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hapie2bhere's picture
hapie2bhere
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2005

Hello everybody, I am new to this site and a fairly recent addition to the semicolon family. I am 34 years old and was diagnosed with colorectal cancer on 06/03/04. I did 8 weeks of radiation and chemo before surgery on 08/11/04. I am still trying to adjust to the colostomy. I am a divorced mother of 2 great kids and I am finding out that I just thought dating was hard before, now the colostomy adds new issues to my situation. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

FRANTIC
Posts: 106
Joined: Nov 2004

Hi there welcome to this site. My name is Frantic.
(Fran). I am 49 yrs.old and have an illeostomy due to St.4 colon cancer. 8/20 lymph nodes postive. I also have another bag as part of my descending colon is disconnected, hopeful for down the road I can have a re-connection. It is very frustrating with these bags as I am still shocked of having them since Aug.2003. There is another web site called SHAZ'S OSTOMY SUPPORT GROUP. The people on that network are just as helpful and friendly as this network. They also have illeostomies,colostomies due to either Chron's, cancer or uclerative colitis. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions I will be glad to help you.
Your friend Fran

Lisa Rose's picture
Lisa Rose
Posts: 589
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi hapie2bhere,

Welcome To Our Semi- Colon Family....

My name is Lisa and I had surgery March 20, 2002 for a stage 3 rectal cancer, with 10 positive lymph nodes... So far everything is going fine and I'm greatful for that.

This message board is a great place to come for support, love, or sometimes just a good laugh.

Lisa

jana11
Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

Hi there!! I am 34 too. I was diagnosed at age 32. Fortunately I am married to a great guy, but we never had kids.... we were going to start the month I was diagnosed. SIGH.
This horrible disease really messes things up.
I was diagnosed with stage 3, moved to stage 4. I am now in the waiting game. I had rectal cancer and have a permanent ostomy... it does get better/easier to deal with. But I understand the dating implications - that's a tough one. You will need to meet a very special/wonderful man to understand, which IS the kind of person you want anyways...
Welcome aboard.. how old are your kids? What do you do... if looking for suggestions to meet men, we need more data. YOu know, what is your favorite color, prefer tightie whities or briefs... just kidding.
But do tell us a bit more. The ostomy should not change dating options too much, but before you begin dating, you need to feel comfortable in your own skin, which changed dramatically. It took me a while, but it is getting better. I work out a lot, now that I am off chemo.
Try to keep your head up! I started yoga right after surgery and my surgeon said it must have helped decrease my discomfort. And it helps relax everything. Give it a try. If you don't want to go public... there are great DVD's out there.

jana

andreae
Posts: 238
Joined: Sep 2003

Hi there! Pleased to meet you:) I was diagnosed at 20 years old back in January 2003. My stoma was born on April 22, 2003 and we have been pretty good friends ever since. There have been some ups and downs and I lost my long-term boyfriend because of my various hang-ups (I also had a partial vaginectomy which has made intimacy difficult). What has really helped me move past the ostomy is the various products that are out there... Lingerie for ostomates, lacy "belts" to hide the bag, pouch covers (I have some satin ones, lacy ones, festive ones)... Interestingly, a pouch cover can go a long way to make a girl feel sexy again. Naturally, I sometimes miss the good old bikini days when my colon was in my stomach but, when you come right down to it, you wouldn't want to be with a guy who isn't interested on the basis of the bag.

Welcome to the board and post anytime! It's great to know you're not alone. And, seriously, look into ostomy apparel. It's like its own subculture... Who knew ostomies were so prevalent?

Hugs,
Andrea

Wishing you the best of luck!

fedester
Posts: 734
Joined: Jul 2004

hi hap,
welcome to our family, sorry we have to meet like this. as you can see already some of the gals are responding to your post. i have been here sinc dx 5/26/04. stage 11 neg nodes, just finished 6 mo chemo had temp lieo. resection 9/9/04. as fran said shaz's website is very good for support too. alot of gals with similar situation as yourself scroll all the way down on that site and you can pick a topic to view. hope this helps you. post and reply often.
all the best
bruce

Moesimo's picture
Moesimo
Posts: 1075
Joined: Aug 2003

Welcome to a great group of people. I am 48 and have had rectal cancer since 3/17/03. I had a colostomy one week ago and i am back in the hospital with post op problems. This is my 9th hospital admission in 19 mos.
I have been married for 25 years to a great guy and we have 3 great kids.. I can't imagine throwing dating into this mix.
I can't help you with the ostomy either, because right now i wonder how I am going to live like this. But I guess like everything else with this, i will get through it, but right now it is really hard for me.
Welcome to our group. Maureen

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi and welcome. I am one of our "court jesters" so to speak--meaning occassionally I try to bring a little cheer here. I am sad you are here but very happy that you found us---no better place to be!!!
OK --I am male ,48, and stage 2, resected 2003 then chemo, now in rem. Thankfully my posterior is intact. Now this may be a "secret womens business" subject--dating-but may I offer some advice?
Go out and search for that "man" and while doing that think of yourself as a teenager just beginning to explore sexuality. Each encounter does not need to be a "full on" accounting of your medical history. Your colostomy need never be something you feel you must divulge on a 1st outing with a prospective partner. Find a partner and enjoy the dating experience. When the time comes for intimacy and you feel the time/partner is "right" then you can get "personal". The reaction you get will determine just how much the relationship means to your new friend. If they can't handle it and are not sympathetic to your needs then they are truly incapable of maintaining that relationship.
I guess it is a bit like trying to tell a guy that you don't want him to get a bit more "intimate" because you have your period. Some guys don't understand either thru ignorance or they are only after one thing.
The dating game with a colostomy will probably set challenges---that is a big part of having cancer---meet it with an open mind and you WILL find a partner. Enjoy playing the game--the right guy who has understanding and compassion will look at your colostomy as being a part of his life as well as yours.
Now, coming from a male that has entered a females sexual arena I hope that is how other males should react.
BTW --I am happily married for 30 years to my lovely wife Jen and would still love her to death no matter how her body looked. Mental attitude, character and acceptance thru adversity. Having cancer teaches us to look on life differently. Hopefully you will find a great guy that will realise you are human--We are sure you will!
lotsa luv n huggs, kanga n Jen

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Take heed of our sweet Andrea's advice here.Metinks Andrea deliberately mentions her undergarments to torment one of our resident male contibutors who has a fetish for "speedo's"---where are yah Bob???
Andrea's attitude to her sexuality goes a long way to show that our bodies are quite capable of enjoying the fruits of life in many other ways.
Andrea--you are a godsend to our group!!!

luv kanga
mmmmmmmm------I wonder if Jen would go for a see thru thong???-----lol!

Kanort's picture
Kanort
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Welcome,

I'm sorry for your diagnosis but welcome you to our group. As you can see, we are wonderful, diverse group.

Please come here often and keep us posted on your progress.

Kay

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi. My name is Tara. I was diagnosed with rectal cancer. Like you, I had chemoradiation followed by surgery which resulted in permanent colostomy. Yes, the colostomy is an adjustment. Someone has already mentioned Shaz's website, which is wonderful. I have also received a lot of information and support from the United Ostomy Association (uoa.org) "general discussion" website. I'm married with 2 kids. So I'm afraid I'm not in a position to comment much on the dating issue. I can certainly understand how difficult this could be. I agree with the previous postings that (a) anything you can do to make yourself feel attractive, sexy, desirable is probably going to help a lot (b) also agree that they probably don't have to know right away -- by the time you tell them, hopefully it won't matter to them. If it does, they aren't worthy of the wonderful you! Good luck and please keep in touch.
Tara
ps do you know if you are in a position to be able to consider irrigation for your colostomy? If so, this can make a real difference to quality of life and also 'intimacy'

slammer
Posts: 120
Joined: May 2004

Hello Hapie. You got the best advice from these veterns on your situation. I myself do not have the colostomy but I do sympathize with you. This is a wonderful site and I just joined myself and the knowledge & acceptance is awsome! The ladies (and men) have given you more than I can at this point but I do wish you well and you sound so good in dealing with what was given to you. Stay in that positive mood and you will know when time is right to share your story w/ a man (who will be special)and for all of you in the semi-colon group, my hats off to you for guiding this lady in the right way,We are all human & have respect for our bodies, no matter what. It is yours and needs TLC. Hang in there you got it all for you ahead. God Bless you sweetie & kiss the kids, they need it too.
Amy

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Ahoy, Hapie -

From a man's perspective... The girls are right, someone who would be hung up on the ostomy is not someone who would be worth having around. I believe someone who would have issues with your stoma would probably also have problems with your having kids - not someone worth wasting your time on. Lots of good guys out there.

By the way, I'm a Virgo, I like long walks on the beach, ...

Anway, welcome to the Semi-colons! Our mantra: Sorry we have to meet like this, but you're part of a wonderful group of positive, caring people.

Cheers

- SpongeBob (aka "Speedo Boy", "Spanky", "George"... yadda-yadda)

steved
Posts: 836
Joined: Apr 2004

Welcome, I am 31 and was diagnosed two days before you- bizarre how lives mirror each other some times! I am in my last week of 6 monhts of post op chemo now and still have my ileostomy which I kept to help me cope with the side effects of the chemo eg dairrhoea.
Yeah havin g a colostomy is wierd and it does affect how you percieve your own body let alone how others perceive it. I am married and was blessed with our first kid last year (born the day after I finished my radiotherapy) but I can't say the physical changes that occured after surgery haven't affected us- I can only assume this is even more obvious when you meet some one new or start a new physical relationship. Yet it has also cemented our relationship- the fact my wife can cope with my stoma and accept it has been improtant and indicates how fab she really is. Anyone you meet who findds it a real problem is unlikely to be the kind of guy who will cope with other problems that come along and so is soem one you wouldn't want to get too involved with. In some ways it is a way of weeding out those guys who are likely to be able to cope the normal ups and downs of a relationship and who are able to accept you for who you are early on. Perhaps in fact you could see it as a bonus!
Anyway I'm into the looking on the bright side of life just at present and sometimes take it a little too far so forgive my ramblings and welcome again- do feel free to tell us a little more about yourself and your experiences of having cancer/treatment- we are all here to learn from each other.
Steve.

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