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Interview 38

Age at interview: 80
Age at diagnosis: 76
Brief Outline: Diagnosed with colorectal cancer 1997. Received radiotherapy, surgery and a permanent colostomy.

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Explains how easily he learned to manage his stoma and how it doesn't interfere with his life.

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Well I, I, when I'd had the operation a stoma nurse came in just to advise you what, what the procedure was for changing the bag, and they only showed me once and it was so simple that you, it, it, you didn't want any more people telling you.

But there was, there's a, the stoma nurses are there all the time if you want any help you've only gotta phone and they'll come down to me, in fact they came to me when I had the operation, they came here once or twice to look at me, see if I was alright.

And they found that I could manage quite simply, but if I wanted anything I could phone them you see. But I, I haven't done so because it's so simple, it's a simple job of changing a, a bag, you know a pouch, easy, I can do it in three or four minutes you know.

In fact it doesn't, doesn't, if I'm out somewhere at a hotel or somewhere, I have lunch, I can nip out and change the bag in five minutes' easy. You know.

 

Wishes he'd had surgery rather than radiotherapy in the first instance.

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What did they tell you about the uh, the treatment before you had it? Did they tell you anything about possible side effects of the treatment?

No, they didn't say anything like that. I saw an oncology doctor first and he said to me, he said "That my job really" he said "is to reduce the polyp so that, the surgeon can remove the, remove it properly you see". He said so by, by him using this, treatment it would reduce the polyp to a smaller size so it would be easier to take out. But then he said to me "I don't think you want the, the operation". I said "Well no, not if I can get away with just the x-ray treatment, I'll have that".

Which I thought after, after I'd had that treatment I was clear for three years, that it had completely gone. You see, if I'd have known that was gonna come back again I would, I would have had the operation immediately, rather than have the x-ray treatment. Ridiculous having the x-ray treatment if you've gotta have an operation afterwards.

So I thought well if I'd have had the operation first, it would have saved all that problem, most people that had this colostomy operation don't have this problem because they don't have the x-ray treatment, they just have the, have the, have the uh colostomy and uh, and they're more or less normal. They don't have any bottom trouble, even if they're sewn up below, they don't have it, it's the x-ray that done that see, that made it worse.

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