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