This breaks my heart. This hurts. I was also in my 20s when I found out that it was emergency surgery or death. A surgery to get a stoma, something I had never seen or heard of. I had 4 days to mentally prepare before the verdict came in if it was more medicine or if surgery was my only saviour. Yes those 4 days were a rollercoaster, from threatening to jump off the balcony, to understanding it would be ok, to asking my partner at the time if we would still love me after this. I realised that I knew nothing, I had never seen one before, I barely understood what it would entail, or mean for my future, but in the middle of all of this, I understood that it would give me a chance of living again.
After surgery I decided that I needed to help others. It has since been my mission to spread awareness to others who know nothing, but also to support those going through it.
I became very active in a support organisation, I even became a board member.
I did a training course to become a volunteer on a phoneline for people who were undergoing ostomy surgery, who had it already or were next of kin.
I was on the hospital list of people to go in and talk to others before surgery.
I have heard first hand from people who struggled, and who wished this was an option, and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I also spoke to some of these people again after surgery and saw and heard the difference it had done to them, and how it had helped despite them feeling it would be the end.
I share my life openly about the positives and negatives of how it is for me having an ostomy and I do everything I can to support those who reach out to me.
Whenever I hear about an ostomy being a “last result” or that is it horrible, a bit of my heart breaks. Reading that this man would pick death over a bag that could give him life again, breaks my heart too.
Yes it is an insane journey to be on, and support is needed, but this just saddens me beyond belief. I am sad for him, and for his family and friends.
I will carry on sharing my life, raising awareness to the best of my ability, I will fight the taboos and stigma.
Most of all, I, and Stevie, will be here to support those who want it. I always have an ear ready to listen, a shoulder to cry on, I will do my best to offer advice and support if and when wanted/needed. I will be here for anyone who needs someone to talk to, even if it isn’t about stomas!
So please, please do send me a message if you feel you need to! Just do it. Together we are stronger. Together we can do this! ❤️