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Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2006

hi all,
im still trying to come to terms with the colostomy thing but i was wondering if anyone can give me some idea of how long i will have to be out of work. with all of the bills flooding in from all of this it really has me worried.
thanks again, cherri

Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi Cherri - I don't have any colostomy info, but you might have a little luck contacting your hospital/medical group for a cancer support group in your town or city. I am hoping that you might find some good info and be able to chat face to face. All the best to you and I hope your recovery is going very well - Maura

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

www.ostomy international.com



also, if you have questions, I'm an ostomate, an will be happy to answer anything that I can. e-mail me at CSN Bud

jerseysue's picture
Posts: 626
Joined: Oct 2005

I hated the thing and I still do. I went back to work in November after 6 months of chemo. I still have the colostomy I brought in an extra outfit and it is under my desk in case of emergency. I also have supplies at my desk just in case. I was off work from April 27th 2005 and went back to work full time Jan 2006.

Posts: 758
Joined: Jul 2004

hi cherri,
i had a temp colostomy while colon rested. i had a resection after 4-5 months.is yours perm or temp?? are you on treatment???
i am here for you if you want to chat.
all the best

Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

I know what you are going through. It is the worst thing to think about. When I had my colostomy done, I went back to work at 8 weeks. I went on a cruise at 7 weeks and went snorkeling, but I only had a colostomy, I didn't have the rectal surgery that you will probably have. I had already had the rectal tumor removed. You should ask your doc, you might be ready by 8 weeks.

Try to focus on getting rid of the cancer. I was concerned about what bathroom I would use at work, I have found one and so far so good. there are some people that know I have the colostomy, but many don't. Two of my friends at work, who are both nurses, said they have tried to notice it and can't tell that I have one. that made me feel good. I do wear scrub pants to work and they hide alot, but I have to remind myself, I did not pick this.

I will be learning to irrigate in 2 weeks, hopefully that will work and free me up from emptying when I am out in public.

I carry supplies with me at all times, just in case, but the whole colostomy thing isn't as bad as I thought it would be.

You can email me any questions.

Do you have a date for the surgery?


Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I had my colostomy at the time of my original surgery (APR). So, when I could go back to work was just when I recovered from surgery. I think about 6 weeks -- but it depends on what kind of job you do. I had some flexibility, which was great. The colostomy was no problem. Of course, it is a big psychological adjustment. But, for me, it has really not been bad. As I have said before on this board, I work full-time, I am active physically, and I can wear almost everything I did before. I am fortunate in that I can do irrigation (which not everyone can, especially after radiation). This helps, psychologically as well as practically. I am happy to try to answer any questions you might have about the colostomy.

Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Tara,

I have my first irrigation lesson in 2 weeks. I hope that I am able to do it. you have been so helpful. I will probably be asking you for help again.


KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Tara, what a wonderful resource you are, and an inspiration!
Hugs, Kathi

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