The Struggles: Embarrassment and Diapers, Really!
Last updated: October 2022
Living with bladder cancer is no easy feat. One of the comments said, in part, "No man is comfortable hearing about this procedure." I was struck by how lonely this cancer can be.
Bladder cancer is hard to talk about beyond acknowledging that I have or have had it. No man indeed wants to talk about the realities of invasive scopes and how they are administered. Bladder leaks, bladder alternatives, and heaven help any man who broaches the "D" word.
The "D" word. If you're easily embarrassed or shy, now is your official warning to exit the article. Click off in 3... 2... 1...
Here we go, diapers: pull-ups, leakproof underwear. No matter what euphemism you choose, we are talking about an undergarment designed to catch urine and fecal matter when toileting is not a viable option.
We would call them silly
Shame, embarrassment, humiliation, degrading. All of these may be associated with using the aforementioned item. But stop for a minute and think. If someone broke their arm and refused a cast, we would call them silly. I can't read without cheaters, and I don't think twice about carrying my glasses. After my brain surgery, I was very unstable. I still have the cane we bought.
People use portable oxygen, so they stay mobile. Walkers, canes, and mobility scooters are everywhere, but having a need for bladder control products is shameful? I am calling foul! I am saying it is time we take our needs out of the dark and stop hiding or making excuses.
I am not suggesting calling attention to a private need, but I am saying it is high time that we stop owning the shame.
Incontinent and embarrassed?
Here are some facts and truths. There is a multitude of reasons why someone might be incontinent: accidents, medical issues, and cancer. Even aging can cause bladder leakage. Multiple companies around the globe cater, almost exclusively, to the needs of adults with incontinence issues. Someone is buying these products.
You can even buy adult diapers in cute prints and colors if you're so inclined. Plastic pants, diapers in disposable tab style or pull-up style — cloth in varied styles and types. Adorable diaper pins. Anything the discerning adult might need to stay nice and dry. You can even get adult onesies to hold everything up and conceal it from prying eyes as you bend and stretch.
Diapers for bladder leakage is no big deal
I know this is touchy, and I struggled for a time as I came to grips with a failing bladder and the associated embarrassment. Then I made a conscious decision. I want to live as active and full a life as possible for as long as possible, which may require some adjustments and accommodations, including diapers.
This weekend my wife and I did almost 300 miles of motorcycle riding. I started and finished dry and comfortable, and I brought a spare diaper as I am not fully incontinent and can use the facilities when available. Nobody noticed a thing, and if they did, they did not say anything. We enjoyed our ride in the beautiful Indiana summer.
Truth be told, I was more concerned about sunburn on my bald head. That is another issue I am coping with.
KHuck, a Youtube creator with a wonderful channel full of adult diaper reviews and humor, says it best. "Happiness is a choice; choose wisely." I choose happiness, with concessions and assistance as needed.
Has cancer impacted your mood during the holidays?