I suffered from UC for 28 years until colon cancer caused me to have my surgery. UC was a nightmare without question. Some drugs helped, most didn't, the only one that consistently helped was prednisone.
I'm 30 months cancer free, so I got that going for me.
As for my stoma and all that goes with care of it, here is my take:
It simply moved my "problems" of incontinence, skin irritation, smell, etc, etc to a more convenient location. I suffer from equipment failures on a regular basis, skin irritation, terrible gas, bloating and so on, just as I did before. Quite literally the only real difference in my life is where the mess ends up. I still carry extra clothing with me nearly everywhere I go and I carry extra bags/barriers etc on any outing longer than a few hours.
I could hide my UC if needed. Like you I'd skip meals before important events (not the extreme you mentioned) and I used to go to the bathroom dozens of times a day to help avoid problems. Instead today I findmyself emptying the bag a dozen times a day, havign to burp it another dozen times a day, changing the bags at best every two days, often daily and more often in the middle of the night due to failures, even if/when I have new bag/barrier/etc in place hourse before bed.
Now, don't think any of this has ever stopped me. It hasn't. I race cars for a hobby and was a professional race car mechanic for nearly 20 years. I've never let this crap (pun intended! haha) stop me from living. My friends have always known what was up, by not hiding things I've been able to live my life. In all these years the only time I had to not do something as planned was from bag/barrier failure, not incontinence.
What to take from this: Hell if I know! :) I just know my experience has not been all rosy and grand like so many others and I think its important for you to go into this eyes wide open. From the reaserch I did after the fact (my bad, I stupidly took my surgeons word for everything) is that there are two camps: Success and life is better or Fail and life is the same or worse.
If you go forward I hope you end up in the Success catagory. Good luck!