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I'm Carole, living in London, happily married and mum to two amazing boys.I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Rectal Cancer in April 2010. Surgery took place in November 2010 and I now have a permanent colostomy...Spinal mets were then diagnosed in October 2011...In January 2012 I was told of further spread to the hip area (multiple lesions)..My life expectancy is now 6-9 months. Walk alongside me on the last part of my experience with this..

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Meeting MORE New People :-)

Today I met the nurses from the 'Stoma Care' team. My nurse, Anna, was simply lovely and so friendly that it would be impossible NOT to warm to her immediately.
I did start by saying 'It's nice to meet you but I'd really rather not be here'..:-)

We chatted for about an hour during which she showed me various different styles of Colostomy bags, large(ish) one for immediately after the op because my bowel will take time to settle and will apparently be erratic and windy (soooo much to look forward to, eh)
Then a much smaller bag - clear so you can check contents (yuk!) until you feel confident with what you're doing and then another small one that was sort of flesh coloured and NOT see through for when I'm managing things OK and feeling confident.

She also showed me a small circular bag that I could describe as a large 'patch'. This can be used once you're confident about bowel habits during the night and maybe fancy a night of passion!
Told her that right now, that's probably one of the very last things on my mind - however she assures me at some point I shall be thinking along those lines (hope so, for Rab's sake anyway) LOL.

OK, so truthfully it wasn't as traumatic as I'd imagined it to be. The equipment isn't as awful as I'd expected and facing facts, this stuff will help to save my life so I guess it's a small price to pay.

We had a laugh along the way today as well, she also shares my type of 'dry' humour and I know that they'll take good care of me once my Op takes place.
I'm confident with both the Stoma team and also with the Colorectal nurses and Surgeon's team.
Just got to find a way to stay confident in myself to deal with this head-on and not think about how my life will now be 'different'. At least I'll be giving myself a chance at having a life this way.

I also found out that because it's a permanent colostomy due to Cancer I won't have to pay for supplies - Thank you Gordon Brown, that's one less thing to worry about at least :-) and, as an added bonus, I will not have to get supplies from the local chemist they will be delivered directly from the hospital as and when I need them.

Had an email from the Colorectal nurses tonight to confirm that the Oncology team are having their department meeting on Monday, 10th May and will get me back in on Wednesday, 12th May to discuss:

the full MRI results,
the actual stage of Cancer (very important as I still don't know that yet and so much sort of depends on this result)
and full treatment plan.

At least I'll know what's happening next then.

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