Please forgive me, but I'm very different about my ostomy. I have named my stoma Rosebud Poopy-Butt and I use her as an educational tool to encourage others that either have a family history of colorectal cancer or are of a certain age or are having problems with their bathroom habits, to don't mess around - call the doctor and have it looked into or get that colonoscopoy. I tell people it's a nice nap and that their butt is not all THAT special!!! Since I met with my ostomy nurse before my surgery and had my abdomen marked where I wanted Rosebud placed, Rosebud is on my midriff - above my waist, below my bra band.
I'm not a shy bashful person and I am not ashamed of Rosebud. There is nothing to see when I lift my shirt a little bit to show my pouch - and it's often just enough to jar skeptics to actually call the gastroenterologist to get an appointment. I tell them it's essential that their siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends to get a screening colonoscopy and if there are polyps, get them taken out. My husband had two polyps at his last colonoscopy and the doctor lopped them off and told him afterwards that they were pre-cancerous. I told my husband that his doctor had just saved him from potential big problems like mine.
Last Saturday, I went to get my nails done and there were two younger girls (early 20's) getting their nails done. The guy doing my nails asked me how I'd been and I told him "So far, so good". He knows about my cancer. It's a very small nail shop, and we all know each other, so I told the girls that I wanted to talk to them about cancer. They were all ears and listened to what I had to say. I told them that I was a Stage 3 rectal cancer survivor and I felt it was part of my purpose in life to tell others and convince them to get their colonoscopies. I told these girls to please talk to their parents, their aunts and uncles, their grandparents, anyone of a certain age and ask them to please get checked. I told them that lots of people seem to think their hiney is just SO SPECIAL and exceptional. I told them one hiney is pretty much like any other and there is no need to be embarrassed because the doctor has seen hundreds if not thousands of hineys. I told these girls they have the potential to save a life! Yes, I lifted up my shirt and they saw the pouch. When I was done, they knew a lot more than they did before. It was good and they hugged me and thanked me.
Dee, please don't ever EVER be ashamed or unwilling to share your story. YOU and I are survivors. I truly believe it is part of my mission as a survivor to get others to take care of themselves. I was WAY SMARTER than my doctor and when he told me that he thought it was time for me to have a colonoscopy, I told him, no, I have no history in my family; I'm OK. Yeah, sure, I was. I was growing Stage 3 Rectal Cancer, a 2" rectal cancer tumor that invaded my vagina. I no longer have a vagina. I had a complete hysterectomy when I had my cancer surgery, but I am alive - and I am THANKFUL. I told my surgeon that I was going to spread the word and do everything in my power to help save lives. He thought that would be a good thing for me to do, so I'm doing it. Nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing to gross anyone out. Just telling it like it is. Best wishes and I hope you can get past your feelings. We have nothing to be ashamed of or afraid to tell others about.