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I have a surgery date

Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1079
Joined: Aug 2003

I am a stage 3 rectal cancer survivor. I had an ileostomy reversal in 8/03. Since then I have had alot of problems with regaining good bowel function. All of my docs think a permanent colostomy will improve my quality of life. I have reluctantly agreed to a permament colostomy that has been scheduled for Jan. 15, 2005.
I am SOOOOOO SCARED. I hope that I am making the right decision. This whole cancer thing sucks, doesn't it?

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Maureen,
I am also a stage III rectal cancer survivor. I have a permanent colostomy -- my tumor was very low. I certainly realize that this is a huge decision and a big change. But I just wanted to let you know that, for me, it is no longer a "big deal" at all. Sure, it is an adjustment. But these days I feel it is just a routine part of my life -- and doesn't interfere with my life at all. I can do all the sports/activities I used to, wear the same clothes, etc etc. I am able to do irrigation, which really helps. Not everyone is able to do so. I was kinda lucky, esp since I had radiation before surgery. If you haven't done so already, you might want to check out the united ostomy association website (uoa.org), general discussion board. It is great group -- full of both information and support (like this one!). Please feel free to email me if you want to ask any specific questions. I wish you all the best with the surgery.
ps - yea, it sucks

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Ahoy, Moe -

Yep, cancer sucks, but the silver lining is that it has brough each of us together here and we can help and support each other.

Know that I will be thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers between now and January 15th - and thereafter.

You are a strong courageous woman for making your life-decision.

- SB

Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

I am glad you have the date. YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING!!!!! Enjoy the holidays and try to relax. You are strong and will be fine.

Dr. Swanson is a great surgeon. I will be thinking of you.

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

Maureen: I recommend Shaz's site for great information and support-http://www.ostomates.org
and the UOA IOA sites.
You will be happy with your decision..I'm a 4+ year colostomate-(rectal cancer) able to do everything I could pre-surgery. Your docs are right-feel free to e-mail me w/ questions. Bud

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Maureen,
Boy, the choices this disease can force us to make; yea, cancer sure does suck. This must have been a tough decision. Hope it feels better as the date approaches; maybe Andrea is out there and can pitch in with her experience, too.
Sounds like your surgeon has a ringing endorsement from Jana, so you are in good hands; stay strong.
You are in my prayers.

aspaysia's picture
Posts: 257
Joined: Nov 2003

I guess that I was lucky - if any of us can use that word. My situation required an emergency irreversable colostomy. I was glad to get some relief from the pain (from a complete blockage) and felt better immediately. Not having any time to think about things I just had to adjust right away. My anxiety level was kept down since I had other concerns. You will get over this when it is over. I don't have a bit of trouble with my extra belly button. It is a life saver.
Aspaysia who kept most of her colon and is back to normal or what passes for normal in her world.

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hiya Maureen--being comfortable is obviously what has given you the strength to make this decision. I have a friend here in OZ Maureen that has had a colostomy for 18 years!!It has become a normal part of his life and he says that the alternative of being uncomfortable was not an option. He enjoys life to the fullest Maureen!
luv n huggs , kanga n Jen

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