ulcerative colitis surgery sub total colectomy with end ileostomy

No Coloniversary

Three years ago today, I was wheeled into theatre and had my colon removed and my first ostomy created. I’d been in hospital for weeks, and this was the end of the line after 10 years of ulcerative colitis.  At the time, I thought it would be the end of all my problems and though I was upset, distraught and terrified, I truly felt that I could start a brand new life without illness.

In the past three years, I’ve had three further surgeries, multiple hospital visits and I’m awaiting a date for my fifth and possibly sixth surgeries!
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret what happened. I’d had years of flare ups and illness but I don’t think I really recognised that this was just another chapter in my health story, rather than the end of it.

sam cleasby blogger ostomy ibd disability

There are so many wonderful things that have happened in the past three years, things that would have been difficult, if not impossible with my ulcerative colitis. I travelled to Vietnam and Australia, I renewed my wedding vows and I started this blog!
This place has been such a blessing, it has been my diary, a cathartic release to spew out all my feelings. It’s also let me down a new career path, three years ago I’d have never believed I’d be on TV and radio or that I’d be featured in nearly every major newspaper! I wouldn’t have thought I’d be sitting on the This Morning couch with Holly and Phil, be going to parliament, be writing for a newspaper or be in US People magazine!!

sam cleasby this morning holly willoughby Philip schofield

More than that though, I wouldn’t have believed that id have the strength to help others. To inspire and support people all over the world.  I wouldn’t have thought I’d be meeting wonderful new people who courageously share their stories with me and make me carry on writing.
Three years ago today, as I lay in the high dependency unit, tubes everywhere, I was at my lowest.  I was broken, helpless and my soul hurt.  I felt like my body was a failure, that I had become a burden to everyone around me. I felt as though the world would be better off without me.

sam cleasby blogger ostomy ibd surgery

This blog helped me through the toughest times of my life and I want to thank every single one of you for reading, commenting and supporting me.  I’ve had well over 2.5 MILLION views now, I still can’t believe that number when I say it out loud! And every single reader has a place in my heart.
Thank you for following my journey for the past three years, I hope you’ll continue to be by my side for the next three.

Love Sam xxx

2 replies
  1. Dave
    Dave says:

    Sam. Just found your blog while searching for encouragement. Thank you for sharing your story – with all the ups and downs. I am glad for your success at helping to remove some of the stigma associated with UC and Crohns and the medical approach to treating these issues.

    My j-pouch is about 6 years old. Mixed success. Never worked great due to chronic pouchitis. Going back to the illiostomy in November. My surgeon is recommending that I keep the j-pouch inside and run a loop bypass to the bag. I look forward to the illiostomy to stop taking meds and to have more control. A goal I have is to run a ten mile race with my wife and daughter. I hope the bag allows me to gain back the adventure life UC took away from me.

    Keep up the good work!

    Dave

    Reply

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