Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Inspiration

Definition: 

a: a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation 

Or 

b: the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions 

My parents dear friend who’s beat cancer, perfect strangers messaging me on social media and an old coworkers father having colostomy surgery 20 days ago, lately I’m feeling inspired.  Inspired because they’ve shared with me some of their struggles and wins but also because they’ve come to me for comfort. I’m obviously not a doctor but when you go through illness only people whose journeys have been similar really get it.  I’ve learnt lessons from every person I’ve spoken with and seems I’m helping them learn too. This is why I continue to bring forth awareness by sharing. It’s way easier to just close the book and start a new story. But are our stories ever really over?  Not really, we just write a new chapter. 

A lot of you have told me I need to start vlogging, I heard you and have created a channel on YouTube. No posts as of yet as I’m trying to sort a few things out, but after checking out other channels have a pretty good idea of my approach. Just gonna shoot the 💩 with you. (Emoji seems fitting). No scripts, no graphics, just the moments thoughts...just gonna be me. I usually do better on the fly anyways avoiding overthinking and remain authentic. I’ll of course speak of cancer, ostomy life, hockey and probably some of my makeup favs too. So far it’s just under my name but if you have some creative name idea please shoot them my way. Carly’s Collage, CancerColostomyLife, Life with Winnie..,I really don’t have a clue as of yet  (those were on the fly FYI!). For those of you wondering...no I won’t stop writing. I love it, it’s my therapy.  Please subscribe below to help me build my followers & have some fun with me.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkc1uQm3RlXS5iG5FQxahQA

This week I have a lot going on. Two of those things are seeing my plastic surgeon and attending an Ostomy social/meeting for 20-50 year olds. Plastics will involve hearing how my healing is going and how it’ll end. Last we spoke I’ll need one more surgery but it’s no where near as extensive as before. From all accounts I’ve heard the social is quite empowering. Keynote speakers like surgeons, ostomates themselves and who knows what else. No doubt each social will be different and I look forward to meeting some great people in my own city. I’ve met some great ones thus far and can’t wait to ad more people to my ostomy squad!

Still no word as to my umbilical hernia repair or who the doctor will be. I manage as they aren’t painful but huge and in the way.  Because of their size I’m very uncomfortable and can’t get in to my jeans but you know how much I love dresses so still have style. When surgery does come about I’ve been told by my Ostomy nurses that my stoma will change. This means I’ll have to start over with new fits and routines. I just started going steady with Coloplast bag 16757 but looks like Winnie gets a new bag to date and wear her cute outfits for! 

The greatest compliment I continue to hear is how upbeat and happy I’ve been and continue to be. Just yesterday 2 young women currently going though a similar journey messaged me. I was so honoured they came across my posts and felt they could share and ask me for advice. That’s exactly why I continue to write, post on Instagram and soon to vlog.  It’s so easy to pack our suitcase and fly off with a one way ticket. I’m more a return ticket kind of gal and inspiration is my gas. 

XOXO

C

#carly2conquercancer
#winniethepouch 



Monday, October 1, 2018

Seasons

West Coast living sees many seasons. We had a great start of warm weather in May which led us in to a spectacular summer.  Just last week the sun was shining and a debate to go to the beach or not was upon me.  Fall is now in full swing with multicoloured tree leaves, the rain pounding the pavement with sounds of raindrops falling down my window. 

My life is similar to the weather...sometimes I spring forward and other times I fall back. I’m nearing 8 months since my surgery that ridded me of my cancer for a second time and of course the beginning  of my life with Winnie. I’ve had some bright sunny days and some gloomy stormy ones too. I follow a lot of other ostomates on social media and see that no forecast is the same, that I’m not alone and that big picture I’m doing pretty good. 

My massive hernias are like a hurricane that touched down, made its damage and takes time to recover from. Still have no date for repair but my doctor has submitted my referral and I’m hoping a call comes sooner than later.  I’m starting to exercise in the only way permitted but one I love, the pool.  I attended my first deep water Aqua Fit class last week and did surprisingly well. My right arm was sore the next day from pushing the water side to side, up and down. Hernias did fine. Winnie did great, she loves the water just as much as I do.

My ostomy nurse has told me that my stoma will change post hernia surgery so yet again I’ll have to find my perfect bag fit. I’ve been fairly consistent of late with Coloplast bag 16757 (sounds like a jail number lol) but my skin around my stoma struggles. I have a more innie stoma than most other ostomates with outties. So this means my stool doesn’t fall down in to its bag but instead stays up falling slowly. I’m very self aware and pat it down as needed but it irritates my skin even with all the tricks my nurse has taught me. Lately I’m sore and when I remove the bag to clean and apply a new one I’ve got blood from cracked skin. You can’t just not put anything back on so regular changes are on my radar. I’m lucky though that I don’t have many leaks which I know is a huge struggle for lots of ostomates.

I still like to stay home more than not and find myself cooking a lot more than I used to. Living alone there’s always 1-2 friends over as taste testers and I like that.  You’ll often find me in PJs or lounge wear as it’s just way more comfortable.  When you have hernias like I do wearing tights really gives its name a run for its money! 😆 I go to my friends birthdays but I’m usually the first to leave.  It’s all about balance really and the days that I push myself too much I pay for.  One all day fun day usually means double the time to recover. 

Where I’m at in recovery right now isn’t a bad place. I’m in the middle. I’m able to go to hockey games (wink to my loved ones with tickets) but the next day I just take it easy. Simple. Choose my battles. I’m going out dancing for a friends birthday this Friday but won’t be doing any leg kicks!  One big win is that the reintroduction of veggies seems good so far. I still need to avoid roughage to some degree but all around doing pretty good. I see my plastic surgeon in a couple weeks but still have some healing from where my tumour was, and most likely a small surgery to finish where the skin flap was attached. I need to avoid stress when I can because Winnie seems to act up if I don’t. 

My adorable 17 year old ginger cat Simba continues to thrive although his hearing is gone and he’s skinny from his thyroid condition.  He meows for wet food to the point of frustration on my part but he knows I’ll cave!  I find it funny how vocal he is when he can’t hear himself ... ha ha ha!  He does feel vibrations like the door slamming shut and I can’t imagine going through all this without him. Pets are such comfort and he always knows when I need him most. He’s laying beside me right now as I compose this entry. My sweet little Sim. 🐱 

Like a change of a season or of the weather Winnie and I continue to forge our path. I’m so grateful for what independence and strength she’s brought in to my life.  Hopefully by this time next year I’ll be done falling and sprung back with even more purpose and vengeance.  Stay warm if you're in for a cold fall and winter season and remember a cute scarf always gives your outfit that extra light!

XOXO

C

#carly2conquercancer
#winniethepouch



Fairytales

I’ve been doing some soul searching and digging a bit deeper of late, looking for  inspiration in all aspects of life and from those around ...