Fear of the unknown…

Soon I will start on Cycle 7 of my chemo treatments. After that I only have one more cycle to go before my chemo treatments finally ends. It had been a long ride. During each of the cycles, I had experienced different sorts of side effects & discomforts. Most were bearable but the nausea and tiredness were the most stressful of all.

By mid-Nov. my chemo treatments should ends. After that, it will be a continuous process of ensuring I eat the right food, do the appropriate exercises, sleep well and sufficient, maintain a stress-free lifestyle and refrain from any activities that are taboo.

Whether I will remain cancer-free will depends a lot on myself and what I do with my body. I intend to continue with my current daily routine of eating lots of fruits and vegetables and also my supplements.

The first agenda item after my chemo treatment ends is when Dr. Tay decides to perform a stoma reversal to push my small intestine back into my body and sew up my abdomen. Though I am eagerly looking forward to this reverse process, at the same time I had this fear. For more than 6 months, my colon had remained inactive. When the intestine is rejoined with my colon, my stools will once again pass through my colon. Will my colon immediately take on the responsibilities to absorb the water content from my stools and push them to the rectum and finally for discharge via my anus is something I fear. The worst case scenario would be I might need to wear diapers initially until my colon finally revert back to normal.

I just hope I would not end up in the long run wishing I had kept my stoma intact and leave my colon redundant for the rest of my life. Though I had gotten used to the stoma, it is nevertheless very inconvenient for me as I need to regularly clean the stoma bag and keep my stoma clean.

Wearing a stoma bag had it’s advantages but lots more disadvantages.

Advantages

  • Diarrhea or stomach upset are not felt
  • No feeling of tummy discomfort
  • Convenient in using public toilet. No need to sit down in the toilet seat to discard the waste
  • Hardly any unpleasant odor from the waste

Disadvantages

  • Dress code is very limited with a stoma bag
  • Much effect needed to ensure stoma is kept clean
  • Cumbersome when changing Stoma baseplate (once a week)
  • Cannot partake in strenuous exercise or swimming
  • Need to be careful when in public not to expose the stoma bag
  • Discharges to stoma bag is very frequent even while sleeping
  • Cannot control farting from the stoma, so need to be careful when in close proximity with working colleague

Though I feel good during my chemo treatments, the fact still remains, I am a cancer patient. My cancer cells had rebelled and for the rest of my life it will be a constant battle to ensure that they will not be daring enough to go wild again.

I will need to pay more attention to my own health from now on.

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