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Posts: 100
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi everyone,

I have been posting every so often regarding my mother, who was diagnosed in Jan 03 with Stage III, (4 lymph nodes involved), and had a recurrence this March.

Her surgery was on Monday, and the doctor said there were just a few cells at the joint where the operation was. He was very optimistic and said he did not see anything else - he however had to give my mom a permanent colostomy, as he thought this was the best way to try and get rid of everything.

We are keeping our fingers crossed, and were happy to hear that he did not see any spread elsewhere.

Does anyone know if the fact that he had to perform a colosomy is a bad sign?


littlejulie's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi there,
I'm new at this since my mother was just diagnosed last month with stage 3. i've talked to many people and have read a lot. the colosomy is not a bad sign at all!! the tumor must have been too low and couldn't have been avoided. just thank god the cancer is out and nothing else was found. im hoping the same for my mom! good luck and all the best to you. speak to tara - she's very sweet, a lot of help and had a colosomy aswell. she's doing GREAT today!!!

drmrgirl47's picture
Posts: 129
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi, I too have been diagnosed with Stage 3, with 3 nodes involved. I had surgery to remove my tumor Jan 27, 04. My surgeon said there was a good possibility I would have a permanent colostomy as the tumor was so low. However, they found more room than they thought and luckily I was given a temporary colostomy. I don't think this was a bad thing for your mom. This probably was the best for her. Will she be undergoing chemo and/or radiation after her surgery? Good luck to you both. God bless you.

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

How could a colostomy be a bad thing? There are lots of us "bag people" out there..just 'cause we
poop from a different place doesn't make us any different. Go to the Internationl Ostomy Assn and
United Ostomy Assn for some excellent support forums on ostomy realted issues. Colostomy is considered a life-saving procedure. Bud

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003


and IOA website:


jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi. your mom is lucky to have your support. As others have said, the colostomy is not a prognostic sign. It has to do with plumbing issues and location of tumor, so both of you hang in there. Hope you find Bud's site suggestions helpful. Most folks manage their colostomies just fine. Judy

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi. I had a permanent colostomy after surgery for low (rectal) tumour. I've never heard of a colostomy being an indication of a poor prognosis -- as others have suggested, the decision was likely related to the location or other factors.

A permanent colostomy will, of course, be a major adjustment. However, in my experience, after the initial psychological adjustment, and sorting out the appliances/routine, it is not so bad. I am certainly living life to the fullest! I hope that your mother will have access to an ET (stoma nurse), who can guide her through the initial phases. There are local support groups as well as internet support systems. I have mentioned before that I find the discussion group at United Ostomy Association (uoa.org) to be both informative and supportive.

Wishing you and your mother all the best.

Posts: 100
Joined: Mar 2004

Thanks everyone !!

All of your responses were very helpful - I have passed them on to my mom, who was relieved to hear about so many people in the same situation doing well.

In response to the question about chemo - the surgeon is waiting to see if there was further lymph node invovlement before he determines what the next course of action will be.

I will keep everyone posted & hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

All the best from OZ vanser!Tell your mum she has mates on the other side of the briny prayin for her.
our best to you both, kanga n Jen

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