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Dumb question

Posts: 238
Joined: Sep 2003

Hi everyone!

Okay, so I need some brutal honesty. Get into a 20-25 year old male mental state... Now, how would you view a girl with a bag. Honestly. At this point, all my close friends and family know about the colostomy bag (we even joke about it and my "man-made vagina"). However, I'm having a really hard time telling anyone new that I meet and getting to know. I can tell them about the cancer, the surgery, the radiation, the chemo, the guarded prognosis but I'm really struggling to find a delicate way of saying that my large colon protrudes from my stomach and that's why I have the bag. Mostly, I guess I'm nervous about what the opposite sex will think. I know it's completely a superficial thing, but I can't help but wonder what others will think. Thanks guys.

Good thoughts being sent your way!

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hey Baby Girl,

So I am assuming that you will be telling a male who you intend to be >ahem

On the otherhand if you are a person who lets it "all hang out" then let them know you really are really letting it "ALL hang out"!

Here's a story for you: (I can hear SpongeBob saying EEEEW to this story haha)

I quit shaving my body hair when I was 17 and living in France (when in Rome....). Now for those male (Americans) who are not accustomed to the ways of the Continent this was a total gross out for some. I had no problem with the hippies of course back home. So fast forward to age 22 and I meet an American (ok so he was living in Germany and therefore not provincial) and he was turned on by my hairy armpits. (as was my dance professor at Madison but that's another story)(she was a woman and loved my pits...oh never mind). So I'm not saying there is some man out there that will actually be turned on by your bag but if he truly loves you he will accept the whole package. I'm not telling you anthing you don't already know. Well, my guy was almost 30 when I met him and 31 when we were married so there is a maturity factor in there.

Bottom line, do they really have to know until you feel the relationship is going "there"? Just wondering.

peace, emily who now shaves so as to not totally gross out her 17yr old son but as soon as he flies the coop.... hello hair!

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

Emily, you are so cool... Bud

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Andrea -

OK... I'm not 20-25 anymore (I'm 29 with 11 years of experience!), BUT...

Here's what I think; after you discuss the chemo, radiation, guarded prognosis, explain the appliance. Explain how it works and any limitations it places on you. If someone is truly worth spending time with, it won't matter to him. It may be good planning to have it out of sight during intimate moments, but that's what Victoria's Secret is all about! (and, speaking as a guy - em's hubby can back me up on this one - we LOVE that!)

- SB

Posts: 238
Joined: Sep 2003

Thanks for the advice. And the sudden anxiety/issues about the bag have arose because of a love interest. The boyfriend decided that he simply "couldn't take it anymore" and cheated on me awhile back. He claims that his needs weren't being met (despite huge efforts on my part)and he had to go elsewhere. It was only a one night stand, and he claims that he still wants to be with me, but I don't know. The whole thing was a huge blow and I'm finding it hard to forgive and forget. However, I'm also finding it hard to lose something else to cancer, so now we're dating. I still see him time to time but we are allowed seeing other people. And now I am sort of interested in someone, he seems interested in me, I've told him about most of the situation. But I've left out the bag... Anyways, the whole thing is getting too soap-operish to me but I would like to have the comfort knowing that someday I might be able to get it on without being hung up on the colostomy!


bryancarson's picture
Posts: 47
Joined: Jan 2004

Truly, it's not a dumb question. I am 30 years old and until three months ago had a colostomy myself. I was fortunate enough to have my ostomy reversed, however, I can empathize with your situation. At the time, it seems like nothing could be worse. Afterall, how many people do you know that actully CRAP out of the side of their body. Lovely, isn't it. That's how you and I think about it, but it really means that you are still alive and on the mend. Getting past the (gulp) "outing" is difficult and there is no easy way around it, you just have to tell him what it is. If he is comfortable about your diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis, then this shouldn't be too big of a leap for him. He may already assume that you have one or wonder what that funny noise coming from under your shirt is. If you don't already have an ostomy supply magazine, you need to get one. There are lots of great products out there and Holister and a couple others even have a magazine on that have great articles about issues just like this. I used a privacy cap for swimming and other intimate moments. It is like a bag, but it just covers the opening so it doesn't flop and slap around. Remember these are your wounds and scars of LIFE, you shouldn't be embarassed about them or feel like you have to try and make excuses for them. Also, ask your surgeon and your oncologist if your ostomy can be reversed. The surgery is no fun, but the feeling of using your butt for what it was intended for compares to nothing. Best of luck, Bryan

Posts: 19
Joined: May 2002

Hi Andrea. I haven't been on this site for a while. . .sometimes it's a bit overwhelming reading about the realities of crc. It brings back memories for me. Anyway, I was impressed by your candor about your feelings about the CB and how other people deal with it. It does add a bit of complexity to dating/loving that is already loaded with enough stuff.

My sense is that you possess enough self-awareness already to know when to tell someone about it. Yes, some people. . .perhaps a majority of people, will freak when the CB is discussed. (it sure didn't make me feel very "sexy" when I had one).

All told, it's not going to be easy to date casually when you have the bag. It's likely to make your relationships more serious then casual. I don't know if that's a blessing, or a curse.

I have a couple of nephews who are early 20's. When I talk with them next, I'll bring up the subject and let them tell me what they think. I'll report back to you after that.

Take care. Bruce

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

This a burning question with single ostomates; (well,at least this one) so much so, I created a single ostomates forum on the IOA site-http://ostomyinternational.org/ You might want to post there, and two other ostomy sites,
http://www.uoa.org/discussion_main.htm and,
The last one is Shaz's site-(AU) and all are excellent.. (lotsa good toilet talk) Bud

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