About Me

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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..

Sunday, 31 October 2010

I'm ready to talk about this now.....

Okay, you all know that my surgery will result in a permanent Stoma and therefore permanent Colostomy...you also know I've struggled (to say the least!) with this and found it very difficult to come to terms with however I've now, reluctantly, accepted this is what must be....

I was talking to someone the other day and she said she had no idea about the actual size or appearance of colostomy bags and it made me think 'Actually neither did I, before all this happened to me'

So who wants to know what the bags look like then? Here they are below:

Attractive eh :-)

This one above is a nice little 'two piece' item....Well actually, it's not that 'little' but it's not the largest.
I'll be spoilt rotten in hospital with HUGE big, drainable, transparent ones until things settle down after the surgery - lovely, can't wait :-)

This little number above is a one piece...

And this one above is what they call the 'Cap'..it's a lot smaller than the others and designed for once the bowel has settled and you can be more or less sure that it's adequate for short periods. My stoma nurse said 'Perfect for when you fancy nookie' - LOL
Put's a whole new meaning into 'It's okay, I'm protected - I use the cap' :-)

This picture below shows the size difference between a medium sized bag (day use) and the smaller, more discreet 'cap'

So, whether or not you ever wondered what colostomy bags look like, now you know :-)

You also have to use a little adhesive remover spray when you change them. I hate pulling stuff of my skin (like plasters for instance) at the best of times.
Guess I'll have to just get over that now then.....

Tomorrow I may post some other pictures around this subject. Watch this space ....


  1. Hi Carole,
    I just wanted to wish you all the best for tomorrow (I am assuming everything is still going ahead as planned?).

    Much Love,
    Paula xx

  2. Hi Paula,
    Next Monday is admission day - if they don't cancel it in the meantime.

    I have one more week of some type of normality then it'll be goodbye tumour and hello to bags :-)

  3. Carole
    This calls for some black humour. You just HAVE to put some wicked faces, or diamante sparkles, or a 'mooning' bum that says 'I'm kicking butt' or Shent's Dolly Parton wig, or SOMETHING on these pictures!

  4. LOL Fiona....that's a good idea actually :-))

    Will pass this over to Dj as he's the artistic one here and see what he comes up with :-)

  5. Carole I have plenty of tips for supplies you should try out, a temp ileostomy causes many more issues than a colostomy will for you. Happily I think this may benefit you as I managed to experience most of them - sore skin, bags that don't stick or won't come off - how to keep odours and liquids down if you have tummy upset etc. I shall find links and compile a list - (even my amazing stoma nurses missed a couple of tricks) when back from hospital later.

  6. Carole,

    I love your attitude, finding humor in life's adversities, what a beautiful gift. Who would have thought colostomy bags could be so stylish. Hope all is well, you are in my prayers. I will do double overtime on the prayers on Monday. I know you will do fine. God bless, Love Rose Mary xoxo

  7. Thanks Lisa,

    All tried and tested tips will be very useful.

    I know my Stoma team are good but they've not actually experienced it themselves, so I'm happier to hear the facts from people like yourself and Tony who've struggled with ileostomy's in the past.
    Much luv xxx

  8. Rose Mary,

    Thank you for the extra prayers - they will be very appreciated. I have to admit to not exactly looking forward to next week - however it'll create new blog material afterwards :-))

    I also hope that you are doing well. Your blog is beautifully written and I encourage everyone to read it

  9. Good luck with your surgery! For what it's worth, it's five months (as of today, actually) since my surgery and mentally I've come a huge way with dealing with having a permanent stoma. Couldn't look at it or even think about it at first, but now, we (the stoma and I) manage to get along.

  10. Thanks Doug,

    It's definitely reassuring to hear that you've adapted. I'm sure I'll have a huge mental mountain to climb but it's good to hear from people like yourself that have found a way to do this.

    I'm keeping up to date with your blog. Wishing you well xxx

  11. Good Luck for next week.

    Thanks for all your support over the last few weeks while my brother has been in hospital. It takes a special person to be still thinking of others when they should be thinking about themselves.

    Ian xxx

  12. I'm far away, but thinking of you all the same, wishing you every blessing and good outcome for the op and beyond! xxxx

  13. I actually sat on my seat for a good 15 minutes trying to ascertain which one is closest to my skin complexion :-) It's like buying foundation at boots...there's so many variations!!!

    Thinking of you always aunty xx

  14. Hi Ian,

    Hope your brother is improving daily now he's back at home. I'll catch up on his blog once I'm out of hospital and hope to find he's doing really well.

    Thank you and lovely to hear from you

    I spend HOURS trying to match my skin complexion with foundation and you've made me laugh because that's exactly what they do look like - big bags of foundation :-))
    Catch up soon sweetie xxxx

  15. Tip No 1 - Make sure you shave your stomach although probably not an issue...mine is hairy and apart from not sticking at times it bloody hurts when you pull it off :-)

    T x

  16. Tip No 2 - Get a lock on the bedroom door...for the first few times it is good to have privacy but also good that once you are cleaned up get DJ to come and have a look..takes away the mystery and also is a great prompt for some djisms :-) . Obviously in the real world some may say that you dont show the world your arse so why your stoma...however it makes things normal as not everyone has a stoma...a first step is to let people see the bag attached (I don't mean wear it outside your clothes down the high street). But when you are ready let people see it, accept it and put it away...I showed my family as and when and was comforted by the reactions...so just a tip that was personal to me and may help you and your close family and friends too.

    Much Love

    T xx