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Colon Cancer

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2011

I'm having chemo treatment for colon cancer and I would just like to understand more about the side effects that others have after going through treatment. I'm 39 years old and at times this can get so overwhelming because I wear a colostomy bag as well. Is there anyone who is willing to help me to understand more about how I can become more secure within myself. Thank you in advance for your help!

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

What Stage are you?
What surgeries have you had?
What treatment are you on?

Buckwirth's picture
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jun 2010

How are you doing with the ostomy?

Like you I have a colostomy, and there are quite a few here who have that, or have/have had an ileostomy (in that case the ostomy is somewhere along the small colon, and the opening in usually on the right side instead of the left).

My surgery was this past January, and it took me a bit to get used to some of the simple things like, well, showering.

My WOCN started me out on the see through drainable bags, but I switched to the disposable bags that that are covered all the way round. I much prefer these, even though it means carrying an extra couple of bags with me any time I go out.

I have a short waist, so my ostomy is a bit higher than the recommended ideal. Mine is about three inches to the left of my belly button. It means that it is inadvisable to tuck it into my pants (though I have done this for short business meetings) and I now always wear an untucked shirt. The style I prefer are the silk camp shirts (think Tommy Bahama, but I usually spend quite a bit less, and look for solid colors).

I have been lucky in that I have no issues with the peristomal skin. The adhesives work, and there has never been a rash or a sore. I do have a bit of a bulge (could be a hernia, but my surgeon is adamant it is not) that I control with either a standard ostomy hernia belt or, as of yesterday, a modified combination of Ostomy Armor and a hernia belt that had the wrong size opening. So far so good with that one.

Anything that is too personal to put on the forum (your choice as to what personal is) you can send a PM and I would be glad to answer. I will also post further down a list of others who also have ostomies, and are willing to discuss them.

On a final note, I get Irinotecan/Erbitux every other week, and it does play a bit of havoc with the bowels. That said, having gone through the end of radiotherapy fully intact, I will take the ostomy as being a more convenient (and pain free) system.


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