2013 – what a year!

This year has been filled with highs and lows. I got sick, lived in an amazing house, held our Cleastonbury festival, laughed a lot, cried quite a bit, had my colon removed, got an ileostomy bag, had some big disappointments but also some fantastic highs, I have visited Vietnam and I’m ending the year in Sydney with my big sis!

I’ve faced my biggest challenges this year, two weeks in hospital, IV steroids, moon face, mood swings, pain, fear and the ‘decision’ – I had a subtotal colectomy with an end ileostomy and spent the last four months living with an ileostomy bag.

sam cleasby ulcerative colitis ibd ileostomy surgery

It has been one of the hardest years of my life, there were times when I felt so low, that life was unfair and that I didnt want to have to deal with all this.  But through the support of my friends and family I got through it.  I founded this blog as a cathartic way to express my feelings while I was on this rollercoaster ride and was amazed that so many of you read it.  Over 30,000 views since I started!!!!

ulcerative colitis surgery ibd ileostomy hospital

As tough as this year has been, I have come through stronger and with a sense of what I want from life.  Im more adventurous and open to change, I want to make the most of every second, Im braver than I thought and stronger than I seem.

colectomy scar ulcerative colitis

I am covered in battle scars that remind me of what I have been through, Im not ashamed of them nor do I feel the need to hide them or cover them up.  I wear my ileostomy bag with pride as it is a symbol of wellness for me.  Before my operation my life was ruled by the toilet, my quality of life was suffering and I just couldnt see a happy future.  Now my bag lets me lead a better life.

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Im travelling at the moment, I am been to Vietnam and Im in Australia now.  This is something I couldnt dream of doing before as the fear of having a flare up would have ruined it all.  In the last 3 weeks I have been swimming, snorkelling, rode a bicycle around a Vietnamese island, travelled over 12,000 miles, hiked through Aussie bush and LIVED.

vietnam bicycle ulcerative colitis ibd warrior ileostomy ostomy stoma adventure life travel

2013 has made me realise that who you are is not what your life throws at you, but how you choose to deal with it.

ibd warrior inner strength confidence ostomy ileostomy bag

woman with stoma ileostomy ostomy stoma images

woman with stoma ileostomy ostomy stoma images

sunbathing with an ileostomy stoma ostomy travel holidays bikini swimwear

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So that was 2013, lets see what 2014 brings!

Happy New Year to you all!

Love Sam xx

0 replies
  1. Nicola Goodlad
    Nicola Goodlad says:

    Wow you are amazing Sam! So glad you are having a fab time – I think you have kicked Crohn’s in the butt!! Lol. Nic ( from Sheffield a Crohn’s and colitis group) xx

    Reply
  2. Nicola Goodlad
    Nicola Goodlad says:

    Wow you are amazing Sam! So glad you are having a fab time – I think you have kicked Crohn’s in the butt!! Lol. Nic ( from Sheffield a Crohn’s and colitis group) xx

    Reply

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