Incontinence issues 28 years post treatment

Hi, I’ve just found Jo’s Trust and this is my first post. There was such a small amount of information around when I was diagnosed and it was all very scary, but here I am all these years later.

I had both internal and external radiotherapy to treat my cancer but about 8/10 years ago started having problems with bladder continence. I’ve been going privately to have “plumping” injections into the sphincter muscle of my bladder annually and they’ve helped enormously but after the last one, Steve (my urologist) said that my bladder had shrunk and was very brittle. I’ve spent most of the last 12 months being housebound as even the gel pads leak so I’ve not had the confidence to go out (I can just about manage to walk around the supermarket and I’m fine sitting or lying down).

I saw Steve again this morning who has booked me in for an exploratory op next month but thinks the only option I’m going to be left with is to have my bladder removed and get a bag.

Had anyone else had this problem? Anyone else with a bag now? Are beach holidays and feeling sexy a thing of the past? I’m 60. Thanks for reading.

Hi Lindsey :-)

Wecome to the forum :-) Twenty-eight years on! Many congratulations! I am so sorry to hear what you are going through just at the moment. There are a few women around the forum who have wee bags, I am not one of them. I did see in the last couple of years some glamour photos of a young woman with a stoma and a bag and I thought she looked great. I would imagine you would need plenty of self-confidence and balls to go out and do that yourself on a public beach but I say Bring It On! Let's make cancer survival something to be proud of in public! Let's take our scars to the beach and wear them with pride.

Be lucky :-)

Well that's made me cry Cry  Thanks for your lovely message Tivoli x


Hello Lindsey. It's lovely to hear from a long term survivor. Gives us all hope. I have worked with a lot of young people with colostomies and ileal conduits and they don't let it stop them leading their lives. Surely the state you are in now precludes not only your sex life but getting out and about doing the things you want. A good one oiece with a ruffled front will hide the bag when swimming and a nice silk teddy will cover it when having sex if you feel the need to ignore it. Not sure if you have a steady partner but if you do he probably feels lonely without you and if you don't at our age, I'm 58, a man's had enough experience to value the whole eoman not just her flat stomach. I think it would be nice just to regain control again. Jayne

Thanks Jayne.  Funnily enough I was working full time in a very demanding job in Central London when diagnosed.  One of my male colleagues (nine years younger who had a "thing" about redheads), heard my news and said "well, if you're going to get cancer, that's a good one to get" as it's seen to be one of the more treatable.  That lovely man is now my husband.  He helped me through all my treatment, cut my grass when I was too knackered, laughed with me about my tattoo (put in place for the radiotherapy beam, but I'd written "boo" in pen to make him laugh) and gave up his chances of children.  He's still very supportive even though my hair now comes out of a bottle :-) x


And now you've made me cry Lindsey :-) What a smashing husband! xxx