I wanted to take a minute to talk to you about what's been happening with me over these last few months.
I haven't talked about it in detail because, well, it's kinda gross.
I've hinted at it. There have been 'cute' posts about it. I've never seriously talked or posted about it in detail, until now.
First let me say that my cancerous tumors are continuing to shrink. All is well there. I'm on maintenance chemotherapy. I still receive therapy every two weeks.
What I want to post about is my stoma.
A few months back, one of my tumors in my intestine created a blockage so severe, I had to have surgery that resulted in the creation of a stoma.
What is a stoma?
Well according to Google: Stoma surgery results in a small opening on the surface of the abdomen created in order to divert the flow of feces or urine.
As a bonus, I also now wear a colonostomy bag. Good times.
At first, I didn't even want to deal with the stupid thing. It stuck out on my stomach and was about the size of, and looked like, a stewed tomato.
When it came time to change the bag, which happened a LOT in the beginning, I couldn't even bring myself to look at or touch it. My caregiver, Sarah, had the unenviable task of doing it for me.
There were bag blowouts, late night wake up calls to empty the bag, morning wake ups involving leaks and clean ups. It was a very messy business.
Things finally settled down, I got brave enough to deal with bag maintenance myself. It's still messy, but at least I could manage it on my own.
Little did I know that soon another 'surprise' was to come.
A couple of months after my surgery, I was spending some time with my Mom in Indianapolis when all of a sudden my stoma became quite enlarged. It hung about six inches out from the hole!
My supplies weren't big enough to contain it. I was reminded of the movie 'Alien'. I think you know which scene I mean.
I have to admit I freaked out. What was going on?!
I called the treatment center in Illinois to explain to them what was happening. They said that it can happen from time to time, and not to worry about it. I received confirmation of that opinion when I went to see a specialist about it. He said that it's a weird and uncomfortable thing to have happen, but as long as it's functioning, everything is ok.
As I was to find out later, surgery to fix it is not an option until my chemotherapy is completed. So I guess that for now, I have to live with it. I remain hopeful that at some point the surgery will be completely reversed. Time will tell.
It's funny that when my stoma was smaller, I couldn't bring myself to deal with it. Now that it hangs out six inches from my stomach, I'm having no problem with it at all.
So that's it. No major side effects from the chemo, but I have a prolapsed stoma. Do yourself a favor and DON'T Google that phrase!
I have been jokingly called a "Murphys Law" kind of cancer patient. Just about everything that can go wrong HAS gone wrong, surgically speaking. I had a port that became infected and was removed, and while I was hospitalized there was a chance I had contracted MRSA. I didn't.
Then there's my stoma.
But at least I'm still alive, and I have a good quality of life going. So I have that going for me...which is nice.
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