Monday, March 26, 2012


The past few days have been total hell. My bones hurt. My skin hurts. I feel awful. I started taking pain medication again tonight. It has helped a little bit, except its left me a bit emotional.

I've looked up my statistics and I have a 23-61% chance of making it another five years. My chances decrease from the 61% because my cervical cancer reappeared within the first year. They increase from the 23% because of my age, my otherwise good health, and my good mental health.

So I ask God, what do you want me to do with the time that I have? I ask myself, what do I want to do with the time that I have? God's been rather quiet about the entire situation, but I've got three trips planned already this year. Florida, Washington, and Tennessee.

And maybe God hasn't been as silent as I think. Twice in the past week I have been put in the path to help someone going through rough times. I was able to listen with an open heart and encourage with love and understanding. It felt different. I've always been a "good listener", but it's different now. I understand from a new place in my soul. And as life is paid forward, the preachers wife brought me a fantastic dinner this week. Hmmm, weird circular thing that i've put together, but i'm a bit doped up so just roll with it.

I listened to a bit of Oprah's Lifeclass with Inyanla Vanzandt this evening. She said in order to stop the pain you've got to quit telling the same story. I'm going to go and listen to the entire webcast because we can all do with less pain.

Peace and Love,

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Nuts and Bolts

This is my second week back to work...part time. Well, hardly any time really. I am working 2-3 hours per day; setting my own hours. It's been really hard this week. The ups and downs are really making my head spin.

The Nuts and Bolts:
I have to wear "appliances". They look like this:
 plus this:  for Jack (he's the colostomy stoma) and
like this:
plus this: for Jill (she's the urostomy stoma).

So every other day, I pull the wafer off, apply a skin barrier (it's like an alcohol swab that leaves my skin sticky) and then attach the pouch. The wafers are about $12 a piece and the pouches are about $9 each. I'm lucky enough to have insurance, so it costs me much less.

It has taken me the past three months to decide these are the appliances for me. I have gone through several spills and several wafers that pulled my skin off. Of course the ones that work the best are the most expensive. Also, I should really be using a pouch that looks like this:  for Jack, but I can't bring myself to empty the pouch quite yet, so I use the disposable (sorry mother earth).

When I was researching stomas and ostomies before my surgery, everything I found showed a stoma to protrude from the stomach about an inch (I looked at pics to show you, but seriously, I HAVE a stoma and they make me cringe!), but in reality, my stomas are both flush with my skin. They don't protrude at all. I thought this would cause a problem with draining into the pouches, but I was wrong. It all seems to work quite well, most of the time.

The Ups and Downs:
So some days its really easy, nothing to it.
And then there are days where everything is a struggle. Getting out of bed is a struggle, getting dressed is a struggle, and I just plain feel awful. It's the days that I physically hurt that are the hardest. It becomes too much to put a smile on my face and feel cheery when my insides feel like they've been pureed. But I know if I just hang on, in a day or two I will feel better again.

The first ostomy surgery was done in 1776. The collection of waste was taken care by a sponge with an elastic bandage. (My sixth grade teacher told me not to show my stupidity, but I have to say that I didn't know they had elastic in 1776. Sorry Mrs. Andrews). I am so blessed that this surgery saved my life and I live in a day where the inconvenience is very minimal. I don't have to worry about odor, I don't have to worry about the pouches showing through my clothes, I don't have to worry about the complications that were life threatening only 50 years ago.

Well, that is enough for today.
I am securely fastened in my coaster car with a clear view of a bright blue sky as I am currently on my way up.

Peace and Love