I was given the bad news in 2014, one week after my 60th birthday. I had already been losing weight and was passing blood, but I felt ok and had promised my son and daughter I would see my GP after my birthday.

On a Wednesday, I presented myself to the Noarlunga Hospital. They did some tests and found a lump in my rectum. Within 3 hours I was taken to Flinders Hospital where they gave me 4 units of blood. The next day I had a CT scan followed by a colonoscopy where a 10.5cm tumor was found. Then I went through all the other scans and tests.

I was given a chemo bottle that had to be worn for 24 hours a day for 13 weeks. As well as radiation to hopefully shrink the tumor so that an operation would be possible. The treatment was successful, the tumor shrunk, I started putting weight back on (from 57kgs to 95kgs) and the 12 hour operation went well. I had a urostomy and colostomy formed.

The treatment was successful, the tumor shrunk, I started putting weight back on

I now have both waste motions from one stoma into one bag. I am fortunate that my last visit with my surgeon was so good that he thinks I am getting better.

Apart from a hernia now, I am handling my stoma quite well. I use a 2-piece system, with a Hollister base and bag throughout the day and at night a high output bag and drainage system. I find the new bases help in easing skin problems.


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.


Having a urostomy doesn't stop 80 year old Tony from enjoying swimming.