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HELP - Permanent Colostomy Need Info

Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2003

Hi...I have posted before in regards to my Dad and his diagnosis of rectal cancer. He finished his 6 wks of radiation and chemo and just met with the surgeon today. The surgeon told him that because the tumor was so low in the rectum he would have to take the whole thing out, leaving my dad with a permanent colostomy.

My questions....how bad will a colostomy be? Will he have to discontinue all the activities he enjoys now (fishing, hunting, swimming and playing ball with the grandkids)? Also, will he be able to enjoy all the foods he is able to eat now? And one more question...I hesitate to bring it up....but...what about sex? Also...is he going to smell becase of the bag? I know these are the questions he is asking...can anyone out there shed some light on this situation? He is scared to death and wondering if having the surgery is worth it. Just so you know...he is 54 years old and in excellent health otherwise.

If anyone can share their experiences, I would be extremely grateful. Thanks.

Posts: 24
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi, post your message on the following message board and you're bound to get lots of replies.


It's a great ostomy site. The participants all have ostomies, some as a result of cancer, some for other reasons. You will get answers to all your questions, I'm sure.

I had rectal cancer but I have an ileostomy, so others can answer your questions better than I. Good luck to you and your Dad.

All the best, Karlen

Posts: 50
Joined: May 2003

My husband is in the same boat as your dad, he just finished radiation/chemo and he will have surgery next month. His tumor is low in the rectum, and has also advanced through the rectum wall, as well as into the lymph nodes. He is 33.

Our surgeon is discouraged by the location of the tumor but is doing tests and follow up to determine if he is a candidate for a "colon pouch" or "J Pouch" procedure where a portion of the colon is used to recreate the rectum. Find the best colorectal surgeon that you can and get a second opinion. Our surgeon isn't giving us any guarantees, but at least he's going to try.

Best of luck - Misha

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