Struggling with How Cancer Has Changed My Body

It's been over two years now since my life changed forever. Two years since the birth of "Winnie," my stoma.

You would think that I would be used to "her" by now. Well, I am, kind of... I know how to look after my stoma, what products work best for me, how often I need to change my bag, etc. The repeat ordering of all my required products is in place. So, a kind of "normality" has resumed within my life.


But I'm unhappy, unhappy with how the bag "stuck" to my stomach makes me feel as a woman.

Unhappy that my physical relationship with my husband (due to the shortening of the vagina during my bladder removal surgery) will never quite be the same.

Unhappy that every single day of my life I am reminded of the cancer that I have endured. Not only by the long scar from above my navel to the groin, but by "that" bag! THAT bag, that even when the scars fade will still be there.

Today is not a good day

To be honest, if someone said to me today, "Be thankful" or "Stay positive," I could probably not be held responsible for my actions. Because today is a "bad day". A day where I am feeling pretty miserable about my body. A day where every imperfection seems to be multiplied. Whether it's my fine hair, the wrinkles on my face, or just the fact that I feel plain ugly right now. A day where the tears seem to want to flow incessantly.

My own medicine

So what would I advise others to do? I would say to take some time out for yourself. Go run that bath, light those candles, and chill.

Then, do something that makes you feel better about yourself - whether its a session at the gym, preparing a healthy meal, or painting those nails. Just doing something that makes us feel better about ourselves is a great tonic.

Why do I feel like this?

So why am I feeling like this today? Well, why not? We all can't be happy 100% of the time. I can't always feel blessed for being in remission.

But then, didn't we all have days when we weren't particularly happy with the way we looked before having cancer? The number of times in my youth I hated my knees (my, how I would love those knees back right now). Or I fell out with my hair because it wouldn't go just the way I wanted it.

So, what am I to do?

Well, I'm going to go run that bath, put in my best bubble bath, light scented soothing candles, and relax. If that means I sit in the bath and cry alone for a little while, so be it. Sometimes we just have to allow ourselves to mourn a little for our former selves. We have been dealt a rotten hand, and we have been through so much. Not just physically, but mentally, too, and sometimes it all just comes to a head. To try and restrain our emotions can actually be detrimental to our overall health and wellbeing.

I'm sure, in fact, I'm positive that tomorrow will be a better, brighter day. But for now, I just need some 'me time'.

Do you ever have days like this? Read Brittney's perspective, here.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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