Greetings everyone, I’m Jo-Ann’s stoma. When things are not going well, which happens from time to time Jo-Ann affectionately refers to me as her, “Little Pooper”. I was created July 21, 2011, and I’m considered by Jo-Ann as one of her heroes. According to the Doctors she was 1 hour from certain death, and I needed to be there for her. When we woke up from the lifesaving surgery and found out I was now her outdoor plumbing, we were both shocked!
Looking back from that fateful day, the life I had known before was over. I had spent my days nestled in her warm abdomen since she was born. I was very different in those days, being attached along her large intestine, doing what I was born to do. My function was to absorb nutrients, minerals and water from the food matter, and then pass the useless waste material from Jo-Ann’s body. As part of her colon, Jo-Ann and I had a lot of adventures together for many years. We travelled the World enjoying the cultural diversity of many countries through their food and cuisine. Now I must say we seemed to always find ourselves experiencing difficulty while digesting our amazing food, but life goes on and we did our best to adjust. Then in 2008, things got worse for us. You can read all about it in our book, “Better WITH a Bag Than IN a Bag” – from the brink of death to recovery through humour and inspiration.
We were researching the other day, and we found out the word “stoma” comes from the Greek word meaning “mouth”. It’s actually a plural word and to be specific it means mouths. The things we find out as I adjust to my new role is amazing. It has opened a whole new world for us. In fact, recently we had the pleasure of speaking with representatives at the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada, http://www.colorectal-cancer.ca. We’ve learned colon cancer is 90% curable if detected early. This is incredible, think of how much suffering can be avoided, how many lives can be saved. In 2011 an estimated 22,200 new cases of colon cancer were diagnosed in Canada. Close to 8,900 Canadians lost their lives that same year. Estimated new cases in the United States in 2011 were 103,170 colon cancer and 40,290 rectal cancer. Deaths in that year were 51,690 colon and rectal cancer combined. Having a colonoscopy is one of your early detection tools. It’s time to put the poop on poops out there, and on everyone’s mind. Our pooper equipment needs regular check ups, no matter how uncomfortable we may feel about this.
Although Jo-Ann and I are still a little shocked as to what happened to us, we are more inclined to be in awe. Awe because we have a 2nd chance to be and do anything and everything we want. We have many more opportunities to enjoy life. Most times it seems I’m the object of Jo-Ann’s humour and together we share the poop on poops. As we write our blog, I’ll enjoy sharing my stoma experiences and tales. Stoma to stoma we’ll explore the ups, downs, and all arounds of the world of stomas, colostomies, and the humans we serve.
Percy, Eol. Poopology
“Better With A Bag Than In A Bag”