At 39, I lost my anus and my life is no longer “decent”…  

Reviewer: Zhizhong Pan (Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Hospital)

Several laboratory tests, numerous outpatient clinics and hospital halls, my life and family have changed dramatically because of rectal cancer.

1. Accidents: When the “decency” of life no longer comes

Image source: Zhanku Hailuo

At the age of 39, I was diagnosed with “Low T2 Rectal Cancer” because of an abnormal finding during a colonoscopy. The doctor in charge formulated a comprehensive treatment plan for me. I did chemotherapy and radiotherapy in the early stage, and also cooperated with drug chemotherapy to increase sensitivity during this period.

Later, the doctor said that the operation can be done, which means that the life is temporarily saved, but because it is low rectal cancer, the anus may not be saved. He said that a stoma, which is an artificial anus, needs to be made on my stomach, and he comforted me that at present, due to colon, rectal tumors or trauma and other reasons, even if I have a stoma, as long as I take scientific care, I can return to a normal life.

Although my mind went blank when I heard these words, I chose surgery for the sake of my family and became a “stoma person”.

After surgery, I quietly searched the Internet, and the words “I would rather die than live with a stoma” are shocking. I have never paid attention to this group, and I never thought that I would become one of them. , and can never go back to the past.

Every day I hope this is a dream, and I can still live my healthy, free, and decent life when I wake up, but every day I wake up with more certainty than the day before. Become a “stoma person”. They all call it “the rose on the belly wall”.

At first I didn’t like this title, who would want a rose like this? Until later, I learned to live in harmony with her, and I know how to exchange roses for life, which is a great luck.

Second, calm: learn habits, not afraid of the future

Image source: Zhanku Hailuo

In the beginning, the bowel movement was uncontrollable at all, resulting in frequent excrement in the ostomy bag and cleaning in the bathroom a dozen times a day. Sometimes I don’t want to come out when I stay in the bathroom, because the frequent replacement of the stoma bag makes the skin around the stoma red, swollen and damaged, and a hernia occurs.

I couldn’t take it anymore, so I asked the doctor. The doctor said, mainly because I haven’t mastered the method of defecation. I must consciously train the habit of regular defecation. Slowly approaching normal life.

Before I got sick, I was a person who was particularly afraid of causing trouble, but now I have to cause trouble to my family. I once felt that life was extremely undignified, but since it has become a reality, I must face it. Yes, try to maintain some decency for yourself, try to keep yourself as clean as possible, and at least reassure your family.

When I reach middle age, my children grow up, and my parents get old, my mid-life crisis seems to be more severe than others. I don’t want to listen to some inspirational chicken soup, which is greasy and nutritious. During that time I like being alone, I feel that no one will understand me, or to be precise I am afraid that they are deliberately protecting my self-esteem, I have become afraid of socializing, and I am afraid that walking around others will make people feel weird, I am afraid that the dinner with my classmates and friends will become embarrassing because of me.

During that time, I spent more time with my child at home, and paid more attention to him. I found that children really live in the moment naturally. For a second, they are happy because of fun things, eat when they are hungry, and tell them when they are unhappy. It turns out that they are the best teachers. I began to learn his rhythm and “grow up” again in his company.

Every day, with the help of my lover, I practice how to change the ostomy bag, and again and again, I always remember changing my son’s diaper when he was born, so I sometimes joke Said “live alive and go back again”.

From scrambling at first, to being skilled at the end, I also started to try to live peacefully with this guy who was a little annoying but helped me a lot, and I also learned about ostomy bags with the nurses in the ostomy clinic As for the correct method of replacement, there is a widely circulated jingle: “one preparation, two cleanliness, three measurements, four drawings, five cuts, six peels of glue, seven sticks, eight buckles, nine inspections, and the stoma is pasted well and firmly!”

I also joined the “Rose Appointment” patient group in the hospital. At first, I was very embarrassed. It sounds awkward for an old man to go to the “Rose Appointment”. After a few times I started to like it slowly. I no longer feel abandoned by life, I seem to have found another way to live. There are many people with stoma here who have returned to work and travel from time to time.

Three, experience: I became a little expert in stoma care

Image source: Zhanku Hailuo

I often talk to everyone about how to fix this guy and make it as little as possible. In the past, I listened and learned a lot, and now I also start to share my experience with new friends.

I usually clean the stoma and the surrounding skin with a gauze or cotton ball dipped in warm water, wipe it from the outside to the inside, and then dry it thoroughly. There is no need to use any soap or disinfection during this period. liquid.

Mainly because they dry out the skin, which can easily cause damage and affect the stickiness of the adhesive.

The stoma person can also take a bath. Usually, I cover the stoma with a pocket, or simply remove the stoma pocket. In fact, there is no need to be nervous. The stoma is not a wound, just like the oral mucosa. , It is not afraid of water, but try not to scrub hard, and be sure to use neutral soap when bathing.

During this period, what worried me the most was the fear of odor. Later, I learned that I can actually reduce the odor at the stoma area through diet. During the training in the stoma nursing clinic, the nurse told us that when various enzymes in the intestinal tract are involved in decomposing food, gas will be generated and discharged from the stoma. This is actually a normal physiological process.

Generally, very little odor will escape from the stoma. However, when diarrhea, abdominal discomfort or excessive intake of inappropriate food, a heavier odor will be produced, such as excessive consumption of eggs, soy products, onions, garlic, beer, etc.

I will try to eat these foods as little as possible, but not completely. In addition, I will eat more yogurt or vegetables rich in chlorophyll, etc. The nurse said that this can reduce the odor. .

In the meantime, with the encouragement of my family, I also traveled a few times. During that time, I was really suffocated. Although the travel time was not long, it was so beautiful for me. I could still see nature as before.

I opted for an easier-care ostomy product during my travels, the two-piece drain bag was both secure and easy to change. When I travel, I pay more attention to my diet than usual, mainly because I am afraid of causing diarrhea, so I keep some medicines with me to be prepared.

4. Guidelines for the use of colostomy bags

I will be returning to work next month, but I am ready and will give myself time and patience to adjust. I have learned to live in harmony with this “rose” on my abdominal wall because I love my family and my life more than anything else.

*The content of this article is for the popularization of health knowledge and cannot be used as a specific diagnosis and treatment suggestion, nor can it replace the face-to-face consultation of a licensed physician, and is for reference only.

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