I was diagnosed on February 27, 2017 with stage IV colorectal cancer with mets to liver and peritoneal of stomach; I was 34 years old. I also found out that I have the MAP gene mutation. I’m a mom of two kids and I was given 3 to 6 months to live. I sought out multiple opinions when we decided Dr. Steele at Cleveland Clinic was the right guy. Fast forward to March 23, 2017 when the story below happened.
One year ago I was taken via ambulance to Cleveland Clinic to have a huge emergency surgery to save my life. When I arrived, my colon was ruptured and I was nearly dead. Dr. Steele and his associates worked tirelessly on me to save my life. My life forever changed that day.
I was cut wide open and had my colon, rectum, large intestine, all but 12 inches of my small intestine and most of the peritoneal lining in my stomach, removed and I gained an ileostomy that day. “Roma the Stoma” is what we call it. I also have my port and IV bag line so that I can have six hours of fluid a day. The ileostomy makes me dehydrated very quickly.
ALL THIS SAVED MY LIFE! This is what a CANCER WARRIOR looks like! Flaws and all. I came to terms with having a bag very quickly when I woke up to my new body. If you’re around me, you will hear me joke about it and make fun. Why would I joke about it you might ask? Because poop is funny and this saved my life.
I’m going out on a public limb here, I know! I want to prove to all the girls and women out there that you’re beautiful no matter what! Those who have a bag like me, you are beautiful, be proud of your bag. All those out there who beat themselves up about their bodies, you’re beautiful. If people can’t see past your skin then they are the problem, NOT YOU! Love your body and yourself for who you are, not what people think you should be. I am grateful everyday for this body and each day I am alive. So here is me at my bravest and barest.