Bob Kravitz is a bladder cancer survivor who turned to his scissors as a solution for his ostomy bag challenges. He has been a Support Volunteer since 2012,

I have been a Urostomy person for 10 years – living with it since I was 59 years old. The first year was asking myself, what I had done, as I realized over and over that plastic was protruding from my person.

match me

Of course, it’s a situation that you live with. It was also my choice, as I could have had a reconstructive Neo Bladder, but that’s another story. Once I had my procedure, I told my friends that I had this bag and asked them if there is an odor, “PLEASE DO NOT BE SHY, LET ME KNOW IF THERE IS AN ODOR”……The second year my concern was my clothes fitting.

I was always conscious that I have a bag with urine in it. I could not stand the bulky bag when it was loaded with urine inside my pants.

Rather than mope or hide, I created a solution. I cut holes in my everyday pants. In turn, I cut holes in my undershirts and underpants.

 

Today, I wear all double extra long shirts over my pants. No one knows I have a bag under my shirt. I stuff the bag in my pants when I have to wear dress pants.

I actually went back to work, I was a TV News Photojournalist. I retired after 44 years. As I tell the patients I’m matched with, “When you stop feeling sorry for yourself, knowing you are alive, it’s a gift. Get over it and live for yourself and family.”

AHHHHH….Family. I cannot tell you enough how life sparking your family can be. My wife of 44 years, Susan, was there every step of the way and so were both families, mine and hers.

When I sleep, I use a Leg Strap Catheter holder, to strap the night bag tube against my thigh leg. I put my night bag in a basin by my bed.

I wish I had known about Cancer Hope Network the first year of my cancer, but I did not. I had to find out about working situations on my own. Finding the website was the most helpful situation that happened to me. I got to talk to fellow “urinites’ about their feelings and how they got over it. (That’s what I Call Myself…Urinite…)

Sue and I have gone on and lived a full life with family and friends.

Please, do not let this situation ruin a happy life. Get a hold of your inner self and get on with it……..You can do it.

To speak with Bob – or another Support Volunteer, click HERE or call 877-HOPENET.