I tried my best to not let the charm of internet lure me to it's lair, but inevitably it did & I have to admit it was extremely hard to not let the fear creep back in while looking at pictures, watching videos, & reading articles about my impending transformation to an ostomy life. Seeing as my first go'round with Dr.WWW had provided a false positive, I knew any research we would do couldn't be entirely what I would envision for myself or my ostomy; however fear, uncertainty, & anxiety made it's best attempt to creep in & I, in turn, made my best attempt to keep it at bay until it was time.
My first six weeks of chemo & radiation came & passed by much quicker than I had anticipated &, ready-or-not, I found myself face-to-face with August 19, 2010. 2 days after surgery I had my first look at my stoma (the opening made on my lower-left abdomen) in the ICU when my Ostomy Nurse, Robin, came to talk Colostomy-101 with Chad & myself. It was very-much sensory & informational overload with words I couldn't pronounce, let alone comprehend & never-ending options as far as the stoma could see. I somehow managed to keep my composure until Robin left the room & then instantly let my guard fall. It was like someone cued the waterworks & I was ever-ready to hit the mark; I cried heavy tears: tears of anger & fear, of uncertainty & nervousness. I cried for the "me" that existed before cancer, before tumors, & before colostomies. I cried so deeply for the 26-year-old who wanted so badly just to live a normal life. Then, something clicked - Dr. B's words replayed in my head: "you will have this for the rest of your life BUT this will give you the rest of your life". What was wrong with me??? I was still breathing & my heart was still beating. I was still alive. I quickly made the decision to allow myself to mourn my old life for 10 minutes. I could cry, be mad as hell, & hate the world for 10 minutes & believe me, I definitely did. On the very-eleventh minute, I wiped my eyes, took an extremely deep breath, looked down at my colostomy, & whispered: "thank you".
Life post-colostomy is so incredibly less dramatic than I had ever expected. Stella (yes, she most definitely has a name) is a part my battle & I am thankful for her existence everyday. My colostomy allowed me to celebrated more birthday's, anniversary's, & Christmas's with the people I love so much. I'm able to wake-up next to my love every morning & say "sweet dreams" to my family every night. Life is beautiful & I can't wait to experience every tomorrow that comes my way. 25%?? PLEASE. I SO have this.
|(Photo courtesy of CNN.com)|