By Daniel Garza @LilMesican
There are days when I wake up and life seems ‘normal’. I get up, brush my teeth, take a shower, wash out my bag, get dressed, have breakfast, clean out my bag, watch TV, and get on my computer.
What… you don’t have a bag to clean out?
I had a colostomy surgery, of all days, on April 1st, yes April Fool’s Day. I wish this was a big joke. I wake up some days and imagine that I don’t have a whole in my belly. That all is ‘normal’.
I keep saying normal as if this was a scene out of a sequel from “Beetlejuice.” If I say it three times maybe ‘normal’ will appear. As if it were a real person. But if normal appeared, would I recognize it?
If you have followed my story, you know that I have lived with HIV for 15 years now. The medications, the doctors, hospital stays, etc. That became ‘Normal’. I was always a bit uncomfortable. That became ‘Normal’.
Sobriety became ‘normal’. I got used to not depending on drugs and alcohol to highlight my good and bad moments. Being “Positive,” I made peace with it. For 15 years we were friendly. I took my meds, he kept himself under control. We had a deal.
Then anal cancer had to come and ruin all that. The servings of chemo and radiation were horrible to my body. They were, as I would say, “a pain in the butt.” That’s when it all started to go downhill.
We couldn’t get the wounds to heal. It made my days impossible and my nights miserable. I get a knot in my stomach and a tear in my eye when I think about it. It runs through my head constantly, “It won’t heal!”
Finally, after months of trying to convince me to have the colostomy surgery, I agreed… and I cried… and I got mad… and I agreed. It’s not easy to agree to have a hole in your belly that is going to be your butt… wait, what?
In case you don’t know what a colostomy is, here you go:
Co-los-to-my: (kəˈlästəmē) a surgical operation in which a piece of the colon is diverted to an artificial opening in the abdominal wall so as to bypass a damaged part of the colon.
I’ve named mine Tommy. Some folks name the bag, some name the colostomy. I don’t know the difference. To me, it’s the whole thing. So I have my kids, Aime (AIDS) & Tommy (Colostomy).
So that’s my ‘normal’, that’s what I live with every day. How, you ask? I pray, meditate, vlog… oh, yea, I write. Because I want to help others to feel ‘normal’.
So the next time you don’t feel ‘normal’ get in touch and we’ll share stories about when we did know what ‘normal’ felt like or the parts we remember about it. You remember, back when we were young and indestructible.
I guess we were right, we are indestructible. We got knocked down but we got up again. That’s why that song is here with the article. So we can hear it and live it. The lyrics say: “We'll be singing, when we're winning, we'll be singing” and “He sings the songs that remind him of the good times. He sings the songs that remind him of the better times.”
I know better times are coming. How? Cause we’re still here. God, The Universe, Life doesn’t keep us around to torture us. We learn lessons and we keep going. Cause another verse says, “You're never gonna keep me down”.
I say that to God, The Universe, Life… I get knocked down but I get up again.
Daniel had colostomy surgery in April, 2015 due to anal cancer. He was raised in Texas and now lives in California as an actor, writer and blogger on Daniel the Survivor.
Video credit: Tubthumping by Chumbawamba. All copyright goes to Chumbawamba and their record label.