Breanna Bzura's Story

Conquering Crohn’s

Growing up, I've always had some sort of issue with my bowels and stomach pain. Over the years it subsided, but during my junior/senior year of high school, I started having many issues. This included weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, and so on. I had multiple tests completed, but nothing was found. The issues began to subside and I then starting having problems my freshman/sophomore year of college. I was then diagnosed with Crohn's disease in September of 2011. I had no idea what to expect. The gastroenterologist who performed my scope mentioned if I had waited any longer, it could have been bad and I may have needed surgery. Luckily, he found my disease just in time. I was put on steroids which helped me greatly, but the side effects were awful. I wish I would have been informed of the side effects before getting put on steroids.

Since then, I had multiple hospital stays, procedures, surgeries, emergency room visits, and different medications, but I stayed hopeful, even in my darkest days. I started infliximab infusions in the fall of 2014, and it truly has given me my life back. I also take azathioprine daily. I managed to graduate with my bachelor's degree and master's degree, all while fighting this awful disease. I can honestly say that this disease has made me a stronger person, and I look at everything differently. I'm grateful for the days when I'm feeling good. I'm grateful for my support system because I'm not sure how I would have dealt with the obstacles thrown at me without them.

Next year I am getting married to love of my life, who has accepted me with my disease. He's been with me through the good, the bad, and the ugly. We will be together for almost nine years. I can't wait to see what the future holds. I am trying to worry less and be as stress free as possible. This can sometimes seem impossible since life throws us stressful moments daily. It's important to consider even with our disease that worrying will only make matters worse. We need to take care of ourselves so we can move forward.

If I can give one piece of advice, it would be to take one day at a time. Deal with issues in the moment and try not to worry about what could happen. Have faith, pray, surround yourself with good people, take a nap, watch a movie, or do whatever makes you feel good because self-care is so important. Also, try to be positive despite this disease. Don't let it define you or make you feel bad. Keep on fighting, every single day, even when you want to give up.