Peter: Setting goals during recovery

Using the product has given me much more confidence and comfort

Peter received compensation from Coloplast to provide this information. Each person’s situation is unique so your experience may not be the same.

The Initial Fears

"There's a lot of Cancer in there" were the words I heard from my Urologist when he first discovered my Bladder Cancer. Leading up to this moment. I had feared the worst and there was the reality staring back at me from the computer monitor. From that moment on, I knew my life would change. How much and for how long was the question I was faced with.

This was in the spring of 2019; what followed were 5 months of chemotherapy followed by having an ileal conduit to replace my bladder. I knew if I wanted to survive, surgery was the only option. But the thought of having a 'bag' attached to my body for the rest of my life sank me into a difficult depression that followed me throughout the treatments and leading up to the surgery in December 2019.

A new normal

Upon leaving the hospital after a 7-day stay, the task ahead was to create a new "normal" for me. I was provided a bag of supplies at the hospital from an ostomy supply manufacturer and assigned a nurse to visit me twice a week at home. After experimenting with a variety of seated positions and clothing options, I began to think of ways to make the bag more comfortable for me. I asked the nurse about the possibility of wearing my appliance horizontally, she suggested I switch to the Coloplast 2 piece system. I did a lot of research during my early diagnosis and it became clear to me that the Coloplast Mio Click system would be hugely beneficial.

I was able to order samples through their website and received a rapid follow-up call from the amazing client product representatives to answer all my questions. Using the product itself has given me much more confidence and comfort. The Mio Click system allows me to wear the appliance vertically for sleeping and relaxing at home, and horizontal when I want to be more discreet or more active.

The phrase "it is what it is" is a cute bumper sticker but I soon realized that my mental recovery would be largely dependant upon friends, family, and how confident I could be with my urostomy. I was fortunate to be surrounded by well-wishers, constant phone calls and drop-ins. I was never allowed to feel sorry for myself for too long. I was faced with the fact that the sooner I accepted my urostomy, the sooner my life could return to a new normal. My life has remarkably returned, albeit with a minor body modification, to my pre-cancer condition. A recent vacation to Cuba allowed me to swim in the ocean every day, and participate in activities such as snorkeling and kite surfing. I was confident that my urostomy appliance would not let me down or become a problem while away.

Paying it forward

During my Cancer journey, I found it helped me to write a blog and share my experience with others. It was and continues to be an amazing experience and I'm grateful for the connections with people in similar situations. I am humbled by the help that was so freely given to me during my treatment and recovery. It is incredibly rewarding to reach out through organizations such as Bladder Cancer Canada, to volunteer my time and share my story. I hope to do more in the future to assist and inspire people who have the same fears and concerns I had as they begin their own journey of recovery.

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