Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Forward

This year hasn’t flown for me where school is concerned. The opposite, in fact. It has CRAWLED.

Whatever is slower than a snail, that's what this year has been like.

Whatever is slower than a snail, that’s what this year has been like.

But when I look back at exactly one year ago today, it seems like it was only a few months ago and not twelve. One year ago today, I spent most of the day under anesthesia, in the OR and recovery room, having my colon removed to cure my Ulcerative Colitis.

Sent this the day after so Obi-wan didn't worry so much. See Dad? I'm smiling = I'm ok!

Sent this the day after so Obi-wan didn’t worry so much. See Dad? I’m smiling = I’m ok!

What a difference a year makes.

Last year, I couldn’t run 2 minutes on the treadmill before I had to jump off and race for the bathroom. Last week, I ran a PR in the half marathon. 1:40, thankyouverymuch. Oh, and I’m gonna kick ass in Chicago running for Team Challenge in three weeks!

Jersey, baby!

Jersey, baby!

Last year, I was so sick I was getting chemo pumped into my veins, iron IVs, and hydration solution every week. As of right now, I’m only on one drug, soon to be DRUG-FREE!(This probably means very little to anyone but Mrs. Obi-wan. Look, ma! No drugs!)

No more blogging with one hand and getting Remicade in the other!

No more blogging with one hand and getting Remicade in the other!

Last year, I missed just about every single running/walking/sporting event with my friends. This Thursday, I’m walking in lower Manhattan with my lululemon family and friends in the Taking Steps walk to spread IBD awareness. (Join me!)

Go ahead, ASK ME!

Go ahead, ASK ME!

Last year, I was terrified I wouldn’t make it through my first year of DPT school because of the two surgeries, the colostomy bag, or some other unforeseen disaster. Not only did I conquer my first year of school, this Friday I will be exactly halfway through my first rotation. And I’m feeling great about it!

Abby Bales, Student Physical Therapist and wheelchair driver extraordinaire.

Abby Bales, Student Physical Therapist and wheelchair driver extraordinaire.

What a difference a year makes. I cannot thank my friends, family, classmates, running community, lululemon family, and all of you enough for all of your support and encouragement over this past year.

I guess today’s post embodies all of what Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays are really all about: forward motion in the hopes of a better tomorrow.

I was scared to go forward with surgery but I did it and I don’t regret it one little bit.

I was scared to go forward with school, not knowing if my body would hold up, but I did and I made it through (with a little LOT of help from Birdie).

I was scared to come forward about my disease and surgery and all that but I did and managed to not only make new friends, but reach out into the IBD community to help other people struggling with the same decisions I had to make.

And no matter what happens, it is always better to be here than not to be here. I know that now more than ever.

Happy colon-free-iversary to me! I am totally colon-free and kicking ass!

Now go out and run!

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11 thoughts on “Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Forward

  1. Happy Colon-free-iversary! I’ll be celebrating mine in August, and I couldn’t be happier! Congratulations and keep on kickin ass!

  2. You are truly such an inspiration! As a person with IBS, I know I don’t have anything remotely as terrible UC, but it is so nice to read your honest view and struggles and victories! Happy colon-free-iversary! :)

  3. I’ve been following your blog for a couple months now and it’s been really inspiring to see you overcome your obstacles and staying positive. I’ve got a nervous stomach/digestive system that gives me trouble from time to time, but I couldn’t imagine having to deal with it on the level you have. Congrats on owning your colon-free and kicking ass-ness!

  4. Cool. Thanks so much. I have Colitis and my brother has Crohns so perhaps I will buy one up for both of us for our respective diseases. I mean, we both talk about it enough anyway without the shirts. haha.

  5. I just found your blog and wanted to cry as I read this post. I was just diagnosed with UC in November and have been struggling to get it under control since. I am trying to get back into running but am often sidelined by trips to the bathroom. Your blog is so encouraging and gave me hope, so thank you!

    • I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been struggling with a flare! I hope you have a great team working with you. There’s lots of support out there and I definitely encourage you to get involved to meet other athletes w/IBD. Makes a world of difference. Feel free to email me w/any questions! Feel better. I hope you can get out for a run soon!

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