Body image and my stoma

31 October, 2022


Last month Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts explained how She had always struggled with body image but all that has changed and with the help of her stoma ‘Audrey’ she now has a new-found body confidence.

On the back of Adele’s story hitting the press we asked followers of our social media accounts how stoma surgery had impacted their body image. Here are a few of the replies we got

” think a lot of it is more than just having a stoma. It’s the scars that come with the stoma and now visible indication of being disabled and being permanently reminded of how fragile your life can be that can make accepting your new body less than straightforward”

“Had mine 8 years in November, i have good days and bad days, mostly good, travelled the world since I’ve had it and without it i wouldn’t be here, make the most of what you have”

“I have had mine 7-8 weeks and I love the fact that Lizzy has changed my life for the better, I laugh when she farts and know her little routine, she is saving my life and stopping my cancer journey being more painful than it is. Everything is still a learning curve but it’s not stopping me”

“I hate the shape I now have, including perineal hernia. No way I will ever get into a bikini or swimming costume ever again”

” hate it no body confidence at all especially with a parastomal hernia – too scared for a reversal as I had an anastomotic leak with first op to remove tumour ended up having emergency surgery Hartman’s procedure! Terrifying!”

“I’ve had my stoma for 4 weeks and it has already changed my life. After cancer my bowel didn’t work properly and I have never felt so low. I love my bag because I can now look forward to doing everything I used to”

“I look and feel the best I have since I was a teenager, and probably most physically active too. Nothing to do with my stoma per se, it’s the 50lbs I lost in prep for getting it! The stoma just “is”, it’s part of me, I don’t think about it most of the time”

“It’s improved mine. I still focus on the hernia, but I’m so much more body confident with my bag as I’ve managed to put some quality time in the gym, put on weight and build muscle. I also came to realise that our focus will always drift to our own insecurities (such as the hernia) and will make it appear more definite to us, doesn’t mean others see it as much as ourselves, and in fact, they will be more aware of their own insecurities”

“My whole journey has humbled me, made me less shallow and vain, I now embrace every part of who I am inside and out. When it came down to it, none of it really mattered at all”

“I still struggle I had no choice it was life or death for me but I just do not look in the mirror anymore”

“I still struggle and have no confidence , especially now I have a parastomal hernia too , I wear a Velcro hernia support belt all the time now but wear it and it’s visible through clothes like dresses and don’t wear it my hernia pokes out .
My colostomy saved my life and stops me having accidents and not being able to go out , but there will always be body image issues”

“Sometimes I’m ok and other times I really struggle with how I look. Windy was part of emergency surgery to save my life and whilst I’m proud of him I sometimes hate this horrid thing which, in my opinion, makes me look really fat and ugly”

If you’re struggling with body image or other aspects of life after stoma surgery please check out the support available from Colostomy UK

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