Jo-Ann Tremblay

From the brink of death to recovery, a colostomy is a beginning again, a 2nd chance at life, the cherry on top!

I am an ostomate living in Canada. On July 21, 2011, after a lengthy illness with a common but rarely talked about bowel disease, diverticulosis, I underwent life saving, emergency surgery that resulted in the creation of a permanent colostomy I affectionately call “Percy”.

I was literally at the brink of death, and went to the operating room in excruciating pain, scared to death, and woke up with less pain discovering a new hole in my tummy with a little rosebud peeking out.

My recovery was lengthy and difficult, spanning more than a year. In order to help me deal with it all, I began to write about what was happening to me and how I felt about it.

After a year, I realized that my musings could possibly become a book with possible benefits to fellow ostomates as at the time we all go through the processes of relief, anger, vulnerability, and fear in coming to terms with this life changing surgery.

The result is: “BETTER WITH A BAG THAN IN A BAG”, is a first person account of arriving at the brink of death, surgery, survival and living with a colostomy.

This is a tale that I think speaks to the human spirit within all of us. Through the use of humour (due to the sometimes awkward day-to-day happenings experienced by this ostomate), “Better With A Bag Than In A Bag” walks you through my experiences, my laughing, my crying, while trying to live with my new life partner “Percy” (who can sometimes be a real little pooper).

I have also created a blog, as part of my committed effort to ostomy awareness hoping to benefit people with bowel disease, fellow ostomates, their caregivers/advocates, medical professionals, and our community of humanity around the world.

THE OSTOMY FACTOR – is a candid blog that relate the adventures of an ostomate. The humorous and inspiring everyday stories will give you a chuckle as you enjoy a good read. Some of the stories are even written by Percy, from his perspective, stoma to stoma.

Ostomate, personal/professional life coach, speaker, blogger, photographer, watercolour/oil artist, author, mother, wife and grandmother, are just a few of my titles.

I have also created and hosted the television special, “That’s Life”, hosted 2 television program series – and a radio program series, “Voice Of Our Town”.

As an ostomate and parent of a son with Crohn’s Disease, I speak, write and paint, on a variety of life topics with humour and inspiration