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.harp player (@amberpep)

Bladder cancer: Is a stoma the same as an ostomy?

Ostomy | Last Active: Aug 15, 2020 | Replies (29)

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@katydid77

My husband recently had his bladder removed due to cancer and has a stoma. Yes that is the same thing as an ostomy. She will have a urostomy vs. a colostomy (colon) and iliostomy (small intestine). She will have a new way of life but hopefully she will be cancer free. The stoma will be made from live tissue and will have to be cared for. She will have a collection bag located somewhere on her lower abdomen. Exactly where will depend on her individual anatomy. Old scar tissue, skin folds, weight, all have to be considered. You might tell her if it can be located below her belt line it will be easier to bend over to pick up something off the floor. Little things like that which we take for granted become a challenge with an ostomy. My husband plays golf and teeing up the ball has become a real challenge. There are other challenges like urine leakage at the most inopportune times and skin issues around the stoma but they can be dealt with and she can live a full life. Encourage her to give herself time. The first six months will be a learning period and a time of regaining her strength and developing stamina. Tell her not to hesitate to ask for help from her doctor and her stoma nurse as well as the manufacturer’s rep and the supplier of her supplies. She can have a nurse come to her home for a few weekly visits to help her learn what to do. It is not always possible to find an experienced nurse in your local area. If the first one does not seem to know enough do not hesitate to ask for a different one.

You did not say if she is on Medicare. Medicare covers the cost of the visiting nurse and all of her regular supplies. Free samples of the supplies are available from at least three manufacturers and they can be requested on line. We have settled on Coloplast but try them all to see what works for her.

I hope I have not given you too much info. She is lucky to have such a caring friend. Best of luck, Kay

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Replies to "My husband recently had his bladder removed due to cancer and has a stoma. Yes that..."

This was an excellent reply and certainly gave you lots of information and very good advice. I have a colostomy and have had it for a year now. I have had quite a lot of trouble with having the bag stay on me. Mine was an emergency situation and due to the condition of my colon at the time the stoma is far from ideal. (flat and almost concave) Also, my skin is in poor condition all around the area due to my being on Prednisone for 2 years prior to surgery. I have had several visits with the Stoma nurse specialist and my equipment has been changed several times trying to find the right combination of barrier ring, flange and bag. Location is important if you have the luxury of choosing. After the fact it cannot be changed and bending over for any reason can be a real problem. I found that the manufacturer HOLLISTER has an excellent web site which was very informative as well and will send free samples. I fortunately live in Canada and after I was released from hospital, I had home nurses daily to help me for the first few months. They supplied me with the necessary supplies and equipment and my Government pays for it all. Don't be afraid to ask for help, it is out there.

Katydid responded thoroughly, I would like to add a few thoughts. First the Gastro mds are wonderful but are not that familiar with nutrition’s impact on performance of ostomy. Please make contact with a well certified and educated nutrionist. The nutritionist will assess your diet and change things that may feel counterintuitive. I was told I could eat “ anything”. Wrong. After struggling with intermittent diarrhea, I was changed to a diet with minimal fiber, four small meals per day, no sugar and a chewable Centrum silver multivitamin everyday. Regarding leaks, always evaluate what situation you going into and regulate your intake accordingly, types of chairs that will be used etc. always carry a small e,mergency bag for the ability to continue activity. When applying wafers the area must be completely dry—leak while changing, clean and dry area again. We use sensicare wipes (2) and they have done wonders.

So then she will have a visiting nurse once she gets home? One of her daughters is an RN, but works in the Pediatric Dept. for children with cancer, so I don't know how much she can do. Her other daughter is a hairdresser, so I don't know how much time she'll have. I had planned to go up (I'm in VA and she's in MD) to help when she got home, but now I'm wondering if it just might be more than I can handle.
abby