The next day after your radical surgery and you suddenly learn what a Stoma is, do not feel upset or even ashamed that you now have a stoma. Be happy you are still alive, be happy the surgeon has done a good job. Perhaps he has given you another five years to your life, you make sure that you are going to do your best to make this happen.

"Be happy you are still alive, be happy the surgeon has done a good job."

Look after your stoma, respect it, keep it clean and most importantly drink plenty of water and follow the rules your stoma nurse has given you.

I will tell you there will be times there will be a "leak" at night, upsetting but learn from that leak as most probably it would have been your fault - turned over in bed in a sound sleep and forgetting you are attached to the night bag.

Just be glad you have that bag; just be glad you have day pouches as in New Guinea there are lots of children who have nothing and sometimes they have two stomas.

Be thankful to all our suppliers who are constantly thinking up wonderful new pouches etc and also to those who "took on the government" to give us these supplies free of charge.



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.