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Update from Laz.

lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

Life is funny. When I was doing treatment I just wanted my life saved. Now that I seem to be ok, I have to rebuild that life from the ruins. Started working part time in April, but I cant seem to be able to continue. The pain from thr radiation in my hips and lower back is so bad at the end of the day that it takes 3-4 days to function again. During the day I have to go to the bathroom to deal with my colostomy bag 20 times a day and that messes with my concentration and is so frustrating. I had a few accidents with it too which is very embarrassing. I really question now whether I can work again the way I used to. At the same time I'm very anxious to do something. I will look into whether I could do consulting. During the time I was sick I put together a nice system I could teach to my dentist colleagues. Teaching, coaching is something I always wanted to do. Now maybe I will be forced to. 

Thanks for listening and all the best for you.


Posts: 1019
Joined: Aug 2013

Do you think you need a little more time to adjust? Can you work just a couple of hours a few days a week? 

Teaching is a wonderful way to share your experience. You could also visit schools to teach students how to have healthy gums and teeth. I am sure you'll be able to continue with you dream. You may just have to make a few adjustments. 

I wish you the best! Let us know how it goes.


Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5487
Joined: Jan 2013

and takes a long time to find the new normal. 

I am sorry that your attempt to get back into work has been so hard. You must not give up, but maybe give it more time. Until then, keep working the system that you found while doing treatments. 

I am also sorry to hear about the radiation side effects. It seems we are all left with something hard that we need to learn to handle. 

My sincerest thoughts and prayers are with you, as you struggle to find you 'new normal'.

Lisa2012's picture
Posts: 142
Joined: Feb 2014


I understand your frustration with your bag, it is difficult to deal with at work and even more so with leaks and issues.  No fun.

 You are always so positive with everyone, giving good advice and being supportive.  Don't be too hard on yourself, it might take a bit of time, but keep moving forward, even if you have a setback.  Redefine your normal, think of this as an opportunity, you can do it!


z's picture
Posts: 1414
Joined: May 2009

I know it took a good 1.5 years for my bowels to adjust and for my stamina to return took even longer.  I don't have a colostomy, but had the pelvic radiation for 30 days.  

I hope you will regain your stamina and I sure hope you'll be able to continue in your profession in one way or another.  


BTW I had many accidents and many soiled pants, I think it just comes with the territory.  Time does make it better.  I wish you well. Lori

Helen321's picture
Posts: 1428
Joined: May 2012

Hey Laz, I keep coming back to try a two piece system, it's a life changer.  The convex one even more so as it stops a lot of the leaks.  I am now 99% leak free.  I have to switch back and forth between convex and flat because of pressure sores but most times it's working well.  Also there is some sort of daily procedure you can do to clean out just once a day.  I can't remember what it's called right now so I'll have to look it up tomorrow.  You flush out just once a night and it empties everything out.  You have to do it at the same time daily and it requires about 1/2 hour to an hour.  You then wear just a cap all day.


lilacbrroller's picture
Posts: 412
Joined: Jun 2012

Laz - You seem like a guy with an enormous capacity for bounce, which means to bounce back, or really, to have resilience. You might take a little time to brood or feel bad about a situation/circumstance, but once you're done reassessing the new normal, you move forward with even more speed and energy and accomplish great things.

I had a thought which I will share with you - when I read your post, I thought, here is the guy who is going to take his pain and discomfort and transform it into some kind of invention that will improve the lives of millions.  You'll be the one who invents something better than a colostomy bag. Not sure what that is but I can see you thinking of it !

good luck, hope you feel better, and I want to see pics of that colostomy powered Segway and you making **itloads of money (pun intended)

all the best

Karin Cool

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

We often think of our lives as a straight path towards our goals, yet we are often faced with obstacles which cause us to make unexpected turns.

Our first instinct is to consider these changes to our plans as bad things, but they can lead to good things as well.

Instead of feeling "forced" into change, consider it a new opportunity which better fits your current life.

When I was young, so very many years ago, the only opportunities for women were either teaching, nursing or office work.  I had always wanted to be a math teacher.  Some life challenges got in the way of getting that degree, but lead me thru "accident or plan" to a new and better career path in Information Technology which was a growing industry.

I hope that this change for you will lead to a career which is just as fulfilling or more than the one you had before.

Marie who loves kitties. 

Phil64's picture
Posts: 838
Joined: Apr 2012


Life is always a challenge. And for some of us, well it seems that life deals us more challenges than another.  I truly do believe that the more challenges we overcome in life the stronger we truly are. And I pray that you will overcome! And be strong! And if coaching is in the plan, well, I'm confident that you will be a great coach.

I know that working can be extremely hard to do sometimes.  From physical pain left over from treatments and various battles with the cancer.  And I feel for you and others.  I wish we didn't have to deal with these things. 

But we do and so we do. And luckily we can encourage one another.

Take it one day at a time. DON'T take it too seriously. Laugh at the embarrasing things (I have had a few laughs). And focus on the greater purpose.  These are a few of the things I say to myself.

And sometimes I don't listen to myself... 

But I have you to remind me too. :-)



Goldie1's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: Sep 2011

I remember my husband going back to work and it was difficult, he was a driver for a company with brown trucks.  He did manage to work for 14 months and it gave him great joy to be back in the drivers seat so to speak.  He also had a colostomy.  He found that the pouches that were disposable worked much better for him.  Rather to fight and empty a pouch, he just took it off, threw it away, and put on a new one.  Accidents did happen and he told me how frustrating that could be.  He also used Brava elastic barrier strips, they worked wonders.  http://www.coloplast.us/brava-elastic-tape-1-en-us.aspx

Wishing you well, whatever you decide, it will be the best choice for YOU!


Helen321's picture
Posts: 1428
Joined: May 2012

I've just starting using the same barrier strips.  What a difference it makes to avoid rash around the stoma. The disposable bags were a real turning point.   After a year I'm finally at a point where things are getting better and the stoma is just a part of my day.  Never thought I'd see this day.

marbleotis's picture
Posts: 715
Joined: Mar 2012

Please give yourself some wiggle room to find your new normal.  After all we have to go through with this horrible colon cancer, you do come out different on the other side.

Two key points here (1) you are on the other side and (2) now it is time to re-invent Laz, do what you really love.  Figure that out and watch the magic of the new and improved Laz begin.


lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

... for the encouragement. I know I'm gonna be ok, but I have never thought it will be so much adjustment. I'm still figuring out what I can and cannot eat. I have to plan my life around where the nearest bathroom is. It's so painful to put on my socks and shoes, getting in and out of the car and do what comes with my work. I'll be honest, this whole illness and the colostomy bag put a big dent on my self-esteem. My poor wife is trying to support, I'm working with a nutritionalist, physical therapist, but I guess I just need more time. And I hate to complain, because many people here are in a lot worth situation.

Thanks again,



Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Yeah it's certainly not the moat glamorous of cancers....

wondering why you are spending so much time in the bathroom.  That's the one thing my husband doesn't mind about his ostomy is that he doesn't need to worry about bathrooms so much.  He's had his share of accidents but has learned some tricks that help. Like the Velcro on the bottom of his pouch stuck to his pants and opened...twice!!  Not fun.  He now uses a binder clip to make sure it stays closed.  He can't eat a large amount of fruit, beans, etc without an issue.   I think you will learn as you go.

there is nothing wrong with teaching either if that is what you need to do.  

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5487
Joined: Jan 2013

Funny you should say that it has knocked your self esteem down, as it did totally the opposite for me. I've never liked myself, never thought anyone really liked me (in spite of a boatload of freinds I've had since I was 13 and up), all becasue nobody loved me as a child. Now, I find that I LOVE myself, I love that all my friends love me. I am overflowing with self confidence, and it feels so good. 

I hope that you can regain your self confidence as you learn to live with the results of Cancer and treatments. It will happen, and like you and we all have said, you just have to let it take its time. I agree 100% with marbleotis 'CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK'

Ooh, and while I'm on a roll here, I remember when you joined our lovely little group. You jumped right in, always there to give a kind word, advice, humble enough to ask for help, you may not be the same physically as you were before this all happened, but the best part of you, your spirit, is still as wonderful. 

We're beside you all the way, Laz. I pray things will improve soon.  

Dyanclark's picture
Posts: 296
Joined: Apr 2012

I know how you must feel.  My husband has to deal with his bag 10 to 15 times a day, however, he is retired.  No way he could work with the bag problem.  For him it works to-eat a  light breakfast, main meal at lunch.  He has a few little snacks after that but mostly eats very little after 3pm, this way he gets a break from the bag.  Hope you can work things out.

 Hugs from George & Diane

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