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Leah Sannar helps spread ostomy support

Introducing our new resident blogger, Leah Sannar. Leah, has had her ileostomy for 7 years. Every month she will be blogging her experiences with an ostomy.

Leah Sannar

I was so excited to be contacted by Eakin to be a contributing blogger. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this community and to help spread support to those who need it. Let me start by introducing myself.

My name is Leah Sannar, and I blog at life, Lemons & Lemonade (LL&L). I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease when I was 20 years old. That was 14 years ago (eeek!) and I have been on quite a roller coaster ride since. I've been in remission for over 6 years now and along with my gratitude for that tremendous blessing, I've had a strong desire to share my story and help others on the same path.

My full story is much too long to share here in one post, but can be found on my personal blog, LL&l. However, to get to know me, certain things do need to be shared. The first is that it took doctors over a year to diagnose me with Crohn's Disease. After that it took them over another year to find the right mix of medication to manage my symptoms. I've been on Asacol, Pentasa, lmuran, Remicade, Prednisone, and Humira. I've had 2 major hospitalizations. The first sent me to the Intensive Care Unit for 4 days with what they called, "an abnormal manifestation of Crohn's Disease." The second, began in 2007 and lasted over 14 months. I checked in with a very high fever and spent months while the doctors tried to figure out why my Crohn's was no longer responding to medication.

In September of 2007, they found Stage 3 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in my colon, and alter 6 rounds of chemo, was finally pronounced cancer free. It didn't, however, get my Crohn's under control and they had to go back in and remove my large intestines. I've been living with a permanent Ileostomy since November 2009.

After all the pain and heartache we suffered during those difficult times, I can honestly say, this is the happiest and healthiest I've ever been. I remember how scared I was when the doctors told me that I would have to live with an Ostomy. I couldn't even imagine being able to live a normal life. Boy, I wish I could have fast forwarded my life and seen into the future, because I would have been celebrating and begging them to do it sooner.

If you're reading this, chances are, you or someone you know and love is facing something similar. I am here to tell you that life can and does go on with an Ostomy. I live an incredibly normal life. I work full time, I'm married, I adopted an amazing little boy who is my heart and soul.

I look forward to writing many more posts and helping spread awareness for living with an ostomy. I hope you'll engage and ask me questions and let me know what kind of topics you'd like to hear more about! In the meantime, don't be afraid. If you're facing this surgery, it's because you need it - and I promise, you can do it. :o)

Xoxo - Leah

Visit Leah over at her blog site lifelemonsandlemonade.com

If you would like to share your story with us, please email mail@eakin.co.uk