My stoma - a new companion

When I had recovered after surgery, I was ready for the next step in the process - to get familiar with my stoma. It did not take long before I could change the stoma bag and plate myself. It was easy to learn how to change the bag and plate. Still, I had to get used to being in bed with a drainage bag at night.

"It was a bit awkward at the beginning.

Urine is created all day and all night, and it is therefore necessary to have a tube connected to the bag at night to avoid that the bag gets too full of urine. For me it was all about making rituals, to make all the practical work. Now I am enjoying it, I look upon it as something natural and I can deal with it.

Good advice to others

My first advice to others in the same situation as me, is to get a notebook. Take a note on all your your thoughts and questions. Do ask the staff about everything you are thinking about. It created calmness, safety and overview in the course for me. I will recommend others to seek help from doctors, nurses and other persons who have got a stoma. I spoke on the telephone myself with a man who had bladder cancer and a stoma - just like me. It was of great help. We could talk about things that no one else completely understands, unless you have tried it yourself. One may choose between many stoma bags in the market. My advice is to get familiar with the first system you try. After a while I started experimenting with different types of stoma bags and found the bag that suits me best. It takes some time, and the experience plays a major part. When I am travelling, I always bring abundant stoma materials. Especially when you are going by plane, it is important to have appliances in your hand luggage. You never know if all your suitcases reach your holiday destination at the same time as you do.  


For Tania, deciding to have an ileostomy has allowed her to return to doing the things she loves best.


Emily is thankful for her surgeon and her stoma because she is alive.


Heather has been living with a colostomy and ileostomy since 2017.


One week after Grant's 60th birthday he was diagnosed with cancer.