Reboot

Spring has arrived. As the North horizon beckoned us, like the ancient tradition that calls to the Canada Goose, we left our southern home and headed to our northern home. We have arrived safe and sound.

New beginnings celebrate the advent of spring. The youthful spring is giving birth, and so a rich array of life is emerging. Now is the time for a fresh start, a reboot. Once again reminding me of my desire to thrive and not merely survive.

Enduring a significant emotional event (SEE) of any kind, has a way of challenging our frame of reference. We then can embrace a new perspective. A SEE, can be the death of someone close to you, or winning a lottery. It can be any event that causes a significant emotional response.

We all experience at least 1 SEE, and most of us will have several in the course of a lifetime. One of my intense SEE’s was the illness and time of suffering leading up to and including the creation of Percy Stoma.

No one wants an ostomy. Frankly, it was surgery or death. My ostomy flows 24-7-365. No timeouts, no respite. No one wants to experience the ostomy journey. So, how do we rise above a life misadventure. Well, we can start by asking ourselves:

  • What really matters to me?
  • For the duration of my life, what will my attitude be?

These are universal questions that can apply to anyone, and to any SEE.

In my case, I have decided that I want to rise above my circumstances, which has led me to live an unfolding journey of self-discovery. In doing so, I have reclaimed my life. I have bonded with my stoma, and so, I celebrate being alive. This in turn has empowered me with the attitude of gratitude.

I know that although I have endured such a SEE, (one of several I have experienced), I am normal, beautiful, and lovable. I work, travel, love… I don’t waste my time dwelling on the past. I live the stoma journey 24-7-365, that is now and for the rest of my life.

I have chosen to free myself from failures and disappointments. I consistently take a look at the future, and I imagine all of the wonderful possibilities it holds. This is not excessive optimism, as my quality of life depends on it. New beginnings, new life emerging, a life enhancing reboot.

Percy Stoma and I look forward to a spring and summer filled with joy, and all of the magic as the seasons unfold. We are taking June, July, and August to recharge our energy, and so, we will resume The Ostomy Factor blog September 2019. We wish you, all the happiness and adventure your spring and summer of 2019 will bring.

Authored by: 

Jo-Ann L. Tremblay

Everyone you meet has a story to tell.”

www.jo-annltremblay.com

Are you interested in reprinting or republishing this blog? With your written request, be our guest. We want to help connect people with the information they need. We just ask that you link back tojoannltremblay.wordpress.com, preserve the author’s byline and refrain from making edits that alter the original context. Questions and your reprint/republishing request(s) go to: www.jo-annltremblay.com, click on the “contact” page, and fill out the contact form.

Bright New Dawn

Tree of Life Spring 2019Behold my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love! – Sitting Bull

It is the time of year spring returns for many of us. Spring around the world is often viewed as the season of new beginnings. Hmm… new beginnings, so many of us know this place. Like spring we have all experienced the change of a new beginning, a new normal. With the long days and nights of winter, or a serious illness, a lengthy recovery, or life altering events and/or circumstances for that matter, there always comes a time of endings and then new beginnings.

This is the time that staring out the window, enduring, waiting, and hoping has come to its end, again. The bright light of a new time begins to shine brightly. The wonderful spring, the wonderful new beginning, heralds the fresh buds to bloom, animals to awaken, and the earth gives way from the cold dirt as it comes to life again.

Each new beginning in my life, and there have been many, has opened my eyes, ears and mind, to the world with renewed enthusiasm and the mystical wonder of my life, and life all around me. In celebration  of Spring 2019, I took a long walk in my current neighbourhood. On this walk I reflected on what led up to this day. As I continued my stroll, I examined my current emotions and circumstances. Walking down the paths and roads that magnificent day, I dreamed up new things I’d like to experience and make happen as I mapped out my destination. Mostly I admired and photographed with deep awe the many splendours presented to me as I took each step on my springtime journey. It is my joy to share them with you, enjoy!

Sun rising on a new day.

Sunrise - Spring 2019

Pink Flower Spring 2019

Subspecies of Box Turtle on her journey this fine spring day

Box Turtle Spring 2019

Crow trying to steal Osprey’s breakfast

Osprey:Crow Spring 2019

Someone else contemplating life and enjoying the view.

Blue Heron Spring 2019

Beautiful Beach 2019

Birds of a Feather Spring 2019

A Spring sunset

Sunset Spring 2019

Spring super moonrise.

Moonrise Spring 2019

Happy spring and congratulations on your new beginning. May the next year ahead be the best yet!

Author and photography by:

Jo-Ann L. Tremblay

Everyone you meet has a story to tell.”

www.jo-annltremblay.com

Are you interested in reprinting or republishing this blog? With your written request, be our guest. We want to help connect people with the information they need. We just ask that you link back tojoannltremblay.wordpress.com, preserve the author’s byline and refrain from making edits that alter the original context. Questions and your reprint/republishing request(s) go to:

www.jo-annltremblay.com, click on the “contact” page, and fill out the contact form.

Why Buttercup Wears a BAG!

It is with pleasure and joy, that we are announcing the release of our newest book, Why Buttercup Wears a BAG! – The Adventures of Buttercup and Elliott…buttercup book front cover

Written for the littlest persons with an ostomy, this children’s book is a positive story starring Buttercup, her friend Elliott, and their new friend Squiggs. Buttercup is a mouse with an ostomy. This book, for young children, is about the many things children, (ostomate and non-ostomate), can do in a day to learn, have fun, and be strong. As the 3 friends embark on a playful adventure at the park, they raise ostomy awareness. Their special message encourages all young children with or without an ostomy, to know they can do anything they set their minds to.

Family and friends will delight in reading, Why Buttercup Wears a BAG!, with infants, toddlers, and young children. The story cheers readers on, while they connect with Buttercup as she deals with her stoma in her daily life. This book provides readers with the opportunity to stimulate conversations about ostomy thoughts and experiences. The adventure cultivates the awareness that everyone we meet is wonderfully unique, and that we all have an amazing story to tell, no matter who we are.

This colourful and beautifully illustrated book was written with the desire to inspire children and the people in their lives, to know that although we are faced with challenges, we are not alone, and we can live a quality of life in spite of it all.

You can purchase your copy of Why Buttercup Wears a BAG!, in paperback and Kindle format from Amazon, available worldwide. Just go to the Amazon site of your choice, type in Why Buttercup Wears a BAG!, the Amazon site will direct you from there. You can order the book on this blog site by clicking on “Book Order Information” at the top banner of this page. The book can also be ordered from my website www.jo-annltremblay.com

Through the readership of my published adult ostomy books, website, and THE OSTOMY FACTOR blog, I have received requests for pediatric ostomy information and recommendations for young children. Although there are excellent instructional publications I have been able to recommend, there is scant resources/publications that young ostomates can relate to individually, nor how they and their families live with an ostomy, (lifestyle). This has been my inspiration for writing Why Buttercup Wears a BAG!

This book will delight the young ostomate in your life. Reading the book together as you embark on the adventure with the 3 friends, provides the opportunity for you and your child to discuss and explore the everyday experiences of life with an ostomy.

Enjoy!

Jo-Ann L. Tremblay and Percy Stoma


“Everyone you meet has a story to tell.”

www.jo-annltremblay.com

buttercup book full cover.001

Are you interested in reprinting or republishing this blog? With your written request, be our guest. We want to help connect people with information they need. We just ask that you link back to joannltremblay.wordpress.com, preserve the author’s byline and refrain from making edits that alter the original context. Questions and your reprint/republishing request(s) go to: www.jo-annltremblay.com, click on the “contact” page and fill out the contact form.

Our Wish For You…

From all of us to all of you, have a holly jolly Christmas. Have beautiful moments, and may you find many reasons for happiness.

Happy New Year, and lets make 2019 the best year yet!

In January Percy and I have an exciting announcement. Stay tuned!

Jo-Ann L. Tremblay

&

Percy Stoma

Everyone you meet has a story to tell.”

Christmas 2018 Image

www.jo-annltremblay.com

Are you interested in reprinting or republishing this blog? With your written request, be our guest. We want to help connect people with the information they need. We just ask that you link back tojoannltremblay.wordpress.com, preserve the author’s byline and refrain from making edits that alter the original context. Questions and your reprint/republishing request(s) go to: www.jo-annltremblay.com, click on the “contact” page, and fill out the contact form.

 

Sitting By The Outhouse

I’m sitting by the portable toilet looking over the lagoon, contemplating my life. IMG_4579The year is almost at an end. A new year will begin in just a month and a bit.

Picture a blue outhouse on a blue southern lagoon, silent and peaceful aside from the calls of the Osprey. I am sitting by the outdoor privy entertaining myself with metaphorical thoughts. The commode is a place where people “unload” sh*t. The lagoon is the place where people “unload” their sh*tty thoughts and emotions.

The outdoor latrine is not connected to plumbing, sewer or septic systems, and is placed at a reasonable yet accessible distance from the house. Well, any ostomate knows about internal plumbing disconnect with a stoma placed at a reasonable yet accessible distance from the back door, so to speak.

Turning my busy metaphorical thoughts from the inspiration of the crapper to the magic of the lagoon, and the “knee deep and sinking fast” feelings of the cancer scare I experienced this past summer, my mind moves through to the hope and promise of a smoother tomorrow and beyond.

Hmm… Does luck have any influence on us and our lives? Some people think bird poop on your home, car, or on you is a welcome sign of good luck. A good luck superstition that originates in the UK involves saying, “Rabbit” right after you wake up on the first day of the month. The ritual will supposedly give you good luck for the rest of the month.

Some folks believe that certain gem stones influence luck and fortune. Others believe the position of the planets effect daily lives and influence luck. All of these beliefs are steeped in ancient tradition.

Can we attract luck to ourselves? We can always try to stay positive, endeavouring to find the silver lining… and have a sense of humour. A positive affirmation could also help, it only takes a few seconds and can set the stage for the day.

Well in fact, life is full of surprises. Our lives are made up of a series of events…good and bad. Tomorrow and beyond is really about taking the good with the bad. The promise is, it doesn’t come any other way anyway. As a friend recently shared with me, the hope is in the understanding that sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. As I sit by the outhouse beside the blue lagoon, I’m taking the good with the bad as I anticipate that the next set of surprises will be the promise and the hope of good luck and good things to come.

Authored by:

Jo-Ann L. Tremblay

Everyone you meet has a story to tell.”

www.jo-annltremblay.com

Are you interested in reprinting or republishing this blog? With your written request, be our guest. We want to help connect people with the information they need. We just ask that you link back tojoannltremblay.wordpress.com, preserve the author’s byline and refrain from making edits that alter the original context. Questions and your reprint/republishing request(s) go to:www.jo-annltremblay.com, click on the “contact” page, and fill out the contact form.

Sweet Words

“NO CANCER”, said the Doctor. A thumbs up, (and a few tears), between my husband andClose up seagull:clouds I as we marked this delicious moment in time. The results of the multiple biopsies and surgery is definitive, how sweet it is. In that instant a 1000 pounds of weight lifted off of our shoulders, and I felt the crispness of my soul. It’s the first day of the rest of my life, again…

My healing is humming along nicely. I’m marching to the beat of the recovery drum, and my spirit is soaring.

I would like to extend a thank you to all of you. You gave us your prayers, words of encouragement, generous offers, and actions of support throughout this challenging time.

THANK YOU, WE ARE IN GRATITUDE

“Cut It Out!”

Once again we’ve pulled into the hospital parking lot. The grey and stone sanctuary of Intervenusthe ill is looming ahead of us. The enemy is inside and its time to cut it out! Pondering over the past several months, I must admit, it’s been a summer of stress, joy, adventure, passion, and worry. Aestas horribilis.

Looking back, it was in July that I attended my annual mammogram at this same hospital. I am already a survivor, for 40 years I have sat on pins and needles after each mammogram, only to be delighted at the sound of a wonderful voice say, “All Clear”. This time would be different, the phone rang and the dreaded, “Call Back”, seemed to screech into my ear. As July progressed I attended a 2nd mammogram appointment. Then, there was an ultra sound, and yes, two masses were confirmed. A biopsy followed. August I attended my follow-up appointment with the Doctor. At this time I was told surgery was required.

It’s now September and so, here we are once again moving along the concrete walkway leading to the sliding doors. As I held my husband Mark’s hand, I noticed the windows reflected a brilliant rising sun. Was this an omen of things to come?

Preparing for surgery, I was compassionately cared for by the hospital staff. I was then wheeled into the operating theatre. On the stage of this cold and stark theatre humming with the sounds of monitoring machines was a team of professionals moving about collaboratively performing with purpose. They were the stars of the show, I was their audience. During my drug induced slumber the, “Cut It Out” climax came and went. Although a daunting experience for me, I accepted what we were all here in the theatre to do.

I have battle wounds. They are my badges of survival. This new scar is horrifying and delightful. I can once again delight in the joy of seeing another brilliant sunrise, horrified for the upcoming biopsy results I’m expecting in October. Delighted that I again have the chance to laugh, joke, and cause mischief.

Words are powerful tools, Words have the power to tear down or build people up. Thank you to all of you who expressed loving thoughts through your words of encouragement. Your heartfelt messages of support have sustained me throughout my recovery.

I am in gratitude!

Bouquet of Flowers

Author by:

Jo-Ann L. Tremblay

“Everyone you meet has a story to tell.”

www.jo-annltremblay.com

Are you interested in reprinting or republishing this blog? With your written request, be our guest. We want to help connect people with the information they need. We just ask that you link back to joannltremblay.wordpress.com, preserve the author’s byline and refrain from making edits that alter the original context. Question and your reprint/republishing request(s) go to: www.jo-annltremblay.com, click on the “contact” page, and fill out the contact form.