Everybody Loves a Hero…
Yesterday officially marked my living without a colon for two years. So much has changed since that day. I feel like I’ve been swept up in a whirlwind. I was going to write something different today… about what it was like the day after surgery. Today, however, I feel compelled to write about how I took a hurtful situation… a feeling of hopelessness and turned it around for good.
Who doesn’t love a hero?
I have always been inspired by superheroes. I grew up watching the old 1960’s Batman movie with Adam West. It was about 20+ years old by the time I saw it for the first time, but I’ve always had a deep love for superheroes running around saving the day. I was always playing Batman and Robin with my sister. Together we fought the Joker, Catwoman and the Riddler. I used to be a bit of a tomboy… I ran through the woods, played in the mud, collected bugs… all things that most little girls try to avoid. I love adventure.
It wasn’t until 1989 when Tim Burton’s Batman hit the theaters when I learned that Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered in front of him. Bruce, scarred by such an event, was able to turn that situation around and swore to fight for and protect victims from thieves, crooks, murderers, etc.
Through the years I have fallen in love with so many heroes. Spider-Man, the X-Men, Superman, Mulan, the Power Rangers (don’t laugh, you know you watched them!)… Watching these heroes fighting for the good of mankind made me feel strong, powerful. Like I could take on the world. Like I was invincible.
I used to be invincible…
And I did think I was invincible. I graduated high school, not a care in the world. I entered college and aced all my major courses. I was a good student. The teacher’s respected me… and I respected them. Finally, I graduated with honors and at that point in time, the worst thing I’d ever had to deal with was a really difficult breakup. Breakups SUCK. But again, I found comfort in heroes. I still loved Batman, Spider-Man and Superman… but I also adored Mr. Darcy (the hero in Pride & Prejudice).
I was able to find an internship through one of my teachers and through them, I was able to land
my first job right out of college. With Dad as my co-signer, I bought my first car! I moved in with a friend (out on my own). From there, I was contacted by my teacher who turned me on to my next job. My friend was getting married, so I found my own apartment (score! I’m moving on up in life!). I joined eHarmony and met my TRUE hero, Dave. I was a student of Shotokan karate. I truly thought I was invincible.
I’d been dating Dave for about a year and I was six months away from my black belt when my symptoms hit. It was really difficult for me to accept my illness. I think I was in denial for a very long time. I was able to get into remission for the first time pretty easily, but I soon learned that my battle was far from being over. For three years IBD wreaked havoc with my life. Finally, on April 15th, 2014, I lost my colon.
With the help of the Colitis Ninja (that little doodle I drew), I was able to find the strength to keep fighting. Today, I am traveling to speak to an audience of fellow IBD patients. I never imagined that I would be doing anything like this. The Colitis Ninja became my hero, and as I sit here writing this, I think back to a quote from Aunt May Parker in Spider-Man 2…
“Everybody loves a hero. People line up for them, cheer them, scream their names. And years later, they’ll tell how they stood in the rain for hours just to get a glimpse of the one who taught them how to hold on a second longer. I believe there’s a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams.”
You may have to give up your dreams… like my dream of becoming a black belt, but I was able to hold on for just a second longer by finding my strength… my hero within. I hope that you will be able to do the same.