Lena Dunham Cancels Lenny Letter Tour After Endometriosis Returns

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Lena Dunham

The 'Girls' creator and showrunner Jenni Konner had planned to visit six cities as an extension of their popular morning newsletter.

Lena Dunham, who's long had a public battle with endometriosis, was recently told she was free of the disease after her latest procedure. But now her endometriosis has returned, and it's even more painful.

As a result, the Girls creator told fans on Friday that she's been forced to cancel the planned Lenny IRL tour, inspired by her Lenny Letter, that she and her longtime creative collaborator Jenni Konner were set to embark on this summer.

"My body, which I’ve worked through all kinds of pain for many years, just doesn’t have what it takes to do this tour," Dunham wrote in the Friday edition of her Lenny newsletter. "Lenny is about giving 100 percent of ourselves, 100 percent of the time, and I couldn’t bear to limp through this. Not for you, our favorite people, and not for the women giving their time to join me on the road."

“To be perfectly honest, I’m in the greatest amount of physical pain that I have ever experienced,” she added. “After being told I was endometriosis-free after my last procedure, more disease was found in deeper spots that required immediate surgery and now physical therapy.”

Her goals now have to simply be to write and heal, she said.

The six-city tour Lenny IRL was set to kick off on May 31 in St. Louis and would feature comedians Sasheer Zamata, Morgan Murphy, Charla Lauriston and Jacqueline Novak; writers Jenny Zhang, Chloe Caldwell, Kaitlyn Greenidge and Rachel McKibbens; and a performance by the radiant Waxahatchee (aka Katie Crutchfield).

"During these divided and painful times, we want to bring laughter, poetry, passion, and community to you and your friends," Dunham and Konner said in the Lenny IRL announcement. "We want our Lennys to meet in rooms big and small-ish and to connect over their shared beliefs (equality), passions (GIFs of Beyoncé smelling a lemon), and fears (seafood is Lena's big one). We want to make the gorgeous sisterhood that Lenny has become into a living, breathing organism — and we want to give you a night out you won't soon forget."

A portion of the proceeds were set to benefit organizations supporting young women in the arts. In her note announcing the cancellation, Dunham thanked the charities that agreed to partner with them and added, "We won’t let you down, and I’ll be making personal donations to let you know you’re loved and needed." And she notified those who'd purchased tickets that they would be refunded in full. ("We're not monsters!")

Read her full note explaining the decision to cancel the tour below.

My beloved Lennys,

I have been so excited to see you all on our Lenny IRL tour. During these dark political days, this has been a ray of sunshine for me. While we knew our traveling variety show couldn’t fix a divided nation, we would sure do our part and try.

I’ve always been open with you all about the challenges I’ve been dealt with my health, even when it’s scary and embarrassing, even when it makes me feel weak or less than. So I’m not going to stop now, even though part of me really wants to, cuz enough is enough. My body, which I’ve worked through all kinds of pain for many years, just doesn’t have what it takes to do this tour. Lenny is about giving 100 percent of ourselves, 100 percent of the time, and I couldn’t bear to limp through this. Not for you, our favorite people, and not for the women giving their time to join me on the road.

To be perfectly honest, I’m in the greatest amount of physical pain that I have ever experienced. After being told I was endometriosis-free after my last procedure, more disease was found in deeper spots that required immediate surgery and now physical therapy. This disease is wily and unrelenting, and I’m really blessed to have a community, both online and IRL, who let me express how hard that is. Inspired by you, I’m gonna say “Eff you” to embarrassment and walk the walk of a woman who really takes care of herself. My goals have to be simplified for this moment: to write and to heal.

I want to thank Katie, Sasheer, Rachel, Morgan, Charla, Jacqueline, Jenny, Kaitlyn and Chloe for agreeing to take this trip. I want to thank all the charities that agreed to partner with us (we won’t let you down, and I’ll be making personal donations to let you know you’re loved and needed). But most of all, I want to thank YOU for wanting to join us in this grand experiment. Obviously, your tickets will be refunded in full — we’re not monsters! — and we hope to be back when my uterus has taken a chill pill. (But not my spiritual uterus. She’ll never chill. She’s incapable of chill.)

In the meantime, I encourage you all to gather your girls for evenings of dissent and laughter and wine and analysis and bingeing of Fleabag and Chewing Gum. Holding each other close and giving of ourselves is the most radical thing we can do right now.

All the love,

Lena

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