Nags and bags....

I feel very lucky that every day I wake up in gratitude. Firstly because I woke up, I know it’s probably the least we all expect and hope for but for me it’s important to feel it.

I think having been so poorly it’s given me a deep sense of how fragile this living thing is.

And then there’s gratitude on a day to day level. When I saw this photo on a fellow ostomates twitter all I could think about for days was thank god life and technology has moved on.

Every waking moment I can’t fail to imagine what life would have been like back then. And what my life would look like right now if these were still the appliances du jour!

Look back at any of my blogs and picture this contraption attached to my body. None of those photos would exist, I wouldn’t be able to do even a tiny fraction of what I get up to with that strapped to my belly.

And from there gratitude flows.

I love my life, small bag of poo attached to my belly and all…

Colostomy bag in 1933

Colostomy bag in 1933

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I was surprised and delighted by an invite from one of my son’s friends to the races last week.

I am very grateful to Michael (above) for my ticket.

My son couldn’t make it as he has a job but a few of his friends who were either off work or have just left uni were available for some day time horse racing.

I was greatly honoured to have been extended an invitation.

So off I went all dolled up…not too dolled up though ladies and gentlemen, you are after all still only in Braintree. ;)

But dolled up just the right amount in my opinion, if that means much to anyone else hahahahaha.

Dress from Oliver Bonas, Shoes Valentino Rockstuds, bag from Armani.

Dress from Oliver Bonas, Shoes Valentino Rockstuds, bag from Armani.

Can you imagine the 1933 colostomy device under this dress? Or any clothes come to that.

Can you imagine the 1933 colostomy device under this dress? Or any clothes come to that.

Leonie, me and Ben’s girlfriend Kaitlyn.

Leonie, me and Ben’s girlfriend Kaitlyn.

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Ben has been friends with this lot since he was 11, he has an incredible friendship group. So the day out was with Ben’s mates and me, a little old granny joining their little crew.

Ben has been friends with this lot since he was 11, he has an incredible friendship group. So the day out was with Ben’s mates and me, a little old granny joining their little crew.

Look at this one, looks adorable right, oooh, she’s a cheeky monkey. Hahahahaha  After having picked her up from home, driving her to the races and buying her Prosecco she turned to me and said come on tag along…hahahahaha the cheek of the child! :)  Which then was abreiveated to Taggy…I think I happened to remark “oh great, Baggy and Taggy now!” Earning myself the beautiful nickname of Taggy Bagson for the day! Hahahahaha  Now I have an acquaintance called Tiggy, which is adorable, but I’m not sure I feel the same affection for the moniker Taggy, or Baggy come to that. Hahahahah  Teasing aside, they made me feel very welcome and I had a fantastic day!  I adore these people. I’m very lucky to have a close relationship with both of my sons and their friends.  (Little bit of unsolicited parenting advice from me, in my opinion and from experience don’t try and be your child’s friend while it’s a child…you have one role then and that’s to parent.  My boys I imagine thought I was a right old dragon when they were kids, I bet their friends did too I’ve told enough of them off over the years. But because we did the hard part and parented back then they’re incredible human beings now. People we love spending time with and who apparently like to spend time with us too. :)  I guess it helps that neither of them ever went through the Kevin the teenager phase, I imagine we were all too shell shocked from Sam’s cancer diagnosis when he was 13 and Ben was only 11 and then my cancer diagnosis 6 months later for them to strop about and be horrid.  I don’t recommend it though. It’s not too good for the nerves to have lived with the black cloud of cancer for so long.

Look at this one, looks adorable right, oooh, she’s a cheeky monkey. Hahahahaha

After having picked her up from home, driving her to the races and buying her Prosecco she turned to me and said come on tag along…hahahahaha the cheek of the child! :)

Which then was abreiveated to Taggy…I think I happened to remark “oh great, Baggy and Taggy now!” Earning myself the beautiful nickname of Taggy Bagson for the day! Hahahahaha

Now I have an acquaintance called Tiggy, which is adorable, but I’m not sure I feel the same affection for the moniker Taggy, or Baggy come to that. Hahahahah

Teasing aside, they made me feel very welcome and I had a fantastic day!

I adore these people. I’m very lucky to have a close relationship with both of my sons and their friends.

(Little bit of unsolicited parenting advice from me, in my opinion and from experience don’t try and be your child’s friend while it’s a child…you have one role then and that’s to parent.

My boys I imagine thought I was a right old dragon when they were kids, I bet their friends did too I’ve told enough of them off over the years. But because we did the hard part and parented back then they’re incredible human beings now. People we love spending time with and who apparently like to spend time with us too. :)

I guess it helps that neither of them ever went through the Kevin the teenager phase, I imagine we were all too shell shocked from Sam’s cancer diagnosis when he was 13 and Ben was only 11 and then my cancer diagnosis 6 months later for them to strop about and be horrid.

I don’t recommend it though. It’s not too good for the nerves to have lived with the black cloud of cancer for so long.

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Did I win big?? Did I heck as like!! I placed two £5 bets and lost two £5 bets.

As much as I have a personality that gets addicted to stuff, gambling is never going to be one of them. For me it’s not a case of you win some you lose some…it’s only ever been you lose some you lose some more. I’m not a fan. Hahahahaha

Fantastic day out though, so maybe I won after all!!

Then Saturday we had arranged a family trip to Alton Towers theme park. I’m not a white knuckle kind of gal, life in general is as white knuckle as I want to be. So my role at theme parks is to hold the bags, yes, once again I’m a bag lady…

Top from Whistles, Leggings from Next, Shoes - Yeezy’s

Top from Whistles, Leggings from Next, Shoes - Yeezy’s

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The Gods were smiling on me on Saturday morning, as every motorway service station had a Greggs (a British institution of baked and fat filled foods), I have trouble resisting most foods but especially a Greggs vegan sausage rolls!

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There’re two sorts of people at theme parks…there’s them, the riders…

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And then there’s the bag holders and waiters…

I can’t say I enjoy it any less. I love the atmosphere, I love the noise of other people’s enjoyment, I just don’t want to join in.

This toddler ride is probably the maximum adrenaline I’m willing to expend. Hahahahaha

This toddler ride is probably the maximum adrenaline I’m willing to expend. Hahahahaha

I do consider myself quite bold for being brave enough to go on the river rapids ride though!  I need quite the lie down after that. Hahahahaha  I needed to go to London on Tuesday to pick something up, so I invited Kaitlyn along to make a day of it.  We had a lot of fun, and we shopped till we dropped. Kaitlyn was cracking me up because every new thing she bought she put on to wear, she changed her entire outfit throughout the day.

I do consider myself quite bold for being brave enough to go on the river rapids ride though!

I need quite the lie down after that. Hahahahaha

I needed to go to London on Tuesday to pick something up, so I invited Kaitlyn along to make a day of it.

We had a lot of fun, and we shopped till we dropped. Kaitlyn was cracking me up because every new thing she bought she put on to wear, she changed her entire outfit throughout the day.

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I went in H&M specifically to buy this dress as I had seen it online. H&M do great collaborations and this one was with Richard Allen, an apparently famous scarf designer in the 60’s, this dress was sold out online when I was looking over the collection. So on the off chance they’d have it in store we went in.

Well I think it’s pretty apparent that this is not the dress for me! Hahahahaha hahahahaha But it would come in handy if I can’t keep myself out of Greggs! Hahahahaha

I found some other nice pieces that I loved, and more importantly fitted me.

After a marathon trying on session we headed out for lunch.

We had intended to go to a different restaurant but when we got there it was shut for a private function, so as we were in the area we headed over to my fave! Chutney Mary.

It really is just meant to be for Chris and I but curry was calling me…how could I resist, in the words of Oscar Wilde ‘I can resist Everything but temptation itself’…

…bloody hell, who knew you’d be in for such culture when you started reading this blog this morning. Hahahahaha

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Top from M&S, Skirt from Silk Fred, Shoes from Hermes, Bag from Goyard.

Top from M&S, Skirt from Silk Fred, Shoes from Hermes, Bag from Goyard.

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Oh Lordy the food here is so goooooood, while I was eating I was getting upset that it was going to end… :)

I wasn’t going to admit to Chris that we had been to his fave restaurant too, but the lie seemed worse than the crime. And besides it’s fairly hard to hide you’ve had a curry. :)

Kaitlyn modelling her latest key A/W wardrobe additions, new top, new jacket, new jeans, new boots…don’t wrap it - I’ll wear it. :)

Kaitlyn modelling her latest key A/W wardrobe additions, new top, new jacket, new jeans, new boots…don’t wrap it - I’ll wear it. :)

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I did a bit of Autumn clothing stocking up too. It was like being on Supermarket Sweep in Primark I can tell you!

I am now kitted out in lounge wear, why would anyone spend a fortune for clothes that don’t leave the house.

And actually the quality of the leggings I bought in ‘Primarni’ is surprisingly good. They are so soft and cosy I may never take them off. :)

Leggings - £4, jumper - £6 ~ total cosy satisfaction ~ priceless

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All ready for the nights drawing in and cosy evenings by our log burner (that now houses fairy lights rather than burning wood in an attempt to offset my carbon footprint). Every little helps and all that.

I am flying off on holiday soon (twice) so I’m not exactly Greta Thunberg but I thought I should do my bit where I can.

Just thought I’d mention the things you can and can’t do with a stoma. I have NEVER found anything that I can’t do because of it.

Well I doubt I’m going to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated any time soon but I have a feeling that’s not colostomy bag related! Hahahahaha

Other than modelling, if I want to do something I do it.

Chris ordered a hot tub for the garden, it finally arrived last week. I’m not a huge fan of human soup but I thought I’d give it a go to see how I would get on, although I guess I knew it would be fine, I’ve been swimming in the sea and at many and various pools.

Stoma wise water is fine, particularly if you only have to go from your garden to your house for a shower and bag change.

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We have a huge garden to the side of our house but we never use it, it seems it’s sole purpose is to grow weeds in. We spend all of our time in the tiny courtyard behind our house. Which is why we needed the crane to get the hot tub over.

We have a huge garden to the side of our house but we never use it, it seems it’s sole purpose is to grow weeds in. We spend all of our time in the tiny courtyard behind our house. Which is why we needed the crane to get the hot tub over.

Bags are fine to be in water.  I never fret about what anyone would think of me and my bag. I am lucky in that respect. I can understand why people are cautious and concerned but on the whole the planet is filled with nice people. I don’t let the few ruin my happiness. Xx

Bags are fine to be in water.

I never fret about what anyone would think of me and my bag. I am lucky in that respect. I can understand why people are cautious and concerned but on the whole the planet is filled with nice people. I don’t let the few ruin my happiness. Xx

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Great for relaxing after my epically long bike rides (don’t believe her, she only manages 4 miles every other day!! Hahahahaha)

And if you’ve got enough the inclination you can “swim” (tread water) to your heart’s content.

The point is, there are no rules for stoma owning. Do what you want - When you want. Life is too preciously short to worry about what others may think to stop you living the best life you can. xxx

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And instantly I feel grateful and joyful.

My bag has enabled me to live a good life, an incredible, wonderful, happy life.

Would I prefer that cancer had never touched our family? Well of course!!

But am I happy with our journey since, absolutely I am! xx

*What I assumed life with a colostomy would be like…

*What I assumed life with a colostomy would be like…

What the reality of living with a colostomy is like…

What the reality of living with a colostomy is like…

*I was only covered with a towel as I’d had too much sun. Nothing to do with body shame. :)