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  • Writer's pictureAustin Birks

It's a Stoma in a Teacup

One of the great ironies, and at the same time, benefits of owning a stoma bag, is the sense of liberation that you acquire after you have left the showroom, as it were. The great beauty is that unlike buying a Tesla X, or a Porsche Panamera, although it might make you feel a million dollars, once that car drives off, it depreciates from yard one. But, and this is great news, it is just not the same when you own a stoma bag. The truth is that when you find that you end up owning a stoma bag, you really need to get your head around the whole journey.

It is tough, and it is hard to deal with, but if truth be told, it also has other hidden benefits. Of course, before being the proud owner, if someone had ever told you that one day, this was your destiny, you would quite rightly be tempted to pop your head into the oven, a la The Great British Bake Off. And give it a good half hour on a very high heat.

But, dear chum, that does not in any way, shape or form do justice to this new and mutually beneficial relationship, that you suddenly find yourself in. Naturally we all assume, quite rightly that nothing bad nor funny will ever happen to us. We are, of course, immune to this bad malarkey, and the simple truth is that irrespective of our life styles, truly, good, bad, or indifferent, sadly if the cancer cells elect to infect your body, then sadly there is not a lot that you can do, other than be strong, and face up to it. And this is where the journey of owning a stoma really starts. It is, in my view, simply an adjustment. Not an easy one, but it can be done and frankly should be done. So, what have I done to learn to live with it since my cancer forced this upon me?

Well, good question. I think that from day one, I have just tried to deal with it. I honestly never worry about it, I have a great routine that I employ every day, and in fairness, living with the bag is not that bad. I genuinely do live a normal life with it. And that includes going to the gym, doing hard core spin classes, also doing me own gym tests, which by the way are very effective in fighting this tough disease of cancer.

I also teach at my own Karate dojo, and I do feel that training in a physically tough martial art, like Shotokan Karate Do, is a huge help, for so many reasons - physically, mentally and even more important, emotionally, it just adds so much value.

So, in my opinion, the harder that you keep your mind, your spirit, and your body keen and strong, then hopefully you keep yourself in the fight. And that is essential, as life is too short.

So, keep yourself strong my friends, never fear the bag, keep it real, and control it. It will save your life every day.

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