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Self Esteem

Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2008

I have had a colostomy bag for three years now. My first way of dealing with this was to pretend that it didn't change anything even though it had. Now I feel that it is slowly eroding my self esteem. I have gained alot of weight, my intrest in sex is way down and can't seem to muster the energy to change it. Can anyone help.

msccolon's picture
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

kylehenry, I can't help in the ostomy department, but I wanted to tell you I am praying for you to get through today. I am sorry to hear you have been dealing with this for 3 years and still haven't come to terms with it. Cancer just sucks all around. I know you will get postings from other ostomy survivors and that they can help. Be strong, and may God lift you up.

Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2007

I have been having an ileostomy for the past 2 years, and I am feeling the same thing. The sex thing I am still working on. How old are you Kyle? I just turned 39. I will be seeing my oncologist in a couple of weeks for a checkup, and will be bringing this up. I will let you know what I find out. If you talk to someone let me know.


Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2008

I am 45. I won't be seeing my surgeon for a month or so but I will talk to him about this. Thanks for your support.


tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

I'm sorry that I can't offer any thoughts on the colostomy bag, because I haven't experienced that. I do want to tell you that I pray that you will find answers that will help you. I'm sure there are others on this board who can offer advice and persoanl experience. Keep coming back and letting those feelings out. '


Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

When I was diagnosed with cancer I was more afraid of a colostomy than the cancer. I had an ileostomy that was reversed, but was let with severe bowel dysfunction. So in 1/05 I had colostomy surgery. Before that I had such bowel dysfunction after my ileostomy reversal that my life was horrible. It was the people on this site that convinced me that my life would be better with an ostomy. And they were right. I used to cry daily from the pain and frequent trips to the loo.

I haven't looked back since the ostomy surgery. I even went on my first cruise when I was
7 weeks post op and went snorkeling. I am going on my sencond cruise in Dec. and look forward to snorkeling again.

If anyone has any specific questions--let me know.


Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Yep, I have an ostomy on my sigmoid colon. I am 53 but yeah I enjoy sex also but the thought of having an ostomy bag hanging down was kind of a turnoff to me and my wife. She needed to get use to it and I did not have any problem with that understandably. Sure , my self esteem was thrown in the pooper, but here is your escape from the low self esteem ......First, do like I did and get off our butts and say to yourself "Today I will take back over my life", what has happened to you is the same that had happened to me. I fell into a "funk" about it all and just decided that no sex was easier to contend with than sex with an ostomy bag hanging off of my stomach. You and I are the same people that we were before the surgery, and we are "allowed" to have certain differences from others because we deserve to, just for the things we went through. My ostomy bag shows me that I am a survivor and it doesn't matter what others think or say, I know that I have conquered a Monster and with that I take pride in my ostomy. To me its like a purple heart, a medallion for a rough time gone through. Cancer has a way of sneaking back into to someones life even if its not diagnosed but simply just the thought of it. It allows us to become stale and dwell on the negative things that this disease brings to us. You are the controller of your issues with weight gain and sex drive. First, take over your diet with healthy foods, easily done, next if you are married set up times to have sexual relations with your partner. The more weight you lose will increase your self esteem in which will increase your libido, and as your libido increases so will your interest increase. If you are married you have to consult with your wife and agree on a sexual therapy that is mutual to you both. If your not married then maybe a talk with your partner will initiate the same results. If you don't have a girlfriend then you'll have to take matters into your own hands.
My way of letting the other one know that I am willing is simply to say, "There will be sex going on tonight and if you want in on it you better be here"...She hasn't missed a meeting yet... LOL :-)

Raise up your Chin and start the March forward....I hope this wasn't to bad, I guess the police will pm me if it is. I think I'll be OK........Have a great day and God Bless ya Bud.....

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2009

I have not understood why people have inhibitions at the time of sex with a colostomy bag. My problem is erectile dysfunction. I have colostomy bag, completed my RT 10th October 2008. Chemo was completed in August 2008 and surgery was performed in December 2007. I have ED problem but no urge problem, in fact I even fantasize to counter ED. I got good erection only once after RT but it lasted about 5 to 7 minutes. It has not happened again in that kind of strength.

I am 60 and there is no dearth of cooperation from my wife. She is 58 and does have dryness problem but that does not deter her in cooperating. I am preparing for a colostomy bag free situation by irrigating every morning. And that has started working well. So, when I am ready I will be putting my bag off and just keep a bandage in place. That should work well.

I am looking for advice on ED from all sources. My urge is very strong and I want to live it as long as I survive. I am told by a survivor it takes about 6 months from RT to recover to a workable stage. I have just completed 3 months and I long to see the end of the tunnel.

MoonDragon's picture
Posts: 194
Joined: Jun 2005

Hi Kyle, I read your post and the replies that were posted to it and you all have one thing in common. Each and every one of you is absolutely amazing. AMAZING!! You are survivors and while each of us is in a different place in our recovery, we are still survivors and that alone is worth the effort of working on whatever kinks we still have. You, Kyle, are amazing! I myself have IBS, major weight gain and major tummy troubles left over from my chemo and radiation, and I think I spend more time in the bathroom than out but I'm here for another merry-go-round with life and that makes me amazing too! I sincerely hope that you start feeling better about yourself as you have every reason to hold your head up high with the utmost of pride. YOU are a survivor!! Kyle, I wish you the absolute best!

Posts: 90
Joined: Jan 2007

Ok..so I didn't have the exact same situation...but I did have a temp ileostomy for almost a year...and at first could not think of being intimate. What I did to get over the self esteem barrier was to use a silk scarf around my waste to cover the bag...sort of out of sight and out of mind...it worked for me. I also used one of the small bags that are usually used for swimming or sports. Hey...like others said, "I wanted my life back" so we found a way...

Cheers and best wishes...

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