was born on the 2nd November 1965 and has lived on the Gold Coast for
most of her life. She married Jeff in 1994, and they have now been happily
married for 101/2
years. It was during these years that her battle with
endometriosis took place.
book was the furthest thing from Karenís mind, until her dream of one day
having a family was taken away from her. On March 28th 2002 she had a
hysterectomy, the result of her many painful years with endometriosis. Although
both Jeff and Karen were devastated, she knew that some good could come from a
bad situation by sharing her story with other women. After many years of pain
and heartbreak, Karen feels that Journey to Nowhere has given that pain a
purpose. By sharing her experiences with others, Karen hopes to help those on
the same journey. Although it wasnít her destiny to become a mum, Karen
believes it was her destiny to write this book.
With her husband Jeff, Karen has tried to put the past behind her. They are now looking forward to the future and the challenges that lie ahead.
name is Karen and I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis in February 1994,
after being mis-diagnosed for two years. In the years to come one operation was
followed by another. It became an emotional roller-coaster ride that has
changed, forever, not only my life, but my husbandís as well. Little did Jeff
know when he married me that endometriosis would become his nightmare as well.
Jeff agreed to put his thoughts and feelings at the end of each chapter,
as although endometriosis affected only me on a physical aspect, its impact and
subsequent infertility became very much a two-person journey. The emotional
impact as well as how differently we often saw some things, is very evident as
our story unfolds.
the 28th of March 2002, I made the heart-breaking decision to go
ahead with a hysterectomy, after surgery in January 2002 revealed I had no other
option. My gynecologist said it was
all or nothing; no more could be done.
husband and I had been actively trying to have a baby for eight years, including
eleven failed I.V.F. attempts in six years, the last five using two different
egg donors. Our only reason for
going through all that we did was to have our own family. When that option was
taken away I decided that I had not suffered this much just to end up with
had started a short story twelve months earlier, and with the encouragement and
full support from Jeff, I decided to write a book that came straight from my
my gynaecologist and I.V.F. specialist, Dr. Korman, and my gynaecologist and
endometriosis specialist, Dr. Henderson, felt that a patient perspective was
badly needed. They have guided and supported me all the way. I have never
written anything in my life, but both Dr. Korman and Dr. Henderson said to just
write it as you are and that will be enough. (Dr. Korman reckons it will be
entertaining if nothing else!)
my story unfolds, you will realise that Iím a bit of a wag (or so Iíve been
told) and I have tried to keep things light-hearted, though it was not always
possible. I cannot have a baby now, but feel my calling is to try to help
someone else. If my book helps even
one person through an I.V.F. attempt, endometriosis pain, makes surgery a little
more comfortable, or touches you in any way; I will feel that I have done what I
set out to do.
I was diagnosed with endometriosis, I wanted to find out as much as I could
about the disease, but found information quite limited.
Most books I read said the same thing and tended to deal only with mild
to moderate endometriosis. I had a very aggressive type of disease that had a
major effect on our I.V.F. attempts as well as our lives. I have never read
anything that remotely related to the way I felt. Doctors' books were
complicated and didnít deal with a patient perspective. I just wanted to read
something that would make me say to myself, 'Yeah, thatís how I feel too'. I
hope by writing my book, I can save some women from the same frustration, as
there still seems to be limited information available, particularly from the
also aim to heighten public awareness of endometriosis and the perception that
it is just something that gives women pain during their period each month.
Endometriosis is in fact the most debilitating womenís disease
affecting 1 in 10 Australian women.
The sad part is that so many people havenít even heard of the disease
and if they have, donít fully understand what it is, and how it affects your
life. It is as common as asthma or
diabetes, yet there is very little research or study into finding a cure.
do have a selfish motive for writing this book: if I hadnít been writing after
my hysterectomy, I would have crawled into a hole so deep it would have taken me
months or even years to crawl out. The knowledge that my book could help others
kept me going when I was down, and it became my baby.
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