Adele Roberts on women’s health with an ostomy bag
Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts graced the latest cover of Women’s Health with a visible ostomy bag for her bowel cancer – and she loves her body ‘more than ever’.
Roberts, 43, revealed in October that she had the disease, one of the most common types of cancer in the UK, and needed surgery to remove the tumour.
It was successful, and she now uses an ostomy bag – which she dubbed Audrey – and has also undergone chemotherapy.
Read more: What is bowel cancer? Signs and Symptoms to Know
“Being diagnosed with cancer means I have learned to appreciate my body; to be grateful that it works; to be grateful that I found the tumor in time to remove it and to be grateful [that modern medicine means I can] have a stoma,” she told the magazine for its June issue.
“I feel like I love my body more than ever,” she said, a nod to the fact that she had previously battled self-confidence issues after being abused in line from trolls.
A stoma is where a section of intestine is taken out through an opening in your stomach (abdomen), explains the Bowel Cancer UK website. Your stool (poo) is collected in a pouch or bag attached to the skin around your stoma.
Read more: The four most common types of cancer in the UK – signs and symptoms you need to know
Roberts, who first appeared in the limelight in the 2002 series of Big brotherhighlights the fact that half of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lives.
“I think the more we can talk about it, the less people will be affected mentally, if and when it happens,” she said.
“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.”
Although she was a beacon for positivity, she understandably spent a lot of time feeling “shattered” by her diagnosis, sharing the ways she managed to overcome it.
“When I was in the hospital, recovering from my operations, I would overhear the conversations of other women in the ward and learn that they had a much worse diagnosis than me – possibly cancer. terminally ill – and that’s when I felt depressed,” she explained.
“I think my strategy, so that I can stay stable while I’m on chemotherapy, is to just keep going and try not to get beat up 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.”
Roberts has opened up about her stage two cancer, chemotherapy and ostomies on social media and via her blog Me, You & Audrey 2! in hopes of helping others and raising awareness of the disease.
“This is what women’s health looks like,” she says, sharing her thoughts on the cover of Women’s Health on Instagram. “Health is more than physical. It’s mental and spiritual and that day I felt ON TOP OF THE WORLD! I had never seen a woman on the cover of a magazine with an ostomy and undergoing chemotherapy before. What honor?!”
“I didn’t really know about ostomies until I had one, I also didn’t really know about bowel cancer. I was told I was ‘probably too young’ to have it “, adds Roberts.
Bowel cancer, a general term for cancer that starts in the large intestine, is mostly diagnosed in people over the age of 60, although younger people can also get it.
Read more: Bowel cancer survivor thanks Deborah James for helping her cope with diagnosis
Roberts credits staying positive and healthy, mentally and spiritually, with helping her through her journey with bowel cancer so far.
“Thanks to the brilliance of the @NHS, the kindness and the beauty of the people – you have restored my faith in social media – my amazing family – and above all my first, my last, my everything, my @KateHolderness and my little stoma Audrey. You both saved my life.
Roberts and his partner Kate Holderness celebrated their 18th birthday in February.
The June issue of Women’s Health hits newsstands Tuesday, May 24.
Watch: Deborah James’ BowelBabe fund raises over 2.5 million as tributes pour in
Additional Report AP.