If you were given the choice between surgery for colorectal cancer that would leave you with a permanent colostomy or ……death, which would you choose? If you say you would rather die than have to live with a bag then I would have something to say to you.
20 years ago I chose life. For me chemotherapy would not have been effective on the unusual type of cancer I had. Radiation was not possible because I had an auto-immune disease: Systemic Scleroderma. So I had seven hours of surgery and spent 10 days in hospital. I have been a “bag lady” for 20 years. Today is my 71st Birthday.
Happy Birthday to Me! I celebrate every birthday because I am lucky to be having birthdays. Here are the things I would have missed if I had said I would rather die than have a bag.
- I saw both of our children graduate from High School.
- I went back to riding horses after 30 years away from them.
- I saw our son graduate with an Honors Master of Science at the School of Oriental and African Studies at The University of London.
- After 29 years together, the love of my life and I, finally decided it was safe to get married . No need to rush these things!
- I was in the birthing room when our daughter gave birth to our Grandson. I welcomed him to our world.
- I was there when our daughter married a wonderful man at a beautiful ceremony in our home.
- I went from Training Level up to the FEI Intermediare 1 in dressage competition.
- I found my horse of a lifetime in Biasini and we have a marvelous time together.
- Both of my children are now independent adults. They are both people who care about others and treat people of any ethnicity with respect. I am immensely proud of both of them.
- I thank my body for all it has done for me. It recovered from that cancer surgery, it has accepted two replacement hips, it has accepted life without a gall bladder (only a minor adjustment) and it has given me a dramatic and very rare remission from Scleroderma.
I would hate to have missed all those things , those wonderful times, just because I didn’t want to have a colostomy bag. The bag is at worst a minor inconvenience and at best life saver. And let me ask you something else. If you do not know me personally would you have known I was a bag lady?Can you look at these photos of me competing in Florida and know I am a bag lady?
Be honest …you would not have known! So if you or someone you know is faced with having an ostomy support them to say “yes”. Say “yes” to life with a bag! It’s worth it.