It's Not Harder Than Cancer Positive Attitude Thriving

Another day, Another Poo-mergency

Blame it on the weight loss, a bad batch of colostomy wafers or something else entirely, but the last two days have seen two major poo-mergencies.

Colostomy blowouts. Codes brown, as it were. Clean up on aisle three.

Generally speaking, I have learned to roll with the punches. Clean myself off, wash the soiled clothes and the bathroom throw rug, slap on a new appliance and move on with the day.

As I’ve written in this space, I’m training for the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. One of my biggest concerns, after “Will I be able to do this?” is “Am I going to crap myself?”

I got the answer today: “Yup.”

It was cold, and my appliance was belted down but not tight enough I fear. This time, I didn’t feel the leak. At mile four, I smelled it. Like a port-a-let baking in the sun, or an interstate rest stop after a NASCAR race. I was a walking toilet.

I had colostomy supplies with me, but we (Anthony, Michael and I) were not near a bathroom. A Kroger was a mile away, though, so we ran in that direction.

Fifteen minutes later I emerged, as clean as possible given the situation, to finish the training run. What sucks is I was making great time! Had it not been for the cleanup stop, I would have run 11 miles in well under two-and-a-half hours.

While it was moderately embarrassing to crap myself in public, I was the first to make a joke about it.

More to the point, it would have been easy to give up, stop what I was doing, have someone come pick me up, and never go for a long run again. There are lots of people with colostomies sitting on their couches who have given up on life because they poop in a bag.

I’m not that guy.

If I give up, cancer wins. I’ll be damned if that bitch is going to win. Not on my watch.

Besides, I have another training run next weekend.


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  • Reply
    January 18, 2015 at 1:24 am

    I’ll be glad to stand with supplies for you along the marathon route…GO MICHAEL GO!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2015 at 1:54 am

    You simply amaze me. What an inspiration you are to so many people.

  • Reply
    gloria holtz
    January 18, 2015 at 2:20 am

    I wish I was there so I could help you with stand-by supplies. I am so proud of the man you have become. Of course I have always been proud to call you son,

  • Reply
    Lori Friel
    January 18, 2015 at 6:07 am

    This cracked me up….because I’ve been there in some form or fashion. so incredibly proud of you for completing the run. You are incredible.

  • Reply
    January 18, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    You are my hero, Mart!! You take a $hitty situation and thrive from it. XO

  • Reply
    Jen Hunt
    January 24, 2015 at 11:43 am

    I crapped my pants on a training run once and I don’t have a colostomy bag! Unlike you, I turned around, headed for the car and drove home. Way to stick it out. Think of it as a marathoner badge of honor 🙂

    Glad the training is going well! You’re going to rock it!

    • Reply
      Michael Holtz
      January 26, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks, Jen! I’m looking forward to the big day.

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