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Bowel Cancer Awareness

and Life as a Ostomate


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About Stoma

4 Life

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Bowel Cancer Awareness

and Life as a Ostomate


Did you know that Bowel Cancer ranks as the third most common cancer in the UK? Shockingly, 1 in 15 UK males and 1 in 18 UK females will face a Bowel Cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. I, personally, am one of those 18 females, living with a permanent stoma following a life-saving and life-changing surgery.


Bowel Cancer holds a staggering statistic: 54% of cases in the UK are preventable. As a survivor and Ostomate, I am on a mission to raise Bowel Cancer Awareness, and I invite YOU to join me on this crucial journey. Through Stoma4Life, I aim to provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge, featuring insightful interviews with experts in the field—surgeons, nurses, specialists in stoma and cancer care, as well as individuals navigating the challenges of Cancer, IBS or Crohn's disease, just like me.


Did you know that globally, an estimated 13.5 million people are living with a stoma?

It's highly probable that you've encountered many of them without even realising it.

Stoma4Life is here to demystify, debunk myths, and dispel misconceptions surrounding living with a stoma. I am dedicated to fostering a positive dialogue about a topic that too often remains shrouded in silence.


Join me in challenging preconceptions and fear surrounding stoma life. Listen in for a fresh perspective, genuine stories, and valuable insights. Stoma4Life airs on UK Health Radio every two weeks, ensuring that you stay informed and engaged with the latest developments in the world of stoma care, Bowel Cancer awareness, and overall well-being.


Let's break the silence and bring a positive light to a subject that deserves understanding, compassion, and open conversation. Together, we can make a difference.

Tune in to Stoma4Life—your bridge to a new perspective on health and resilience.


Episodes

Episode 21

Natalie Delaney, a mother of two and gym ​owner, shares her inspiring journey with Crohn's ​disease, stoma surgery during pregnancy, and ​the transformative power of fitness.



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Episode 20

Join us with Jon Thorkelsson, President of the​ European Ostomy Association, advocating for ​ostomates across Europe, the Middle East, and ​North Africa. Discussing ostomy healthcare ​poverty.


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Episode 19

Meet Carrie Helman, a Psychotherapeutic Gestalt Therapist aiding ostomates through challenges. Drawing from her journey, she champions mental health, providing caring counselling and group therapy.


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Episode 18

Join Raphaela as she shares her ultimate Travel Guide for ostomates! With 30 years of experience as a flight attendant, she offers invaluable tips to make traveling with an ostomy easy and stress-free.

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Episode 17

Discover the journey of living with an Ostomy with Andy Wakefield. Against all odds, he ran three London marathons with two Ostomy bags post-cancer, inspiring resilience and courage.



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Episode 16

Dr. Jenny Bailey, an expert in Gut Health and Mucosal Immunology, sheds light on gut health, IBS, and the transformative impact of Ferrocalm, a promising new probiotic.




Episode 15

Dr. Ammara Hughes, Clinical Director of Central Camden PCN, discusses their clinic, slashing NHS bowel-related wait times by up to 70 weeks with the LumenEye X1 digital rectoscope.


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Episode 14

Mr. Ashish Sinha, Consultant Colorectal and General Surgeon at St Mark's The National Bowel Hospital. We explore the increase in colorectal cancer among younger individuals, screening methods, genetic factors, and treatment breakthroughs




Episode 13

Meet Paolo Häckl The Rockstar of Ostomates! Despite his battle with Crohn's Disease since 2012, Paolo shares his inspiring journey of resilience and courage. Don't miss out on his extraordinary story.


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Episode 12

Teresa Davis-Mills, author of ‘I’m Not Sh*ttin You,’ confronts colorectal cancer stigma, promotes early detection, and embraces vibrant living, while acknowledging her own mistakes along the way.



Episode 11 Part 2

In our last episode, Faye Louise shared her journey from cyst to rare cancer. In Part 2, she faces the removal of 8 organs, emerging not only as a survivor but also as a global advocate for Pseudomyxoma.



Episode 10 Part 1

Join Faye Louise in Part 1 as she shares her journey from a cyst to battling Appendix Cancer, facing the daunting task of having 8 organs removed. Tune in for her inspiring story of resilience.



Episode 9

Introducing Claire Coughlan, Clinical Lead for Bowel Cancer UK. Join us in this episode as Claire and Raphaela engage in insightful discussions surrounding crucial aspects of Stoma care.


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Episode 8

LeeAnne Hayden's resilient journey living fully with an ostomy is a testament to perseverance and embracing life. Her motto, ‘Here to make a difference,’ encapsulates her inspiring tale.


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Episode 7

Thriving without a colon, Kristly Bartlett, diagnosed with FAP at an early age, faces a rare inherited condition due to a defect in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene.



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Episode 6

Danielle Sax, globally renowned self-care and stress management expert shares her insights into making this festive season and life after a diagnosis less stressful.



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Episode 5

Bowel cancer survivor Mohammad Samad hopes to inspire men and the BAME community to talk about their health issues and encourage them to get screened and tested for cancer.



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Episode 4

Retired U.S. Navy veteran, Dan Dry Dock Shockley shares his incredible journey and purpose to now educate the medical students and professionals about AFAP.


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Episode 3

Presenter of The ‘D’ Word, Pete Hill shares his bowel cancer journey and 3 lightbulb moments that changed him forever. We talk about LARS, a successful reversal surgery and life after a cancer diagnosis.


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Episode 2

Author, cancer survivor, motivational speaker, ostomate advocate and celebrated fashion model Jearlean Taylor is a double ostomate since the age of three. Her mantra ‘I am Different to make a Difference’ has carried her through life, motivating others to live their best life.

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Episode 1

On this first episode of Stoma4Life, Raphaela shares her personal journey of Stage 3 Bowel Cancer and reveals the phrase she has learned

to never, ever say.

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Bowel Cancer Awareness

and Life as a Ostomate


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What is a Stoma

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A stoma, a remarkable medical innovation, serves as an opening on the abdomen that establishes a connection to either the digestive or urinary system. This ingenious mechanism allows waste, whether urine or faeces, to be redirected out of the body. Visually, a stoma resembles a small, pinkish, circular piece of flesh securely sewn to the body. It may either lie fairly flat against the abdomen or slightly protrude.


The key to managing life with a stoma is the use of a pouch worn over the stoma. These pouches come in various forms, either closed or featuring an opening at the bottom, providing flexibility for individual preferences. Contrary to common misconceptions, a stoma itself has no nerve endings, ensuring that individuals should not experience pain directly from it. Remarkably, as depicted in illustrations, activities like swimming are entirely feasible with a securely affixed pouch.


In the United Kingdom, approximately 190,000 people are living with a stoma, and the underlying reasons for stoma surgery vary. The most prevalent conditions leading to stoma creation include colorectal cancer, bladder cancer, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and accidental injuries.


Throughout the stoma journey, individuals find crucial support from stoma care nurses. These dedicated professionals play a pivotal role, offering assistance not only during the hospitalization period surrounding surgery but also extending their support into the community post-discharge. Ostomates can rest assured knowing that they remain under the care of the stoma specialist nursing service, providing ongoing support and guidance on this unique aspect of healthcare. The commitment to ensuring the well-being of ostomates is a testament to the comprehensive and compassionate nature of stoma care in the UK.


My story

Welcome to Stoma4Life, my virtual haven for sharing stories, insights, and awareness about life with a stoma and the importance of bowel health!


Hello, lovely visitors! I am thrilled to extend a warm welcome to my website and podcast, where I embark on a journey to connect, inspire, and educate. My name is Raphaela, and I am not only a married mother of two but also a London dweller with a passion for travel, design, and illustration.


For three incredible decades, I had the privilege of working as an airline purser for one of the world's largest airlines. This career allowed me to explore the corners of our planet, immersing myself in the beauty of diverse cultures. However, life took an unexpected turn when I decided to transition to my original love—graphic design and illustration—after taking early retirement.


Just as I was embracing this new chapter, a personal tsunami struck. Despite being misdiagnosed initially and resisting the signs my body was revealing, I was eventually diagnosed with Stage 3 Bowel Cancer. Life-changing surgery became my reality, and today, I am not just surviving but thriving with an ostomy. This experience fueled my commitment to raising Bowel Cancer Awareness and advocating for everyone to "Check Their Poo" and listen to their inner voice.


I firmly believe that my journey and survival are testaments to the power of intuition and self-awareness. Without heeding my inner voice, I might not be here to share this story with you today.


With Stoma4Life, my mission goes beyond shedding light on life with a stoma; it's about tackling the silent but deadly nature of Bowel Cancer. Often diagnosed at advanced stages due to the lack of symptoms, Bowel Cancer has earned its grim moniker as the "silent killer." Let's break the silence, dismantle the stigma, and empower individuals to take charge of their health.


Join me on this adventure as we navigate the complexities of life with a stoma, champion Bowel Cancer awareness, and celebrate the resilience of the human spirit. Together, let's make a difference, one story at a time.


Thank you for being a part of the Stoma4Life community. Let the journey begin!


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4 Life

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Bowel Cancer Symptoms

B

lood in your poo


bvious change in bowel habit


eight loss you cannot explain


xtreme tiredness for no reason


ump or swelling in your abdomen


O

W

E

L

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Check your poo!

In the Media

Featured in/on:

Dec/Jan 2024 issue of

Health Triangle Magazine

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Contact me

If you have a personal experience with cancer or living with an ostomy and would like to share ​your inspiring journey on Stoma4Life, I wholeheartedly welcome you to reach out.

Your story has the power to bring awareness, understanding,

and support to others facing similar challenges.


Please feel free to contact me.

Your courage and willingness to share your experiences can make a significant impact

on our community, helping others find strength and hope in their own journeys.


Thank you for considering being a part of Stoma4Life and contributing to the collective ​voice that fosters empathy, education, and empowerment.

Together, we can make a positive difference!



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Bowel Cancer Awareness

and Life as a Ostomate


Disclaimer

Please note that all information and content on the Stom4Life radio/podcast broadcast and websites is only intended as additional information to your general knowledge. As a service to our listeners/readers our programs/content are for general information and entertainment only. Stoma4Life does not recommend, endorse, or object to the views, products or topics expressed or discussed by show guests, authors and interviewees. We suggest you always consult with your own professional – personal, medical, advisor. So please do not delay or disregard any professional – personal or medical advice received due to something you have heard or read on the Stoma4Life radio show, podcast or website. We make no warranties or representations of any kind that the services provided on the radio broadcasts/podcast or website will be uninterrupted, error-free or that the radio broadcasts or web sites, or the servers that hosts the radio broadcasts or web sites are free from viruses or other forms of harmful computer codes. In no event will Stoma4Life, the host, distributors, advertisers, syndicators or agents be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential damages resulting from the use of this website. This exclusion and limitation only applies to the extent permitted by law.


©Stoma4Life, 2024. All rights reserved.