Wishing everyone the best of the season, Merry Christmas, and may you have a healthy, happy and prosperous 2015!PointsettiaPhotographer: Jo-Ann L. Tremblay

Food For Thought and The Tastebuds

A recipe for success and gastronomic delights.Berry Bush Christmas

The personal and professional issues we deal with in life are universal to everyone, and at the same time, they are experienced uniquely by each person. No matter your struggles, everyone is individually co-creating themselves and their particular life experience. Along with everyone on this planet, you are pursuing goals and meeting challenges in order to achieve health, happiness and prosperity.

In addition to our universal issues, ostomates have their particular challenges to contend with on a daily basis. Our ostomies are a mixed blessing. On one hand they are the medical miracles that give us a second chance at life, promoting wellness, energy, and the opportunity to live life to the fullest, come what may. An ostomy is also a constant reminder of the illness we experienced, and the damage it caused.

Having said this, acceptance of the changes and transition we ostomates experience is fuelled by our attitude.  A positive attitude truly helps us transform and settle into our new normal. We know of course this is more easily said than done, but the effort is well worth it, it really does pay off in the long run.

A positive attitude is your success attitude. A success attitude is the drive to empower every act with the intent for fixing anything that is bungling up the hard work you’re doing. A person’s attitude is a great factor in gaining the confidence of others, and for obtaining desired results. Your attitude will always play an important part in how easy or difficult an experience will be. Your ally throughout your whole life in good times and bad, will be your attitude.

Very often people come up with creative excuses, and these excuses can present major obstacles to success. The best strategy for dealing with excuses is by eliminating them as much as possible. This is a challenge in itself as excuses are seductive. The bonus for eliminating excuses will cause you to be more open to learning from an experience and this will fuel your success attitude.

There really is no simple recipe for success, but there is one essential ingredient: A Success Attitude.

Success Attitude Recipe

Add 1 part Definite Decision. Don’t just think about it – go for it. A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.

Add 1 part Commitment. Go the extra mile. Everything you do, do your best. Your best will bring you closer to your dreams, no matter how menial the task.

Add 1 part Life Study. Objectively listen, ask questions, and observe yourself. You will always actively learn from every person you come into contact with, from everything you do, and from every experience.

Mix ingredients together, and place them in a willing mind free from excuses. Feed them to your conscious and subconscious mind till it becomes your individual success attitude.


We are a body, a mind, and we have a human spirit. For a little fun, Percy and I thought we’d like to share a gluten and lactose free recipe to delight your taste buds.


Peanut Butter & Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies

Makes 24 cookies and 12 sandwiches.


1 cup (250 ml) natural peanut butter

1 cup (225 grams) sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Marshmallow Fluff (if using)


Preheat the oven to 350 F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix on low until combined. Use a small ice cream or cookie scoop and drop 1 ½ tablespoonful’s of dough onto the prepared backing sheets. Use a fork to flatten the mounds of dough and create a criss-cross pattern on each cookie.

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes until the cookies firm up enough to transfer to cooling racks.

Once cooled spread at least 1 heaping tablespoonful of Marshmallow Fluff onto the back on one of the peanut butter cookies and top with another. Enjoy!


In closing as we say goodbye to 2014, Percy Stoma and I extend our best wishes from our home to your home. As you ring in 2015, may the magic of new beginnings fill your home and heart with peace and joy. We sincerely wish that the next year ahead will be your best yet.

Jo-Ann L. Tremblay


Everyone you meet has a story to tell.”

Welcome To The Planet

We are once again awakened from the slumber of life’s everyday routine. Through the scramble and the chaos of the language of the body, fuelled by primal energy, our 6th grandchild came out to greet the world this past week.

Our little one who has rocked our world is ready now to be present for a lifetime of lived experience, refracted through the lens of her body, emotion, mind and human spirit experiences.

She enters her story into recorded history. A story that is a unique microcosm of a larger tapestry of family, community, nation and planet. As she grows and develops, she will weave the strands of her individuality into the genetic cloth of her ancestral bloodline with a thread that cannot be broken.

As her grandparent, her presence thoroughly intoxicates me. From the point of view of an ostomate who has captained her ship during a storm of experience, weathered nature’s power, and the threat of death, my second chance at life has graced me with you, our sweet little belly fruit.

How exquisite my bonus days have become, I’m now seasoned with sugar, spice and everything nice. I have been given another opportunity to embrace, caress and admire this generation’s newest family treasure. Together we will travel upon the wind, as we feel the flutter of fairy wings. We will bounce balls and spin jacks with our sixth sweet and delicious fruit that clings to the family tree.Planet Earth

Welcome to planet Earth, little Liviana. Thank you for joining us at this time. This is my pledge to you and to all of the little ones of your generation, wherever they live in the world who are arriving and those who will come: I as a member of the human family will do all that I can to build a better world for you. I will actively participate in the honouring of every nationality, ethnic group, and gender. Through consistently building upon my own wisdom gained through experience, I will actively contribute to increasing your knowledge as I pass on the learning to you, our next generation. I will assist you in keeping alive the legacy of those who came before you as they are your roots. I will endeavour to provide you with food and other things that are needed to live healthy and that will assist you in growing stronger. In actions and feelings I surround you and hold within, unconditional and pure love, so that you will always know how special and magnificent you truly are.

Thank you for you.

Jo-Ann L. Tremblay


Everyone you meet has a story to tell.”

What We’ve Lost – What We Have

So many changes occur for anyone and everyone when they face illness, a significant emotional event, or life alteration(s), whether chosen or thrust upon them. Ostomates such as myself are not an exception, and we at one time had to face all of them.

There are many reasons why a person will undergo surgery to become an ostomate, and none of them are easy. Whatever it was or will happen that will bring a person to a life alteration, they will experience feelings of being bent and broken. Our body, mind, emotions and human spirit screams for a second chance at life.

Whatever our life situation may be, one thing is for sure, living is not for wimps, and none of us can change the past. We cannot take away or erase the incident or circumstance that started everything. What we can do is, put one foot in front of the other, and then continue on our way, in spite of it all.

There are very few of us who are fearless in the face of loss, and the memory of what we once had. With each foot moving forward we march to the beat of our recovery drum, and sway to the rhythm of our new normal, all the while, doing everything possible to shake off the terrible fear.

When a significant emotional event occurs in a lifetime, and every life I know has had at least one, and most often, people have had many, our way of looking at ourselves, our lives, and the people around us is forever changed. Some of us feel trapped by the life altering condition, and for others, we experience a grieving process that eventually leads us to the promise of a full life, even in the face of uncertainty.

All life is fragile and limited. Before our life altering and significant emotional event, (SEE), life wasn’t always fair. We didn’t know how long our lives would be, no one really knows. We at times lived without peace, and the journey was not always smooth. Then the SEE happened, and we lost somethings, for some of us we even lost the use of body parts. And, we will never look at ourselves and life the same way again. Yet, life is still fragile, limited, and precious. Life isn’t always going to be fair. We don’t know how long we will live, no really knows. At times we will live without peace, and the journey will not always be smooth. This is what we have.

Before and after our SEE, we navigate along our life path, and it takes a lot of time and work to nourish our body, mind, emotions and human spirit. The potential energy that can fuel our progress lies in discovering the pleasure of living each moment to the fullest. The appreciation of life’s smallest pleasures, and the all out, no holds barred grandest of life’s happenings. What we’ve lost is gone.

What we have, is precious and can be easily lost again. Life inhales, and then exhales again. There are times when we feel hurt, isolated, and angry. There are times when we are energized, awake, and alive. We need to allow ourselves to grieve, and even take a time out. And then, SEE a doorway of opportunity opening up, and just walk right through it, come what may.

Jo-Ann L. Tremblay


Everyone you meet has a story to tell.”

Better With A Bag Than In A Bag is now available on KOBO

We are pleased to announce that not only is “Better With a Bag Than In a Bag” available with Amazon in paperback and on kindle, in Canada, USA, United Kingdom, Europe and Japan, this compelling tale that speaks to the human spirit, that brought author Jo-Ann L. Tremblay from the brink of death to recovery through humour and inspiration, is now available with KOBO. Check out KOBO at For further information and an additional list of on-line book dealers offering the book, and how you can purchase your very own copy,  just click “Better With a Bag Than In a Bag” at the top of THE OSTOMY FACTOR blog Home Page, above.

The cover of the book is a photograph of an original oil painting of Percy Stoma by artist, author, photographer and ostomate Jo-Ann L. Tremblay  titled, “Percy A Self Portrait”.  Stoma’s are often referred to as a “rose bud”, when you turn the book upside down, Percy’s image turns into a beautiful red rose bud.
Better WITH a Bag Than IN a Bag