This Too Shall Pass

Any Human Heart, Colosto-ME, Family Matters, Journey Back to Health, What's Happening?

I am having a tough day.  I have hay-fever so bad it is making my head foggy and I am struggling to write this post as just looking down is making my nose run.  My kids are doing everything they know they shouldn’t and completely ignoring me when I try to retain some semblance of control.  Worst of all, I had a horrendous leak from my colostomy bag.  Had I been out and about, I would have classed as one of the most embarrassing experiences of my life, thankfully I was home so able to sort myself out.

Why am I telling you all this, it’s not for an outpour of sympathy I promise but for a couple of reasons;

  • Firstly – If I am going to write about my life and experiences, I think it should be an honest representation.  There are days when I handle everything that has happened to me and my toddlers terrible two’s with (what I hope is) a positive grace, but there are other days when its hard, I want to give up and wish I didn’t have to deal with any of it.  This is one of those days.
  • Secondly – This must happen to others so I want them to know they aren’t alone, it happens to all of us.  Negative emotions are a part of life and an inability to talk about them can leave people feeling isolated and like they are the only one.

If there is one thing I have learnt over the last couple of years of cancer, treatment, aftershock, child-rearing and just life in general, it’s that, these feelings do pass, life will go on and another day (another hour in some cases) things will be easier.  In essence – this too shall pass.

The fantastic thing I have found by thinking ‘this too shall pass’ when things are rough, is that it stops me falling into to much of a downward spiral.  It reminds me to try and accept my emotions for what they are.  Sometimes tricky, sometimes difficult but I try to let them wash over me and move on and help myself where I can.  Like this morning…. a trip to Boots to buy a million Loperamide’s (which helps to take water out of the colon and should stop another leak) and bought the kids to an indoor play place to burn off some hyperactivity and I can try to get my head together through writing.

Hopefully missions accomplished but if not, don’t worry about me, this too shall pass.

Anything you think that helps when feeling blue?  If so please click on ‘leave a comment’ above and let me know, may help others too.

Nx

UPDATE

Firstly thank you to everyone who sent such sweet supportive messages, you are all so kind.  I also wanted to let you all know that ‘this too HAS passed’.  I already feel back to my normal self, thanks in large to my wonderful friend ordering Fish & Chips for tea and getting them delivered to the park where we were playing with the kids – genius!

But I also know this this too will pass and I may feel blue again another day but when it does I will be able to think to myself again – this too shall pass x

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Nicola B and the TWO Big C’s

Cancer & Me, Colosto-ME, Journey Back to Health

photo copyObviously the first one is Cancer.  But I have another big C, in a lot of ways it is a bigger C, certainly to me, so big that I often don’t really speak about it.  The other big C is my Colostomy.

For those who don’t know, a Colostomy is when you have part of your large intestine removed and what’s left diverted through the abdomen wall.  There are occasions when the procedure can be reversed but not in my case.  Truth be told, I struggled with finding out I needed a colostomy more than finding out I had cancer – cancer I could deal with, this I couldn’t.  I thought it was the absolute worst thing that could happen to me and I went into a very strange denial, praying it wouldn’t happen right until I woke up from my surgery.

I actually said if I didn’t have kids I would prefer to die than have a Colostomy.

I have never hidden the fact I have a colostomy but I’m not overly vocal about it either.  Why?  Embarrassment essentially.  It still has a terrible stigma and I was beset with fears about the things I wouldn’t be able to do and what people would think when they found out. My worst fear bring that people would think that it/I was minging. A fear that derived completely from my own thoughts and perceptions about it what living with a colostomy meant.

There are over 175,000 Ostomates in the UK

Why talk now? Once again I had a fantastic opportunity this week.  I was contacted by a wonderful woman, Thalia Skye, who works with Coloplast (the company that creates & manufactures my ostomy wear) about working with them to remove some of the stigma by talking about it and and letting people see that I live a completely normal life, that is undefined by the fact I am an ostomate.  Done through blogging, tweeting, vlogging – basically everything I love doing, and talking more openly about things people don’t talk about.  Anyone who has read any posts on my blog will know this is completely up my street.  I couldn’t have replied quicker saying yes, yes, yes!

photoSo last Friday at the crack of dawn I headed up to Coloplast UK HQ in Peterborough.  They were just the nicest people working in a way that can directly benefit thousands of ostomates lives.  Although they are a manufacturer they are researching and finding ways to make life for ostomates easier, more comfortable and less of an issue so they can just get on with living.  They truly have a passion for what they do and I loved the thought if working with a company who is continuing to develop easier ways for people like me to live.

I meet wonderful ostomates and it was so nice to meet such inspirational people going through the same yet also unique experience.  The tales that bought people to having an ostomy were as heartbreaking as they were poignant.

The bigger picture of why one has an ostomy can get forgotten.  In my case, it means that I no longer have cancer.  In other people’s cases, they no longer have a life-threatening and debilitating illness.  One person told me how her surgeon told her ‘either you have a bag or end up in a bag’.  Although this wasn’t delicately put, it serves well to remind us that it is what someone is facing going into ostomy surgery.  Without this operation, they will die.  Yet to some (myself included) having it is still unbearable. As I said before, I thought if I didn’t have kids I wouldn’t go through with the operation (I will always laugh thinking of my sister saying, what about me, aren’t I worth living for!)

The thought of having an ostomy is immeasurably worse than the reality  

I never thought I would get used to it, yet only a few months after surgery I was telling someone who needed a colostomy that it was nothing to be afraid of and I was managing OK.  I was shocked as the words came out of my mouth, I couldn’t believe I was saying it and that was when I realised – it was true!  I could, and was, doing this.  Do I wish I didn’t have it?  Of course.  But on the whole is it perfectly manageable and there is nothing that I did before that I can’t dophoto copy 3 now.  And that is what this campaign is all about.  Letting everyone know that life stays the same, your alive (yay)!!, more comfortable than before and to remove the stigma.  The dream is one day soon an ostomy is considered as normal and inconsequential as glasses or a hearing aid.  I recon we can do it!

As soon as I have more information about the website I will of course let you know but until then keep talking, listening and caring for everyone going though anything.

A little more compassion can never go amiss.