My name is Melissa…. you can call me Sunshine if you like.

Shine On 😉

It’s a nickname I’ve had for several years, and truth be told, I like it. In fact, I like a lot of things:  hiking outdoors, bummin’ on the beach, painting my toenails blue, laughing with friends, a good workout, great music, a nice bottle glass of wine, savoring delicious food. There’s just one hang-up. I have Crohn’s disease. And what’s nutritious for you may well be deadly for me.

There is no known cure for Crohn’s. This blog project is one of many efforts to make peace with my body and to solve the mystery of how to live well, despite chronic illness. After 15 years, a handful of hospitalizations and two surgeries, the “big” answer remains unknown.

What do I know for sure? (Oprah, are you reading this?) I know I am loved beyond measure. I know that I am supported, cared for and cherished by countless numbers of family and friends. And I know that love is a mighty healing force.

xoxo –


  1. Aww, thanks! I was just reading more of your posts and I’m so amazed by your transformation. The idea of an ostomy has always scared me, but you are so vibrant and healthy! With a single blog post (Why I Speak Up) you’ve educated not only me, but countless others, and helped diffuse the fear associated with sugery, ostomies, etc. THANK YOU for sharing your story and de-stigmatizing IBD. On the food note, I’m not a great cook, but Vea is. I have a feeling I’ll get more involved in the kitchen. I hope to include more pictures and recipes as we experiment with new dishes. Feel free to follow along. Maybe I’ll make a recipes / tips page for stuff that ends up super tasty. Is there anything in particular you want to learn how to make??

    • Thanks for the blog encouragement! I need to learn how to make some good nutritionally balanced meals and snacks. I’m not great at balance. Sometimes I just have crackers for a meal, sometimes a big bowl of roasted cauliflower. Since I have an ileostomy and low blood sugar, that’s not terribly helpful.

      • I’m needing to learn this too. It feels so strange to eat a bunch of carbs and be more or less neglecting whole grains, fruits and veggies. I’m so glad to have some company along the way. Hopefully I’ll find balance, and will be glad to share what I can find that may apply.

    • Thank you, It means a lot that you made the effort to read it. I thought it might resonate with you. For what it’s worth, your note inspired today’s post… Heroes, dads, and all. Take care and be well. Thank you for the love!

  2. Sunshine,
    There is wonder in the way you and your father said good-bye; the effort to meet half way, the determination to continue despite the hazards, and the intuition to turn back. There is a sense
    joy amidst the sorrow. Thanks for allowing me to share that. Please share a big hug with my lovely daughter, Hawea. I love you both and wish you every happiness.

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