Monday, August 20 2018
I think this title is appropriate as we were served chicken for dinner at the awards night, sorry just being cheeky.
On Friday the 17th of August, Russ and I drove up to Brisbane to attend the 2017 Great Comeback awards held by Convatec. I know we are in 2018, but it was 2017 when I applied and so the award is for last year but it is in this year which is confusing, but anyway, I won!
I was 1 out of 5 finalists from Australia and New Zealand.
It was such an honour to have been made a finalist, and I was incredibly shocked and surprised to have found out on the night that it was me who had actually won! There were so many deserving and inspiring finalists who have incredibly powerful stories to tell.
On the night at the awards ceremony, which was held in the brand spanking NEW boutique hotel called Emporium Hotel South Bank (I am dedicating a whole separate blog post to this, so stay tuned), there were video interviews of each of the 5 finalists presented. Each video is around 2 minutes long and consisted of images or videos being added in to share in the impact of the story.
I was in tears watching the videos, then mine, which was last to be presented, had me in a complete blubbering mess. I was so embarrassed as it was MY story and I know this sooooo well so it surprised me that it impacted me the way it did. I assume it was a build up of emotions felt on the night, I was incredibly anxious but I was also very overwhelmed, so once the tears started I couldn't stop.
Please keep in mind that the original video was 22 minutes long and was chopped down to 2 minutes for the ease of viewing, so a lot of important points I made were missed. I did also thank my friends and family and also those who read my blog and my tribe who encourage me (you guys), so I don't want anyone to be upset if they didn't hear it mentioned (because it was).
If you have an ostomy, or know someone with an ostomy who has a story to share and have done something inspiring or had a comeback post ostomy life, please let them know about the awards. It could be something like pre ostomy life you were too sick to travel so once you had an ostomy you travelled, could be you returned to work, you did something you have always wanted to do, you started a movement to inspire others, you went back to uni and graduated, or you found yourself and the joy of life from having an ostomy.... or it could be whatever your heart desired that you feel you made a great comeback thanks to your ostomy....
The Great Comeback is entirely your own comeback after ostomy life and could be anything, or could be a number of things, it is different for each person.
To apply you need to submit your story via the site, you do need to include certain aspects of your story pertaining to:
I wrote my story out first in a word document and then copied/pasted it in the appropriate sections. I used the aforementioned topics as headings for each part of my story.
**Please note: the drop down box doesn't have NSW available to be selected, they are aware but have said to choose any state but write somewhere that you are from NSW. They are in the process of fixing this error up along with updating their site too.
If you have a stoma nurse who is amazing and deserves to be recognised, please nominate them too!
I do encourage everyone to apply, the program is a great way to not only share your story but to meet other members of the ostomy community. The awards are all about empowering and inspiring ostomates that there is still a life to be lived and enjoyed after surgery. I had a lovely night, which I will share in more detail in a blog post to come.
Thank you to Convatec and the judges for choosing me as the 2017 winner and I can't wait to see what is to come.
Tuesday, August 07 2018
Tomorrow is Dying to know Day, which is an initiative to encourage people to openly talk about their end of life wishes but to also become better educated and informed about the decisions to be made.
There are 556 events happening all around the country (Aus), to see if there is an event near you click here.
I recently discovered that there are death doulas/death midwives, who help to assist people with their end of life decisions. I am hoping to collaborate on some posts soon with one and share more information about the services but also about being better informed, such as planning your funeral could save you thousands if done in advance, and I am interested in learning about that! So stay tuned for that collab.
75% of the population have not had end of life discussions or discussed their needs, even for something as important as organ and tissue donation. If you have chosen it on your drivers license you still need to register via the donate life site, it takes less than a minute to sign up and you could save many lives.
I know that many find the topic of talking about death confronting or it is rather taboo, but I know for me I want my wishes heard and understood so that when the time comes I hope others know in advance what I want, such as to be at my own home not hospital, and that I hope by having my funeral planned it can save my family the stress of it as they grieve. It also gives me peace of mind that I am getting what I wanted, which I know I won't be there but I still want to know my needs are voiced.
Take this time today, even if you aren't sick and facing your mortality early, to have a conversation with your loved ones, to consider checking your will is up to date and your power of attorney are valid, also checking that your advanced care directive is fulfilled. Tell your family if you want to be an organ/tissue donor and tell them what sort of life celebration you want to be had in your honour.
Also take this time today to become more aware of your options and choices available.
If you're wanting to know a place to start in terms of death literacy and being death aware, this is a link to a list of resources available via dying to know day called "the big list".
For an interview with a death doula on why they believe everyone should have a death plan, you can read more here.
But do spend tomorrow writing a list of your own ideas or needs, and take the time to talk with your loved ones too.
There are plenty of events happening around the country, quite a few in regional NSW too, closest is Port Macquarie for me, but I don't imagine I could get there tomorrow. But palliative care are coming for their usual visit so I plan on making sure my documents are up to date.
However you spend your Dying to Know day, I hope it is a good day!