I spent many years in pain from the way I perceived peoples perception of me and my stoma. My daughter came home swearing the first week of Head Start. I started volunteering the next week. At that point in my life I was really hurting from the changes to my body and the way I looked. At 17 I was just not mature enough to be positive about the changes to my body.
My daughter went to school at a community college Head Start Program. It was a bunch of kids raising kids. I ended volunteering almost everyday. Those kids really transformed my everything. You can't get mad at a kid for pretending to have a stoma or wanting to look inside your hole. You can't give a kid a mean look for intimidating your voice or pretending to have no voice.
These are normal human reactions. Adults, kids, we all react to things that are different, it's programmed into our DNA and at 17, and even at 27, those reactions hurt me deep into the core of my soul. These feelings were debilitating. In many ways I was a recluse. Many cancer survivors never get over these feelings and often end up home-bound.
After about a year of volunteering all that pain melted away. I didn't realize it at first, but I soon found myself talking to strangers more and not reacting as much. I was healed. Those kids changed my life, they gave me my life back. I can now talk freely and openly without any feelings of pain or anger.
I'm really lucky that God gave me a daughter. When I thought life could not go on and that I would never be happy God gave me something I needed. I thought life was hard after cancer. It got really hard after having a baby. I really had to step-up and suck-it-up so that my pain did not become my kids pain. It took many years, but my heart and soul have truly been restored and I have been free to find my purpose in life. Having a purpose is everything. If you are struggling to come to terms with your life after cancer you have to find your purpose, you have to find your why, this will truly free you from the chains of pain. My purpose has transformed my life! It has given me a life! I'm no longer existing, I'm now Living and Living Well!