Thank you for such a positive message and your question regarding your recent diagnosis.
The bowel certainly is an interesting and complex organ, so depending on the result of your surgery and whether or not you will require a colostomy bag either temporarily or permanently, you may have to adjust to a very different regime when it comes to your bowel habits.
If after surgery you do not require a colostomy bag, be prepared to take it easy for up to 12 weeks post surgery in order for your muscles, nerves and bowel to get back to slight normality. It can take up to 12 months for some people before they have re-established a routine without feeling the urgency of having to go to the toilet. So in terms of work and needing a toilet near by, I highly recommend you know the location of a toilet within the first 12 months of being back out onsite, until you become confident with your bowel and it's actions after surgery.
The addition of a colostomy for many of our patients has been a surprisingly more positive experience than first anticipated. Most previously, the technology involved with colostomy bags have improved so much, fitted for both comfort, ease and most preferred by you. If the stoma is required, you will speak at length to a stoma therapy nurse before having the colostomy fitted, in order to understand what to expect and they will help you initially get used to managing it, from cleaning around the stoma site to fitting a new bag when necessary. You will not be left alone to do these things at the beginning.
If you do require a colostomy bag after surgery either short term or long term, and you would like to speak with other bowel cancer patients who have dealt with this new addition, please contact us at Bowel Cancer Australia and through the Love My Family Community, we can put you in contact with other people who can give you their own experience on how they best coped with this new addition to their lifestyle.
I hope this helps Scott,
Bowel Cancer Australia Nurse Advisor
Please Note: Bowel Cancer Australia's Nurse and Nutritionist Advisory services are subject to the following disclaimer.
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