Adele Roberts Health: Star Shares ‘Graphic’ Reality of Ostomy Bag – ‘She Burst!’

First announcing that she was due to undergo treatment for bowel cancer in October, the radio DJ has since explained how she remains physically and mentally strong as her body undergoes major changes. Her treatment involved surgery to remove her tumor and then multiple rounds of chemotherapy, which began in December last year and which she admitted ‘ravaged’ her body. In a recent health update, the star said she hoped to be “cancer free” within six weeks, with plans to hopefully go on vacation and “be on the beach with [her] small stoma.

For her recent magazine feature, Roberts opened up about her cancer journey and how it changed her life.

She said: “Being diagnosed with cancer means I have learned to appreciate my body; be grateful that it works; be thankful they found the tumor in time to remove it and be thankful (that modern medicine means I can) have a stoma.

“I feel like I love my body more than ever.

“One in two people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life and I think the more we can talk about it, the less people will be negatively affected mentally, if and when it happens.

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“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 took her a while to adjust and feel comfortable with her new body, the former Big Brother contestant added: “When I was in the hospital recovering from my operations, I would overhear the conversations of other women on the ward and learn that they had a much worse diagnosis than me – possibly terminal cancer – and that’s when I would feel depressed.

“I think my strategy, so that I can stay stable while I’m on chemotherapy, is just to keep going and try not to let myself be beaten mentally.

“Like, I kind of have to tackle it head-on, because that’s how I handle things, but I understand that everyone is different.”

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With cancer and chemotherapy now hopefully behind her, Roberts took on the challenge of showing publicly what life with an ostomy bag is like. On a recent episode of Loose Women, Roberts asked the panel “I got a little bag to show you if you okay?”

Pulling out the little bag, she explained, “It’s the bag I’m carrying and it sticks to my stomach like that.”

“And it’s for life or are you going to say goodbye to Audrey?” Jane Moore of Loose Women then asked her.

“It will eventually be reversible,” Adele replied, before adding, “You know you say it makes me emotional because she helped me so much and saved my life and I will be sad when she leaves.”

An ostomy bag is fitted by a procedure known as a colostomy, which aims to divert one end of the colon (part of the intestine) through an opening in the belly. It is the opening which is called the stoma, and the pocket placed above the opening to collect the stools, the sac.

As one of the main methods of bowel cancer treatment, a colostomy can also be used to treat the following:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • diverticulitis
  • anal cancer
  • vaginal cancer or cervical cancer
  • faecal incontinence
  • Hirschsprung’s disease.

Bupa Medical Care goes into more detail on how to manage an ostomy bag on a day-to-day basis and the different types individuals may have. These different stomas include:

  • Ileostomy – an opening in your small intestine, to allow poop to leave your body without passing through your large intestine. The poop is usually quite runny after an ileostomy.
  • Colostomy – an opening in your large intestine, to allow poop to leave your body without going through your back passage (anus). After a colostomy, the poop 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 the different types of stomas, individuals may also have different types of sacs, including those that are drainable, closed, or have a valve to drain urine (urostomy). Regardless of the type of bag, they all need to be emptied or changed regularly.

Sharing one of the most “graphic” incidents she had with “naughty Audrey”, Roberts posted a video on TikTok where she was in the ITV bathroom. During the video, the star is seen sitting on the toilet while Audrey “does her business everywhere [her]”.

The star went on to explain that following her chemotherapy treatment, the waste inside the bag becomes “toxic”, and the seal that attaches Audrey to Roberts tears easily. “Full disclosure,” Roberts said at the start of the video. “I just want to show you what’s going on right now…she blew her bag.”

In light of Robert’s ordeal, Bupa goes on to explain that ostomy bags come in two main systems – one piece and two piece. The first two-part system has a separate base plate called a “flange” that you glue to your skin above the stoma. The bag then attaches to it. You can change bags with the strap in place for up to four days to avoid disturbing your skin. Second, the one-piece system is less bulky, but you have to remove the whole thing each time you change the bag.

Although it may take some getting used to, people with an ostomy are able to return to normal daily activities after recovering from the initial operation. They are also able to eat and drink normally, but a healthy, balanced diet will help the intestines return to normal function.

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