I strongly believe that talking about your disease and your experience when you want to and on your own terms is very important for your mental health. I found that ignoring it only made everything worse. Here are my tips:
LIVE IT UP.
I decided the last month with my colon was going to be a great one. I desired to cram everything into one month, do all the things and eat all the things I won’t be able to; fruits with seeds, raw vegetables, spicy meals, soda, and corn. So much corn and popcorn.
I also did a lot of activities I wanted to, which created lasting memories with friends too: indoor skydiving, shooting guns, roller-coasters and carnival games, and lots of exploring around the city.
If you are slender like myself, I strongly recom
mend you gain as much weight as you can. I am 5’7″ and typically weighed 130lbs. I strove to gain 15 lbs so I had something to lose following surgery. I also read that having a belly helps with having a flange stay on you better (so my research revealed). I know, striving to gain weight does sound a little ridiculous, perhaps it was just my excuse to binge eat. I didn’t want to be too skeletal and have no resources for my body to suck from. And boy, sedentary living and liquid diet does suck it from you.
I managed to reach my goal and I lost what I did gain, and then some. I was in hospital for 7 days, and lost 20 lbs. I have since gained 5 and lost that too when I increased my post-op exercise.
CONFIDE IN YOUR FRIENDS.
Expressing your deepest feelings (honest fears, anxieties, opinions, perspectives, raw emotions) to your confidants really helps you release all that negative energy with a much needed emotional catharsis. Having a strong support network is very helpful to your mental health: they are encouraging and help you see past your present moment. Having someone around to have a weak moment is really helpful to get back up again if you cannot do it on your own.
My support network was my family, but my closest and most supportive group were my new friends. Every single one of them checked in on me often and took great measures to make me happy and feel loved. I was adorned with such lovely support from beautiful flowers to seeing their smiling faces and uplifting spirits. Not to mention they all thoroughly enjoyed my morphined state (haha).
Appreciate these beautiful people in your life, they are truly difficult to come by.