Ray Elvey’s Story

I had ulcerative colitis that was unresponsive to any treatments including remicade infusions. In January of 2006 I had ostomy surgery. My first comment was “It is so quiet down there.”

After three horrible years my life was given back to me. I am now disease free and colon cancer is no longer a worry. My ostomy surgery has allowed me to have a more rewarding relationship with my wife and family. Having an ostomy has not stopped me from enjoying activities such as cycling that I participated in prior to surgery.  I still ride whenever I can.

As soon as I was physically able one of the first things I did was join a local UOAA affiliated support group. The support group was a lifesaver for me. When I first joined I was having terrible skin problems and there seemed no solution. The support group facilitator made one suggestion and my skin problem was completely resolved!  

As a result of my ostomy I have discovered a new passion in my life that I probably never would have done otherwise. I am now a freelance writer on ostomy topics that are of interest and concern to ostomates and their families and friends.  My articles appear in our support group newsletter and the Phoenix magazine. I want people who are facing this surgery to know that their quality of life can be restored through ostomy or continent diversion surgery. It truly is lemons into lemonade.

1 reply
  1. Mary Coleman
    Mary Coleman says:

    I am anticipating that I will have to have a Colostomy and am very nervous about the whole thing,
    When I had my hysterectomy 20 years a go cancer was found in the wall of my uterous and this was
    followed by 6 weeks of radiiation. This past year I started having fecal incontinence iwhich I am sure
    is caused by my radiation treatment that has effected my rectum and anus. I will have a procedure
    on May 28 to check the nerves and muscles in my rectum and anus and am quite sure will have a
    colostomy. I am 76 years old and other wise in good health. Just nervous about and hope I can
    find a support group, Thanks for your support,


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