Monday, April 20, 2015


As my graduation approaches I am overwhelmed with thoughts about the events of the last three years. Many times people speak of regrets that they have. They mention bad relationships they “should have” avoided or missed opportunities that have affected their lives in damaging ways.
 I don’t believe in regrets. I believe that everything that has happened in my life; every mistake I have made, every dumb choice, every opportunity I have missed, has happened to make me the person I am today. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always love the person I am, but I don’t ever hate who I am. Regretting things I have done undermines the person I am and the lessons I have learned.
However, I had the thought lately, “Who, what and where would I be if I didn't have Crohn’s Disease?”
Who would I be? Would I have graduated sooner? Would I still be single? Would I have better self-image?
What would I be? Would I be a good person? Would I have as much empathy as I do?
Where would I be? Would I still be living in my parent’s house? Would I have moved somewhere totally new?
Having Crohn’s Disease and an ileostomy has shaped my life. It has impacted me both positively and negatively. It has held me back for sure. Finishing school had to be done at a slower pace. I missed so much work that I was eventually replaced.

It has also given me a new perspective. I now know what it is like to be faced with death. I know what it is like to have a disease that has embarrassing symptoms. I know what it’s like to have my body rip itself apart and have to be cut open and my insides rerouted.  These things have shaped my thinking. They have given me the chance to make new friends and to help an entire community to educate the masses. I have gained a family by losing an organ. I have gained my life back. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Starting Anew

As anyone who reads my blog will have noticed, it has been a while since I have updated.
What got in the way?
Life got in the way.
Mancub and I had a great summer and a crazy, busy fall.
I worked my job and an internship at my school, while also taking two night classes.
But, it was all worth it.
Today is my official graduation date. The ceremony isn't until May, but I am done!

The negative part in me keeps saying "yeah, woo, an associates degree after ten years."
Then I am reminded what all I have been through in the last ten years. I can't help but feel proud that I have accomplished this degree. I feel like I have shown my son that even if it takes ten, fifteen, or twenty years, an education is important and attainable.

Next stop, who knows!

2015 is the start to great things!

Friday, May 30, 2014

How You Can Help <3

A while back, I posted about my beautiful sister who was going to run in Hawaii with Team Challenge. Well, due to minor a physical setback, she has decided to run in Napa instead. 
She is still taking donations. 

This is copied from her website.

"Up until a few years ago I had no idea what Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis were. In 2011, that all changed.

After months of stomach cramps, diarrhea and other digestive problems, my sister Elizabeth, was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. She spent many days in the hospital ER trying to figure out what was causing these symptoms. After a few months of trying different treatments and no results, she was hospitalized in August of 2012.

At that point she was so malnourished and in so much pain the doctor wanted to try steroids and pain medicines delivered by a Picc line for a week to see if that would be any help. The x-ray to check on the picc line placement saved my sister's life. It showed that her colon had already perforated in multiple places. An emergency surgery was done to remove her entire colon. She now has an end ileostomy. This ileostomy has saved my sister's life. I can't imagine a life without my sister, she is one of my best friends. I can't imagine her son growing up not knowing his mom. I hate this disease. The doctors are still not sure if her original diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis is still accurate or if she has Crohn's Disease. They are leaning towards Crohn's Disease, which can spread through her entire digestive system, making a reattachment surgery an unlikely choice for her.

You can read all about her journey through this at her blog:

In the spring of 2012, IBD doubled down on my family. My Uncle Dave, was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and ended up with an emergency Colostomy also.

I have been a runner for almost 10 years and the Napa Half Marathon is the most important race for me yet. It is my way to support my sister, uncle, and the IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) community.

Please help support my fundraising efforts:

$10: I will send you a Blue rubber bracelet that shows your support of the Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis foundation of America.

$50: I will write your name on the back of my jersey to share your support with everyone. 

$100: you can sponsor a mile of my race.

$200: I will make a "flat Stanley" character of you and take pictures along the course and send them to you after the race."

I know these diseases have affected many of my friends, new and old.
I am so proud of my sister.

You can make a donation at

Thank you, friends!

Jessica, her daughter, and my Mancub

Thursday, May 29, 2014

My New Favorite Thing

I have had my ostomy for almost two years now. 
Can you believe it? I can't. 
It feels like yesterday that I landed in that hospital, hours from death. 
Since then, I have learned so many different things that I never would have even thought of. 
I have used trial and error and discovered a pouching system that works for me. 

One thing that I have just started using in the past couple of months, that I LOVE love love love, that I don't know how I lived without, is my wraps from 
See, my stoma is fairly high on my abdomen. Many ostomates wear their pants over their pouch as a way to conceal it. I would be wearing some hiiiiiiiigh pants if I was gonna do that. For a long time, I was wearing my pouch over my pants and wearing a cami, and the longest shirt I could find. 
I was always, ALWAYS pulling on my shirt to make sure that the "tail" of my pouch wasn't showing. More than once, it was before I noticed. Talk about STRESS. 
Ostomy wrap. 
My pouch is concealed. It is secure. 
I even wear one to bed and I am sleeping better because it is more secure and not flopping around. 

Life is good. 
Thank you OstomySecrets! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Today, I completed the last final of this CRAZY semester. 

I celebrated by taking a bath. A BATH. I haven't taken a bath in almost two years. 

I wasn't sure if my skin or pouch could handle it. 
It was lovely. 
A wet pouch is annoying for a while, and I hope it stays through the night. 
But for now. Bliss.