Well hello there my friends. I come to you with a semi emotional post, but feel necessary for all my spoonie friends (and those who just want to know what life is like these days). I really wasn't trying to do two ostomy posts in a row, but I'm listening to my favorite John Mayer song and feeling all sorts of emotional, so here we go.
Let's get one thing out of the way - it SUCKS to be diagnosed with something bad, or anything for that matter (like a cold, because no one likes to be sick, right?). But diagnosed with something that really affects your daily life - that SUCKS. And I feel you because I got slapped with two crummy things - Cancer and Crohn's.
Crohn's SUCKS. Oh my gosh it SUCKS. I SO took my 8 years of remission for granted - so if you're in remission, do yourself a favor and CHERISH this time in your life. For my friends not there, my gosh I feel you. My remission ended when I got slapped with the C card (aka cancer, and unrelated to Crohn's). You can read in depth about my cancer struggle here, but long story short, cancer changed everything. In this post, you'll learn that I would have rather taken a hole in the head over an ostomy bag. I really am not exaggerating when I say that. I'm here to tell you I am eating my words SO HARD.
Here are some questions I had and have found the answers to so far:
Q: Will I be able to be social again after ostomy surgery?
A: Yes. Before my surgery (and I can only speak from my experience, but still) I never did anything. And by never did anything, I mean I the last time I was out and social was May 2015, It's now September 2016 and I've been more social post surgery than before. I'm now 5 weeks out of surgery and I've gone out, gone to events, and traveling next week. Quality of life is definitely better. And please, please PLEASE believe me when I say this, I never in a million years expected to be this ostomy positive. I had to be forced into this surgery BIG TIME by so many people and avoided it like the plague. I seriously CANNOT stress that enough.
Q: Will I ever feel normal?
A: Yes. It's going to take a minute, but I promise you'll feel normal after a while. I'm working on a post about clothes/getting dressed, etc. for those curious, FYI. Remember that every single person has a flaw. Seriously - NO ONE is perfect. I don't care how good they look on Instagram. The trick is accepting your new normal and owning it. Sometimes, the shadow/outline of my bag shows through my clothes. Ask me how much I care? The answer is I don't. Here's the attitude you need to accept (like yesterday), "I've got a bag, and it's saving my life. If you think it's weird then 'Bye Felicia', if not then let's party and be friends."
Q: Will anyone ever want to date me?
A: Yes. I went into this situation with a boyfriend, who has been nothing but understanding and supportive (and if he were anything but, I would have dropped him like a bad freaking habit). But if I had to jump into the dating pool now (and trust me, I've actually put a lot of thought on how to handle/approach this situation), I'd give him roughly 3 dates before laying the cards on the table (aka, "Hey, I have an ostomy bag, it's saving my life and it makes me awesome, if you find it weird then let's part ways now"). Here's the thing, an ostomy bag sucks and makes you stand out from the crowd, but you HAVE to own it. Seriously. The more you dwell, the more unhappy you'll make yourself. And yes, the situation is definitely not glamorous (especially in the bedroom), but I can say that the opposite sex finds confidence attractive no matter what (and if they seriously have an issue with your situation then BYE. Like seriously GOOD FREAKING BYE). Just own it, stay true to you, and know that the right person will accept you for EXACTLY who you are. Holy cow I sound cliche, but I mean it. And I say this with input from all the awesome men in my life (family, friends, etc.) and they all agree. Confidence = KEY.
This post came from a couple different emotions. I went to a football game last night and had SO much fun. But I was touching/checking my bag every 5 minutes. And that's SO annoying. And that sucks. I hate that I have to think about it so much when I'm out. Then I got home and had to take my handful of cancer pills. Now let's get one thing straight - I am SO FREAKING GRATEFUL that pills are saving my life. Seriously, I have stage 4 cancer and only have to take pills to treat it. It literally does't get better than that in my situation. But it's still hard to look at that handful each night. It's just a reminder of my reality. But a good reminder - things could be SO much worse. Yeah, this sucks, but it also proves that life is short and nothing should be taken for granted. Don't get me wrong, I totally have days where I'm like, "Bye world, I'm going to binge watch something on Netflix, ignore my phone and real life problems, hide in my bed and just be a slug." To be honest, I've done that more times than I'd like to admit. But everyone needs that. And if you need to do that, guess what, IT'S OK! Seriously. Never feel bad about taking some much needed 'you' time (unless you're like on a 20 day bender, then let's talk). Moral of the story, you have to take care of yourself, whatever that may be.
Enjoy the happy moments, embrace the sad, and accept every single second of your life. The highs, the lows and everything in-between make us who we are. You may not look like Gigi Hadid, but you probably have a much cooler story (sorry, Gig, no offense). Think about what's valuable and relish on that.
I love you all, I'm here for whatever you need (except for a million dollars, because I don't have that ;), and we're all in this life battle together.