Its time to celebrate and to reflect. The journey on the gurney began 7 years ago today. I had an estimated 1 hour to live. As I laid in pain and I wondered if my body was beyond fair repair, I could have just let go and stepped gentle unto death. If I could, I would have just gathered myself and flee. Flee to the mystical void.
But I couldn’t. And so, my thoughts turned purely for the sake of survival. Although daunting with no guarantee, I rejected failure. Failure was no longer an option in this game to survive. I knew in those moments this decision would not be easy.
I embarked on the white-knuckle challenge. Together with my winning team, consisting of me, my doctors, the nurses, and my beloved husband Mark, survival became our only goal. Although I didn’t fully know what was at stake, I decided I would find a way to heal.
During the almost 8 hour marathon surgery, my amazing stoma buddy Percy was created. In those moments I became an ostomate, and I now sport my permanent ostomy with joy and pride.
The passing years since certainly have left their marks on Percy and I, with wounds and scars. There have been and will be, the feelings that storms with the destructive elements of fire and water, will continue to claw at us with the ongoing realities all ostomates must endure daily, monthly, and yearly.
And yet, this is our sequel. Our second chance at life. We are survivors. We carry on. We have brushed ourselves off and we hold our heads high.
Without fail, every year on that special stomaversary day, we celebrate and reflect once again. Happy Stomaversary Percy Stoma. Thank you for my continued survival. Our goal has been achieved. We are successful!
Happy Stomaversary to you too Jo-Ann. Life goes on, and so are we!
Jo-Ann L. Tremblay
“Everyone you meet has a story to tell.”
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