Tuesday, September 20, 2011

2012 Colondar

This past June I flew to Albany, NY to take part in something that 3 years ago I never would have seen myself doing. When I was diagnosed with cancer, one of the things that I had somewhat of a hard time with was my body image post-surgery. I wasn't prepared for what I would look like afterwards (for example, I found out that I don't scar well). I grieved the fact that I would never wear a bikini again and that I would have to meet someone who didn't care about the huge incision scar on my abdomen AND the huge one on my back (I did meet someone by the way... almost right after I finished my surgeries... he married me a year ago as of 9/18/11). But then I felt stupid for caring about wearing a bikini... hello, I was ALIVE! But I was also 22, and body image was a struggle for me. I wish I had know about The Colon Club (www.colonclub.com). They produce a calendar every year called the "Colondar" with pictures and bios of young adults who have been diagnosed with colon cancer. The twist: everyone shows off their scars. Had I seen that before surgery I think I would have been much more confidant about the way I looked afterwards.

As soon as I found The Colon Club website I was almost overwhelmed... there were so many beautiful people gracing the pages of this calendar and for once I felt like I looked like everyone else. And the forums were just awesome. It was the first time I had corresponded with other colon cancer fighters/ survivors that were my age. It really empowered me in my journey and I decided I wanted to do that for someone else. So I applied to be in the 2012 Colondar. Who would've thought that I'd actually get accepted! But I did... and this past June, in NY, I met some amazing new people and I did my photo shoot. I expected it to feel a little awkward... I'm not the "model" type and really actually hate having my picture taken because I'm so overly critical of myself... not to mention I have never really let anyone but my mom and my husband see my scar. I was so surprised when I was immediately changing in front of the other girls and walking around in mid-drift tops... I felt normal. And during my photo shoot I actually felt... wait for it... SEXY! Can you believe it? I hadn't felt sexy in years. It was an amazing gift that they gave me. I no longer constantly check to make sure my shirts are pulled all the way down and I've been looking for a tankini, something I would never have considered before. But you see, these are my battle scars. And I began to realize that I didn't look at others weird for having scars so they probably didn't look at me weird for having them either. So, as I'm sure you've seen, above is my Colondar photo. I am Miss December 2012 :) You can buy a Colondar at http://www.colonclub.com/colondar.html. Thank you for supporting this cause.

I really hope that more people will begin standing up for colon cancer awareness. It is a disease that effects so many people, young and old, and it shouldn't be a taboo subject. Will you stand up? Organize a GYRIG event, help sell Colondars, anything! Thanks for taking the time to read this and for getting involved!


  1. OMG!!! YOU DID IT!!! I'M SO PROUD OF YOU SIS! And of course, your pics look fabulous -- but i knew they would ;) I LOVE YOU!


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting..... 'WHAT A RIDE!'"