Girls might be coming to an end after its April 16 series finale on HBO, but creator-star Lena Dunham is enjoying a new beginning of a different kind.
“You have been my community through the toughest days of my endometriosis, so it seems only natural to share the latest with you,” Dunham wrote in lengthy note sent Tuesday morning to subscribers of her Lenny Letter periodical, updating fans on her ongoing public battle with the uterine condition which sees tissue typically found inside the uterus growing outside it.
Dunham goes on to describe an incident that occurred last weekend, in which she awoke to symptoms that included “knees-buckling, back-aching, [and] dry-heaving-at-the idea-of-breakfast,” which caused concern as, for several months, she’d been working with doctors on non-surgical options (yoga, therapy, a holistic diet, and a “brief, passionate, and ultimately disastrous affair with vaginal valium”) to reduce symptoms of the endometriosis after one of her ovaries adhered to her pelvic floor.
Thus, the 30-year-old decided to seek medical help at a Los Angeles hospital, and was later scheduled to undergo another surgery to reposition her ovary, which “went off without a hitch,” she wrote.
“When I emerged, cotton-mouthed, [Dr. Randy Harris] told me something I hadn’t expected to hear, maybe ever: there was no endometriosis left. Between my surgeries and hormonal intervention, I was disease-free,” she revealed. “That doesn’t mean it can never return, but for now, once my sutures have been removed and my bruises have changed from blue to yellow to green to gone, I will be healthy. All that will remain is my long-term relationship with pain, and it’s time to get real about that.”
The Golden Globe-winner additionally reflected on her bout with ailment, which she says allowed her to rest on the excuse of chronic pain — a routine she admittedly feels a bit lost without, as “illness defined a time in [her] life, the way babbling hysterical heartbreak defined the summer after college and eating insane amounts of Brie after 1 a.m. was the whole of 2010.”
Still, she’s set her sights on opening the eyes of others to ways they can get through a diagnosis like hers, which previously led to Dunham sidelining herself from doing press for Girls‘ fifth season in 2016.
“If we’ve learned anything from the past year, it’s that complacency has no business here. So many people who suffer will never have the resources I’ve had. My job is to educate people, to try to change the pathetic lack of resources for endometriosis, but it’s also to seize this gift. I’ll be more useful that way. We all would be if we unloaded an old ache,” she explained. “Love you. Thank you. I’m not wishing you only freedom from pain, but rather the wisdom to know when it’s time to let her walk alone.”