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dianelynn41's picture
Posts: 71
Joined: Jan 2011

Ok guys, my husband Roby has questions (he doesn't do the computer thing) he has stage 3 rectal. Had a colonoscopy today getting ready for surgery. Radiation did not shrink tumor enough, so surgeon says he'll have a permanant colostomy.
He wants to know what to expect right after surgery and quality of life.
I've read him alot of your post but he still needs to hear it all again.

We see surgeon tomorrow to schedule surgery.

Thanks for help, I've gotten alot of info from all your post.

Diane & Roby

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Check out the UOAA web site. The forum has tons of information !

Good health,


Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

everyone that has or had colostomies or illeostomies before or permanent. All of which are more than glad to talk with you or him about everything to look for. Maybe one of them will speak to you about............WAIT A MINUTE !!!! I GOT ONE !!!...dang, I almost forgot...I have a permanent ostomy, and besides wrecking my opportunity to be a Chippendale its not much issue at all.....

First off I need some questions answered and I can zero in a little more on what needs to be asked about or for.....Its all about the age and what type of activities he does. Whether hes a couch tater (nuthin wrong with a couch tater) or a run jump stretch,kayak,canoe,hiking,fishing...well you get my drift...Gimme some ages range and activity level and types of pants and shirts he likes to wear, and we'll take it from there. We are kind of like a Fine Suit and Clothing Company here...We'll fix him right up. Sincerely breathe easier now, for an ostomy is a relative easy task to perfect and conquer and live with, both boldly and intimately.....anything else you would like to ask that may be to much out here simply pm me...but we throw it all out here in the open for the most part, you get more answers and more choices......May your journey be one of humor ( gotta have it in here) knowledge, and great attitude....with just a hint of sarcasm............looking forward to meeting the 2 of you...although sorry you have to be here, its a wonderful place to find when needed.........welcome home, buzz

Buckwirth's picture
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jun 2010

asks all the right questions. I'll chime in with the surgery itself, since I got mine just this last January.

First, we will assume that it will be laparoscopic, this is good because it reduces the healing time.

He is going to get a visit from a WOCN nurse. Bring along a pair of jeans and a pair of dress pants (we tend to wear them a little differently). She will use the pants to help place the ostomy away from the belt line. Hopefully it will be below, but it is perfectly workable above (mine is above, but I hear below is better).

This is a major surgery, and it could take a long time to heal. Unlike a typical organ removal, the other organs do not move to fill in the space, so the body fills in the cavity with scar tissue, which starts out as fluid.

You should get a home health nurse to help with learning to manage the ostomy appliance. They are a huge help, take full advantage.

Not every experience is the same, so what follows will differ for your husband:

I was about a week out of the hospital before I could manage to sit in the recliner (laying on one side), and about eight weeks before I could manage to drive myself. When I did walk I used a cane both to rest, and to keep my balance.

When you go to the doctor appointments, tell them that sitting is a problem, they will rush a room so he can lay down.

Eventually it all gets better, and you adjust to the new normal.

dianelynn41's picture
Posts: 71
Joined: Jan 2011

Roby is 54 and before cancer hit he worked outside (feedyards) not really active other than yardwork and fishing.
He wears jeans 99% of the time, suits only when necessary. He's just good ol' texas boy.

We see surgeon today.

He's not having laparoscopic wasn't an option with this surgeon. When this started we didn't have insurance or anything had to go to county hospital. Just got medicaid a few weeks ago but Roby wants to stick with this surgeon.

He's worried about quality of life basically living with a bag. Worried about what kind of job he would be able to do, this sitting around is driving him nuts.

Appreciate ya'lls info, it helps alot. I did have him read a thread on ostomies last night, it did help with some of his concerns.

Have a great day.

Buckwirth's picture
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jun 2010

Active outdoors, land based, sounds like he will have an easy time of it, may even find it convenient!

Recovery is going to be the hardest thing, and, if he has a choice, he should consult a surgeon who does this laprascopically. The difference is cutting through all the stomach muscles, or just making a couple of small holes. I know that my recovery was tough, I would hate to think about it if my stomach muscles had been cut like that.

If Roby wants (or you want) to actually talk to someone, ask for or share a number via PM to anyone on the list.

Good luck,


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