the diaphragm where it can enter the lungs and brain!  Endometriosis is hard to diagnose and can only definitively be diagnosed through surgical visualization.  The pelvic pain associated with the disease has been compared to labor in childbirth.  As I write this plea for assistance, it is the month of March which is endometriosis awareness month.  Everyone probably knows someone who has endometriosis or who has suffered silently never having been diagnosed or treated. 

I appreciate your time and assistance.

Thank you for visiting my site and sharing my endometriosis journey!

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