Posted: February 7, 2019 in Postcards from Cancerland.


It has been two weeks since I had an wildly unpredictable whoopee cushion attached to my belly.
In this most unexpected season, cancer treatment was unexpectedly interrupted by an unexpected emergency surgery that left eight inches of my colon in a metal bowl. In exchange for the colon I got a bonus butt!!!
Let me get a tad more scientific. (After what I’ve experienced the last seven months, I’m an artist with a new appreciation for science!)
I had a colostomy. That’s a surgery that creates an opening (stoma) in the large intestine (colon).
It’s a bonus butt!
We have named him Fernando.
“There was something in the air that night…”
We are adjusting to Fernando.
Fernando expresses himself at the most awkward times, in elevators and quiet waiting rooms.
I get interesting looks as interesting sounds come from under my shirt.
I’ve decided to roll with it and just have some fun.
It is ironic, at a time in my life when I can’t be around middle schoolers, that I suddenly have the funniest middle school party trick! I’m like a walking fart machine.
We are adjusting to Fernando.
It’s a huge mental adjustment.
We have read some stories this week and realized that people of all ages have colostomy bags for a lot of reasons.
It doesn’t slow them down.
They keep on living.
I’m thankful for the science that can create a simple pouch that saves lives.
It’s a beautiful, messy thing!
But, sometimes beautiful, messy things are misunderstood.
I read last night about a ten year old boy who committed suicide because he was being bullied because of his bag.
How tragic.
How sad that a little warrior fighting for his life would have that life squeezed away by ignorance and oppression.
I wish things like bullying and hatred could be removed as easily as a bad colon.
Life is all about adjustment.
We adjust to new normals.
We adjust to the unexpected.
We are adjusting to Fernando.

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