Ostomy Memories Perseveres


A person with an ostomy lives a bifurcated life: pre- and post-. You are still the same person, but you have been rudely thrust into a different existence. Everything around you appears the same: people still smile at you, the receptionist at the doctor’s office remembers you when you walk in, and your family members remain, well, your family. But you sense that they are treating you differently. They KNOW something about you, something intensely personal. There is that element of difference with which they treat you. Then there is the rest of the world to which you must relate, and you realize that now it is YOU who is treating things differently, that your approach to life has dramatically altered due to that beast on your belly. Certainly, you are changed physically, and you alter your behavior accordingly. But you are transformed mentally as well. You now have a new demon with which to do battle, and the sooner you can exterminate that SOB, the better, since it’s only then that you’ll be able to get on with your life. It can be done, and the people on this website are living proof of that. As the old Indian Lone Wadi said in the film “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” ENDEAVOR TO PERSEVERE.

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I like your spirit! There have been lots of pity looks and statements ;from people including Doctors and Nurses friends and family members..when they become aware of my colostomy but I have thrived and had a pretty wonder normal life..those who are uncomfortable with my outdoor plumbing can move along..

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Perfect, Henry.  Sometimes it's not easy to identify the problem and we blame someone or something incorrectly.

I think Lone Wadi is my new favorite philosopher.



My husband and I still refer to our lives BC: before cancer. Yes, there is the challenge of living with this "thing" that is attached to me, but I can choose to reframe it too. I am now more acutely aware of the mind boggling number of people who struggle, both physically and mentally, just to get by. Of course I was aware of them before, but now I have joined their ranks. I find that my level of tolerance, and capacity to listen has grown a great deal. I thought I was an empathetic person before, but now that I understand how it feels to be an "other", I am even more so. The grief that accompanies a profound change to one's body, and therefore, how one relates to the world, must be allowed to run its course. When it has, we need to look beyond ourselves and our own struggles and see what is happening in the world around us. When we can do that, we answer the question, "Why me?" with "Why wouldn't it be me?" And then we choose how we want to live in the time we have left. Sometimes we have to look for the silver lining, but it is there nonetheless.



Instead of "why me?" I prefer to ask "so what?"  


Perfect! It leads to the road of "Getting on with one's life". nbsp



I have never cared if anyone knew I have a colostomy. To me it is no different than any other problem someone may have.


Good for you, Lovely.  No different than having a large nose, or a big butt, or more nose hair than head hair.  


So many profound words have been expressed here so well based on extensive life experiences that anything I might add wont make much difference. So, I will just add a Ernest Hemingway quote: " The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places."


Great quote.  Thanks a lot for your comment.  

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