Today it is exactly two years since I had my bowel cancer surgery when my colon was removed and my permanent ileostomy (Kermit) was created. Really I don’t know where the time has gone. Two years!
Unfortunately, in view of my more recent surgery, I have not had the energy or time to hold a birthday party for him. I would like to have invited my two friends whom I met when we were all in hospital together two years ago, and I would like to have made Kermit a birthday cake like I did last year, but it wasn’t to be!
Here’s a picture of the cake I made last year to celebrate Kermit’s first birthday. Hope he enjoys the virtual version this year – I’ll try and do better next year!
What a journey this two years has been. 2015 was a year out of my life really, dealing with the cancer diagnosis and the emotional upheaval as I prepared for surgery (the operation was postponed twice and I was under severe emotional stress for family reasons – thank goodness for my wonderful hubby who saw me through it all!) and then came the physical recovery and adjusting to my new way of life with a stoma. Once I was sufficiently recovered from the operation, I had to undergo 6 months of intensive chemo which really took it out of me, and by the time that was finished, I had the autumn to begin recovering, with my cancer all-clear being given at the end of November. What a rollercoaster! You can read the whole journey on My Cancer Diary on my other blog.
2016 was a good year all round, with my taking up several activities which I had given up several years ago because of ill health, thinking they were part of my past. These include singing and playing the guitar, restarting a Bible study group, and baking! These have all brought me a lot of pleasure, especially the baking! I have been able to keep my art going throughout all this, with periods when my creative mojo disappeared, but it’s always there for me when I am feeling well.
This year I was looking forward to settling back into a normal life – if a different sort of normal from before! However, I had to face emergency surgery at the beginning of February for an intestinal obstruction caused by my parastomal hernia. This has now been temporarily repaired and I face further surgery to create a more permanent solution.
I am very, very happy to have Kermit. Before he came, I was struggling with ulcerative colitis which, although horrible, was probably never going to be bad enough to necessitate a stoma, so I’d have had to put up with it for the rest of my life, with medication. However, when the cancer happened, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the whole inflamed colon was removed and for the first time for years, I found myself in control, and once I’d learnt to manage Kermit and his bag, realised that even if it were possible, I’d never go back to how I was before! Kermit has changed my life, no doubt about it.
Anyone facing what I went through, I would say, be encouraged – it’s not nearly as bad as you think. Yes, you have to get through it all – the surgery, the treatment, adjusting to a new way of doing things, but once you are through that process, life is good!