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I love parties. Big, small, indoors, outdoors, themed, casual, you name it, if it involves a gathering of friends and family, I am all over it! What I really love the most though, is hosting a party and giving it some sort of silly title. Shin digs end up being called “extravaganza’s,” get-togethers usually incur the moniker of “clam bakes” and even casual get-together’s end up tagged as “soiree’s.”
So you can just imagine my glee when I realized I could celebrate my impending ostomy surgery with a little shaker I decided to dub “Oscar the Ostomy’s Come-out Cotillion.” It involved finger foods reminiscent of innards and stomas. Hot dog’s with artfully placed ketchup that were quartered and made to look like intestine’s, an un-used diaper in a serving bowl covered in spinach dip with streaks of red salsa, pastry intestines and a bunch of other laughable foods meant to get the guest’s talking about guts. We served drinks in blood bags and from sandwich baggies (1. Pick up plastic bag – I think just about any sort without holes will do – with the open end pointing up. 2. Fill bag with liquid. 3. Tie top of bag closed securely.4. Turn contents of bag upside down so that the knot is now at the bottom.5. Bite off a corner and drink away.) To top off the festivities I was running around showing everyone how “X marks the Oscar spot” (I was already sited for my stoma.)

As more and more people arrived and asked the inevitable “What the heck is an ostomy?” it dawned on me that I NEEDED to educate as many people as I could. I approached my up-coming surgery with the gusto of a religious fanatic and felt it was my duty to tell everyone of the upcoming event.

The day of surgery I had to stop not once but twice on the way to the hospital to use a washroom. During that second sprint I was overcome with emotion knowing I would NEVER have to do this again. The surgery went off without a hitch and with 2 doctors double teaming the operation I was good to go a scant 6 hours later. I woke up late on the first day to look under the covers and was immediately drawn to an alien looking nub on my abdomen. In my best Al Pacino, Scarface voice I said “hello my little friend” and promptly threw up.

The next evening a steady stream of visitor’s bearing Tim Horten’s steeped tea’s and all number of things I couldn’t previously eat (Thank you to the Knapman’s for the largest tin of pop corn ever…I still salivate thinking about my first real popcorn crunch in 13 years) stopped in. All who entered the room were shown Oscar. Most people shook their heads in amazement; some asked a billion questions and every single person who exited my room left with knowledge about what it means to have an ostomy.

I know I’m not your normal ostomate. I show and tell everyone about Oscar, but I’d rather the world know what’s happening on my left side than have them think I have some sort of growth that occasionally likes to make noise. Besides, can you just imagine what kind of party I am going to throw for World Ostomy Day? World Ostomy Day Wonderland has a nice ring I think.

To learn more about Allie and Oscar’s adventures, visit: Oscar the Ostomy

Let’s Be Heard: Great Comebacks Award Winner Mary Penner Speaks Up Alicia’s Story: Tell the class something they wouldn’t know just by looking at you

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  1. Katryna says:

    I am currently planning my party for when I heal from my illeostomy. It’s called “Mamma’s got a brand new bag!”. All guests have to wear an appliance and there will be a station to decorate it. It is giving me something positive to focus on

  2. Brian cry me a river Strachan says:

    I think you should come home to Toronto and have the party there cuz your best friend needs to be introduced to Oscar. Love Brian

  3. ostomycanada says:

    Thanks Allie and Oscar for sharing your story!

  4. KELLY says:

    IT IS AN AWESOME WAY OF RAISING AWARENESS. I HAVE A JEJUNOSTOMY FEEDING TUBE AND AM ON TPN (AKA STEAK AND POTATOES) DUE TO MOTILITY DISORDERS AND THERE’S LITTLE AWARENESS. BUT YOU HAVE INSPIRED ME TO TRY AND RAISE AWARENESS. THANKS TO YOU AND OSCAR!KEL

  5. kerriann clark says:

    Loved your story-the parties are a great idea and allowing people that are not ostomates to share in your private life is so freeing, I would imagine. Most of my family(BIG FAMILY) knows about my ostomy but many don’t understand it. I may need to have a little soiree in order to inform them correctly on ostomies and their function,slow motility of the small intestine and the many other intestinal issues I have endured. I appreciate your outstanding informative lifestyle that inspires others to spread the word and not keep this ostomy a secret. I have to say as of late I am more open having it then the 1st 2 yrs. It will be 3 yrs in February and maybe I will have a 3 year anniversary party with me and my ostomy. LOL I love it Thanks again Allie-Kerriann

  6. Keri says:

    You should be an event planner! I love all the ideas you came up with. I always think it’s great when people name their ostomies—if I ever need one, I’ll definitely make a project out it as if I’m choosing a baby name haha.
    Really though, it’s awesome that you took the time to make the people around you aware from the start. I’m coming up on five years since diagnosis and this story made me want to host a shindig. Or at least go out to dinner. 🙂 I think it’s worth celebrating how far I’ve come and all the people who’ve helped me get through the tough times.

  7. Once again you’ve made your mother proud. Well done!

  8. Maggie Paar says:

    KUDOS GIRL !!!! How very courageous of you….I’m like Keri, not there yet, but not ruling it out. Over the past 3 years I’m having extreme difficulty stabilizing Crohn’s. In June I was switched to Humira, once a week injections along with my other prescription Imuran. It’s rare I endure a symptom free week – some worse than others. Working closely with my Gastro and his team along with the Progress Group that manages the Humira (nurses, the insurance coverage, and many other wonderful services). I am very blessed for all these folks looking after me, just wish I could head to remission….for a long, long while. You surely are a very positive inspiration 🙂 Cheers … to being healthy and living a “normal” life …..

  9. melissa rinehart says:

    Kelly I hope you get to see this message because I have crohn’s disease but also have had a j-tube and I am also on TPN. I really need to talk to you or e-mail you I am running out of options and not sure where to turn to next. I am currently in the hospital again with sepsis from a port infection. If you get this and dont mind giving me some advice please e-mail me at mr3316@hotmail.com. Thank you so much in advance.

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