I was deeply moved by the letter written by “Haparae” to her Stoma. Here’s for another unstoppable fighter that opens up about her illness and how she deals with love, life, and body confidence.
A Letter to My Stoma
I was so sick and tired of you ruining my life. You made me feel so ugly and insecure. Everywhere I went, you were there- a constant reminder that I’m never gonna be normal and I’m entirely isolated. It’s just you and I. You were supposed to help me get better and “cure” me but that was a terrible fail, wasn’t it? Now there’s no going back because all I’m left with is you.
It’s been almost a year and I still struggle to make eye contact in the mirror as I get ready for my day. Cause I know you’ll be an inconvenience to me: you’re loud, painful, disgusting, ugly and annoying. I just wish you weren’t there and I could live without you but that’s the irony of us, huh? We need each other to live. Pretty soon I may find out that even you aren’t helping me get better like the other piece of me that was torn out. And before we know it, pieces of you will start leaving me too.
I try to remember what it was like when I had the luxury of meandering throughout my days; never thinking twice about you or how much my world has flipped upside down. I miss having options so much. That’s how you made me so different from everyone I knew- you were so reckless; not even considering my current situation, my future, my bucket list, my dreams or any of my plans….gone. Dissipated into thin air as soon as I awoke in the hospital and found you there looking back at me.
All I want is to know that this will only be temporary. Having you here has given me so much disappointment, to the point that I gave up on dating, nursing school, relationships and having a family. Those intangible thoughts pass through like foreigners as I place them where they belong: on a shelf way far back in my mind. I have to. Let’s be real, no guy is gonna want to deal with us and the weight of responsibility that comes with this package. It’s not like that anymore. Because of you, I’m on my own. No matter how much courage I build up to give it one more try, it still somehow seems to go to shit. Literally.
I hated you. I hated you so much that I tried to cut you out of my life. Both emotionally and physically. I took the sharpest knife I could find to end this toxic thing we had going. You don’t belong here and I wanted to get rid of you. As I watched you bleed to death in front of me from my own bare hands, I stopped and held you. I stared at the puddles of blood resting on the cold tile floor and my mind was racing. This had to stop. Stop the anger and stop time. It’s not fair to you; you’re just doing your job and I have to accept it. Cutting you out wasn’t going to change the fact that I’m still grasping for better days. I still have hope. I can’t believe I got to this point with you and it helped me realize that I need to face this. I will be okay. We’ll be okay. We’re gonna get through this. Just like all those other times.
You may have made me feel alone and broken, however, you were there in my quietest and hardest moments. The times I was so weak to wake up to crawl from my bed to my bathroom so I could throw up the blood that was choking me. Or the times I wanted to cry because my wardrobe had to drastically change but you made me laugh anyways cause we look silly. Or when we were at a party and you leaked so we improvised. We changed you in that bathroom as the free-spirited world outside were holding drinks in their hands, dancing the night away. They were totally oblivious to what you and I were enduring together in that lonely bathroom. It’s weird how in such a massive, social place, you can feel so alone because no one has any idea that you’re fighting this horrible illness that’s invisible to the average eye. And you’re a professional by now at being strong and making sure no one worries about you or knows that you’re a disabled, late 20’s woman just trying to deal the best she can.
Yep, we made it this far. I also should give you credit for when we were told that we’re an “inconvenience” by countless associates, including myself. Thanks for shrugging it off and reminding me that I can’t control my illness or life, but I can choose how I want this story to end. I’m worth the inconvenience, no, We are worth the inconvenience. I’ve come to terms that I have a long journey ahead that will bring more loss and pain but you’re still here and we take it day by day. We got this. Thank you for sticking to me (pun intended) and being my symbol of hope and strength. I won’t ever give up on us. Cheers to the adventures that lie ahead. ✌🏼
Words from The Cancer Voice Asia:
Just another fighter and survivor that is also proud to talk to anyone to help awareness around her bag. For people like us who had traumatic experiences from chronic illnesses, we do hope that you do the same to yourself or your loved one. Raising awareness of health issues is very important because all of us are directly affected by it, and still highly misguided.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
This article was originally published at https://haparae.wordpress.com/.
Cielo Superticioso, is the author of The Cancer Voice Asia created last August 2017. She starts the advocacy of The Cancer Voice after she successfully beat cancer in Saigon, Vietnam by writing articles. She is committed and determined to continue the campaign in order to strengthen the cancer awareness because no one should fight cancer alone.