A-Z

Interview 04

Age at interview: 87
Age at diagnosis: 62
Brief Outline: Diagnosed with colorectal cancer 1976, under went surgery and a permanent colostomy.

More about me...

 

Feels that sharing experiences of stomas is invaluable to new stoma patients.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
I don't know whether I said this to you before but over the hundreds of people that I saw in 22 or 23 years whatever it was, none of them was ever less than eternally grateful.

They were so pleased that somebody could take the trouble to come along and explain this to them because it was a completely closed book to them they didn't know and the hospital staff don't know and the stoma care nurses don't really know.

They've got of bit of learning from books but it ain't nothing like living with it.

And when you live with one you learn that it can be quite capricious at times and it can do all sorts of odd things that you can't expect or that you don't expect and really and truthfully the best thing is to find somebody who's got one.

Now, I think that the pre-operation talk is the most important of all. This is the time when, you know, when you haven't had it yet and every odd thought can go through your mind about how terrible it's going to be, what a terrible operation it is, what am I going to look like afterwards, I shall be a scarecrow, I shall be this, how can I manage it, who's going to tell me about it, what happens?

 

Remembers his early fears about having a colostomy.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
The psychological aspect to me anyway was "how the hell am I going to manage this thing when I get out?" because as I walk down the street everybody is going to point to me and say "Look he's got a bag on his belly," and this was actually how I felt about it.

And it took me a couple of weeks of walking around in the street and nobody took the slightest bit of notice of me at all and therefore you know I'd just imagined this.

So it didn't take long to throw that one away and dismiss it because it wasn't so. Everybody is a different person and therefore it has a different psychological effect on anybody I would think.

The only thing is to know what is likely to happen and know that these things will come along and you either can or you can't handle them, that's just the point.

 

Recalls his former eating habits and how they may have caused him to develop cancer.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
I have a theory, I'm not a medical person, but I have this theory that my colostomy was entirely due to my eating habits and my eating habit was that when I ate meat the meat I preferred above all others was lamb, I loved lamb, I could eat plenty of it.

And in the days of yore a lamb used to have a collar of fat around it about an inch or more of fat all the way round it and I used to eat all of that, I loved the fat of meat.

Now I think that that's the most unhealthy thing that one could eat but I couldn't stop myself till I stopped eating meat altogether, that's an actual fact.

And I believe that that contributed much towards it because that's polysaturated fat and it's one of the things that all the medical world tells you is bad for you.

I used to love salt beef sandwiches, that's another thing and I used to go to the shop and have these salt beef sandwiches. They put salt beef on about that thick and then that much of fat on for me at my request and dollops of mustard on the top as well.

Now you see I did eat more than my portion of fat, that I know and therefore I probably or may well have myself to blame for it.

 

Explains how he learned what foods caused problems with his stoma.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
What kinds of things can't you eat?

Things like very pippy fruit is one of the things for example, pippy fruit is one but things like, fruit with pips as well, apricots, prunes and things like that.

And it wasn't until much later that I discovered it was possible to accustom one's digestion to them by going right back to them in a very, very small quantity, like one prune, for example, for a week and then having two and then three and I can then stomach quite a bit more.

And you can do that with almost, not every fruit but almost any fruit as far as I'm aware.

I don't eat curries, I never liked them before anyway so I can't you know vouch for foods of that nature but I always liked my food reasonably plain, I don't like hotted up sauces that go with it too much, a little of them but not much.

And I still find that if I do, you know, take for example with certain fish they do, they do certain sauces. But sometimes garlic for example. Now garlic is all hell to me. I have to be so careful even to be the same room as garlic er that does something to me and I avoid it entirely. I don't dislike it, I mean I like all these things to eat.

 

Argues that the shared experience of other people with stomas is invaluable to new stoma patients.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
I don't know whether I said this to you before but over the hundreds of people that I saw in 22 or 23 years whatever it was, none of them was ever less than eternally grateful, they were so pleased that somebody could take the trouble to come along and explain this to them because it was a completely closed book to them they didn't know and the hospital staff don't know and the stoma care nurses don't really know.

They've got of bit of learning from books but it ain't nothing like living with it.

And when you live with one you learn that it can be quite capricious at times and it can do all sorts of things of odd things that you can't expect or you don't expect and really and truthfully the best thing is to find somebody who's got one.

Now, I think that the pre-operation talk is the most important talk of all. This is the time when you know you haven't had it yet and every odd thought can go through your mind about how terrible it's going to be, what a terrible operation it is, what am I going to look like afterwards, I shall be a scarecrow, I shall be this, how can I manage it, who's going to tell me about it, what happens?

Previous Page
Next Page