It’s now 2 years since I founded Gladrags & bags. Which is incredible to me as it’s just me rambling on about often mundane, day to day stuff. Basically it’s a diary, The Diary of Suzanne Doré age 44 and 3/4 if you will.
But what it seems to do is give people hope, and that’s all we really need in life, hope, love and enough money spare for a takeaway on the weekend.
Like I have said before, I honestly thought that I’d never see my friends in the flesh again when I was told I was going to have the AP resection (permanent colostomy). I just thought it was horrific and disgusting and although I never felt that “why me?” sensation (I’ve always been quite pragmatic, if you have cells in your body and you are alive there’s always a risk of something malfunctioning). I did feel that it would change me, and negatively change my interaction with the world.
Well, if you’ve read even just a couple of my blogs you’ll know I’m always out and about pestering the world at large!! And long may that continue I say!
I live my life merrily, inspite and despite having a bag of poo stuck to my waist. Is it ideal? No, not really, although that said it does rather reduce the stress and trauma of using unsanitary toilets round the globe! But is a stoma enough to keep me indoors, never to step foot in the sunlight again? HELL NO!!
I receive a fair few emails a month, some people want to share their experiences, some want to ask advice and some just make me blub my eyes out with their truly humbling words, words of gratitude for helping them see themselves with fresh new eyes, ones that are kind and don’t judge harshly.
Now don’t ask me how this has happened, I’m no writer (just ask anyone that tried to teach me through my school years), I’m no expert in...well anything really. But what I do know is a body with a bag is better than a body in a bag. My colostomy means I was able to suvive, It and the chemo and radiotherapy saved my life. So I will be eternally grateful to that little pink blob of bowel stitched to my abdomen.
Yes there are aspects that still don’t sit well with me (noise being my number one soul crusher, you’d have never heard me pass wind before my op, so the fact that it happens unannounced with no warning does affect me). And of course the occasional leak is pretty tough to deal with but old fashioned bottom poopers have embarrassing incidents from time to time too, no one is immune from it.
But on the whole I’m happy with my lot. Life is good and I’m making the most of it.
This photo came up on my timeline on Facebook this week, it was taken 7 years ago in Cuba. And just 6 months after my AP resection. I remember all too well being nervous back then about flying and sunbathing amongst other things.
But I have gone from strength to strength in both areas, I will happily walk round with a bikini WITHOUT a sarong on...if it’s appropriate....I don’t go out shopping like it ;)
I’m not ashamed of what my body looks like, yes it’s a bit bigger than I’d prefer but it’s no mystery how it got like it - fat, sugar and carbs, darn those delicious carbs rolled in fat and sugar!! ;)
Aesthetically speaking my body isn’t that bad, I’ve obviously seen better, and quite honestly mine has seen better days but it’s pretty damn fine in my eyes. It is what it is and it’s alllllllllll mine!
When I look in the mirror at my naked body I feel at peace and comfortable in my skin, that could be an age thing but I think it’s more to do with life experience so far.
Let me reiterate, I’m not saying it’s the hottest most amazing body in the world, far far from it, but it doesn’t need to be, I’m not a model, I don’t earn my living from it (thank the lord, we’d starve if that were the case hahahahah!!) But what I do believe is important for good mental wellbeing is being ok with it, being cool with the scars, the bag, the cellulite. All of it.
If nothing else, it does a bloody good job of holding all your organs and blood in, be impressed with that as a very basic level of acceptance of how you look. :) I appreciate I make it sound easy, and right now if this is very fresh and very raw for you my words are almost meaningless, but give yourself time, you've been through an ordeal. It may take time, just be patient and more importantly, be kind to yourself.
I saw this quote on Twitter today from a wise old sage...well, it’s one of mine actually, tweeted by OstomyConnection.
True true true.
Also I will and do fly, many many times a year, this year will be no exception with some amazing holidays in the pipeline.
I can’t wait for the first trip of the year coming up very soon.
Have bag ~ will travel!
Thank you to all my lovely readers, likers, sharers, supporters and emailers. I very much appreciate your kindness.
I love the fact that my website analytics shows me where my readers are from - so many countries all round the world, Britain, NZ, Aus, The Philippine’s, Canada, America both north and south. Poland to Portugal, Portsmouth to Penzance, India to Ireland and everywhere in between and a new addition of Syria the other day. So welcome all.
I hope you can find something on here that helps. But most of all I hope you can see yourself as the incredible person you have always been, bagged or not you are amazing! xxx