Adele Roberts reveals stoma bag ‘burst’ before Loose Women
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First announcing that she was to undergo treatment for bowel cancer back in October, the radio DJ has since discussed how she stays both physically and mentally strong as her body goes through major change. Her treatment involved surgery to remove her tumour and then multiple rounds of chemotherapy, which started in December last year which she admitted “ravaged” her body. In a recent health update, the star said that she hopes to be “cancer free” within six weeks, with plans to hopefully go on holiday and “be on the beach with [her] little stoma.”
For her recent magazine feature, Roberts spoke about her cancer journey and in what ways it has changed her life.
She said: “Being diagnosed with cancer has meant I’ve learned to appreciate my body; be grateful that it works; be grateful they found the tumour in time to remove it and be grateful (that modern medicine means I can) have a stoma.
“I feel like I love my body more than ever.
“One in two of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lives and I think the more we can actually talk about it, the less negatively affected people will be mentally, if and when that happens.
“That’s why it means so much – as someone undergoing cancer treatment and with a visible stoma – to be on the cover of Women’s Health.”
Admitting that it has taken quite a while for her to adjust and become comfortable with her new body, the former Big Brother contestant added: “When I was in hospital, recovering after my surgeries, I would overhear conversations of other women on the ward and learn they had a much worse diagnosis than me – maybe terminal cancer – and that’s when I’d feel down.
“I think my strategy, so that I can stay stable while I’m on chemotherapy, is just to get on with it and try and not let it beat me mentally.
“Like, I need to sort of tackle it head-on, because that’s how I cope with things, but I understand everyone’s different.”
With cancer and chemotherapy now hopefully behind her, Roberts has taken on the challenge of publicly showing what life is like with a stoma bag. On a recent episode of Loose Women, Roberts asked the panel “I’ve got a little bag to show you if that’s okay?”
Taking the small bag out, she explained: “This is the bag that I wear and it sticks on the tummy just like that.”
“And is that for life or will you say goodbye to Audrey?” Loose Women’s Jane Moore then asked her.
“It will be reversible eventually,” Adele replied, before adding: “You know, you saying that makes me feel emotional because she’s got me through so much and she’s helped save my life and I will be sad when she goes away.”
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A stoma bag is fitted through a procedure known as a colostomy, which aims to divert one end of the colon (part of the bowel) through an opening in the tummy. It is the opening which is called the stoma, and the pouch placed over the opening to collect stools, the bag.
As one of the main methods to treat bowel cancer, a colostomy can also be used to treat the following:
- Crohn’s disease
- anal cancer
- vaginal cancer or cervical cancer
- bowel incontinence
- Hirschsprung’s disease.
Bupa medical care explains more about how to manage a stoma bag on a daily basis, and the different types that individuals might have. These different stoma include:
- Ileostomy – an opening from your small bowel, to allow poo to leave your body without passing through your large bowel. The poo is usually quite fluid after an ileostomy.
- Colostomy – an opening from your large bowel, to allow poo to leave your body without passing through your back passage (anus). After a colostomy, poo is usually quite solid.
- Urostomy – an opening for your ureters, to allow pee to leave your body without passing through your bladder.
In addition to different types of stoma, individuals may also have different types of bags, including ones that are drainable, closed or have a tap on in order to drain urine (urostomy). No matter what type of bag, they all need to be emptied or changed on a regular basis.
Sharing one of the more “graphic” incidents she has had with “naughty Audrey,” Roberts posted a video on TikTok where she was in the toilets of ITV. During the video the star is seen sitting on the toilet whilst Audrey “does her business all over [her]”.
The star went on to explain that as a result of her chemotherapy treatment, the waste inside of the bag becomes “toxic”, and the seal which attaches Audrey to Roberts is easily burst. “Full disclosure,” Roberts said at the start of the video. “I just want to show you what is happening right now.. she’s burst her bag.”
In light of Robert’s ordeal, Bupa goes on to explain that stoma bags come in two main systems – one-piece and two-piece. The first, two-piece system, has a separate base plate called a “flange” that you stick to your skin over the stoma. The bag then attaches to that. You can change the bag, leaving the flange in place for up to four days to avoid disturbing your skin. Secondly, the one-piece system is less bulky, but you have to pull the whole thing off every time you change the bag.
Although it might take a little while to get used to, individuals with a stoma are able to return to normal daily activities after recovery from the initial operation. They are also able to eat and drink as normal, but a healthy balanced diet will help the bowel get back to normal functioning.
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