Janelle's Story

Janelle Kostas Hi, my name is Janelle Kostas I am 38 years old and a happily married mother of two beautiful daughters, ages 10 and 12. I have suffered from colon disease and complications from IBS for 10 years now; however, this year everything came to a halt and on May 26,2016 I said goodbye to my large colon once and for all.

Let's rewind a bit - I have suffered with symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome for 10 years yet the past 5 years have been the worst of it. I had my first colectomy in April 2011 and my second only 6 months later in November 2011. Since then, after more than 75 hospitalizations and numerous failed medicine treatments, I have made the most of it while taking care of my girls, putting a smile on my face and, working full time as an RN pediatric home care nurse for chronically ill children.

I always put on a very good front on the outside by making sure that once I left my house, every day I looked presentable so that no one would know how sick I really was inside! Yet on April 20, 2016 that all changed. I went to Lahey Emergency Room and was told, "Janelle this time we cannot fix this, your colon is done!!!"

The next month was spent hooked up to IV nutrition at home until I was strong enough to have my colon removed. The plan was to wait and see how my body responded but my body did not do well. Within one month I was in the operating room. On May 26, 2016 I had the rest of my large colon removed and most of my small intestine and I was left with a permanent ostomy, now for life!

Needless to say these past four months have included lots of infections, more hospitalizations, more medicines, more tears, and more sickness than I could have ever imagined. I know my road to recovery is far from over, yet as I was lying in my hospital bed I realized that no matter what, I am still alive, I have two beautiful daughters, a great supportive loving husband, amazing family, and prayers to get me through. By sharing my story, if I can even help just one person then I will be blessed.


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