I’m going to share something today that I have kept pretty quiet because it’s personal and has been something I’ve been embarrassed about for over a year. During my initial hospital stay when I was very sick my colon was so infected and they had removed so much of it that they had to do something so I could pass waste. I had a temporary colostomy placed in November of 2017. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s where an opening called a stoma is created in my abdomen and my colon is pulled through so I can pass waste into an appliance I wear 24/7. I have no control over it. This has been something I’ve been extremely embarrassed about and have wanted to keep it secret. It’s still really hard for me to share that part of my journey, but I feel like I’m being called to share all of it. It’s been a rough road having a colostomy. It’s been painful, it’s been embarrassing, it’s been frustrating, and it has been EXPENSIVE. The end is in sight, though. My surgeon and I have decided I will have it for another 6 months. I initially was going to have it reversed sometime in April, but with starting a new chemo regimen it was postponed to the summer. Now since that chemo regimen is going to go on until further notice my surgeon suggested I wait and we reevaluate in September. My hope is that in September I can have it reversed and get back to feeling “normal” again. But if not, I will carry on like I have for the last 16 months! At times I have hated having it, more often than not actually. It sometimes feels dehumanizing. But, this colostomy has saved my life. Without it I would be dead, plain and simple. It amazes me how far medicine has come, and it also amazes me how our bodies can adapt to almost anything. The hope is that in a few months I will have it reversed and then my body will go back to like it had never happened, and that just amazes me that it can do that! So I’m sharing this in hopes to maybe make someone else who has something “weird” about their body not feel so weird or ashamed of it. Everyone has something weird! Don’t let it make you feel odd or embarrassed, try to let it empower you! I’m not going to sit here and say my colostomy makes me feel strong and proud, because I’m still fighting with being embarrassed of it. But, I’ve come a long long way since when I first got it. I figured since this has become such a huge part of my life and will be for awhile longer that I should share this part of my health journey :). Thanks for reading!
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