Saturday, May 19, 2012

Greg Doesn’t Golf anymore

Greg was the spark that started this Living Bigger With Colostomy blog. 

Greg golfed 6 days a week for 30 summers, then was diagnosed with T3 colon cancer, which resulted in surgery for a colostomy, as well as chemo and radiation.  

Greg quit golfing, fearing the embarrassment of changing a pouch while his golf-buddies waited, or the horrors of a pouch explosion.

Greg also quit driving and riding in a car, for fear of the seatbelt rubbing on his stoma.

Greg declined to lift grocery bags, for fear of a hernia.

Greg stayed in his house, intentionally remaining inactive, and gained enough weight that his pants didn’t fit.  So he started wearing his pouch outside his pants.  With this new humiliation, he refused to leave his house … so both Greg and his wife became reclusive.  This soon dragged both of them into a depression which brought apathy, and lowered confidence and motivation.  Soon Greg’s wife was changing his appliances for him, and they spiraled down together.

Greg and I talked a lot.  Cautiously, I shared many of my positive and active experiences living a normal life with a colostomy – wanting to show that he and his wife could live bigger, yet not wanting to intimidate with my adventures that would be unbelievable and unrealistic for him.  We had a few successes:

  • Seatbelts – I drive, and carried a backpack with a hipbelt for 40 days.  Its OK for Greg to drive and ride.
  • Pouch on the Outside – Buy pants 2 inches bigger, wear suspenders, and get the pouch back inside your pants!
  • Pouch Explosions Golfing – I have golfed for 2 years and played over 100 hockey games (taking hits and blocking shots) and have never had an explosion. Greg is safe to golf ... and no reason to be embarrassed changing pouches on the golf-course, being much more environmentally sensitive than his buddies that relieve beer-overloads in the bushes.
 These small incremental successes are positive and encouraging.

Golfing with Greg is now on my bucket list !


  1. I am glad for all the things I can do with my ostomy. I have learned to take it all in stride, and sometimes I forget it is even there.

  2. Greg and Paul,
    Come and golf with Neil and me, Neil (liver transplant and ileostomy) and I (colon cancer & ileostomy) often golf together. With you two we will have a four ball, four bagger!