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Colostomy following bowel cancer: Amber tells all

Elderly woman, chin on hands, smiles wistfully
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As I awoke from a mammoth surgery to remove cancer from my bowel, I looked down at my abdomen. I had a new accessory, a bag attached to my left side. The bag was about the size of my open hand.

I was excited! This attachment made it possible for me to keep on living. I was in amazement at the invention of the colostomy, being able to re-route the bowels.

The stoma therapy nurse visited me daily over the next week of my hospital stay, ensuring that when I left the hospital I was in “full battle” on how to change, manage, order and care for my stoma/colostomy.

The nurse also paid close attention to my mental health, i.e. my body image.

How did I feel about the way my body looked?

In reality it didn’t bother me at all, my bikini days were long gone after having 2 kids and numerous surgeries.

It is now more than 12 months since I’ve had my “Gucci bag”. I have had no problems, my body has adapted to a routine where it mainly passes waste at night. I feel very clever being able to sleep and poop at the same time!

I can wear anything without it being noticeable; my bathers are of course one-piece with ruching.

More than anything I am so grateful for this amazing invention that allows me to keep on living.

 

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Dates

Posted On: 25 February, 2014
Modified On: 16 April, 2018

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