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A friend recently asked if I really did not miss my colon?  I don’tI told him.

It’s true; I do not miss it but it took me awhile to get to this point of acceptance. In the beginning I felt a huge sense of loss. In fact, I think I actually grieved the loss of my colon and rectum. I’ll tell you about all the reasons why I do not miss having a large intestine but first let me explain how I got to this point. 

From This Point On Your Life Will Be Changed Forever

My friend Blake and I standing in front of our cabin at Camp Oasis
Standing in front of our cabin at Camp Oasis my friend Blake and I show our scars and semi-colon tattoos.

It might sound strange to mourn for the loss of my large intestine but losing an organ is kind of a big deal. From that point forward life will change forever and a piece of you will be missing. A patient may isolate themselves and feel angry, sad, or depressed. It’s normal to go through a number of other emotions and behaviors too before reaching acceptance. 

Perhaps you have heard of the stages of grief that were created to help people cope with their response to loss. We typically hear of these stages after the death of a loved one, but loss can also include other major life changes. Things like divorce, losing a job, the death of a pet… the loss of an organ. They all can trigger grief. Everyone experiences loss in their own unique way but there are a lot of emotions that most people typically have. 

The stages of grief were designed to help a person make sense of the emotions they are experiencing while they cope with loss. You may not experience all of the stages or follow them in a specific order or timeline. 

What You May Be Feeling After Surgery

There are a few models of the stages of grief that have some variation. The one below includes 7 stages that are meant to be used as a guideline for coping with loss. I used the seven stages below and related them to major surgery and the removal of an organ. 


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