Tracey Emin has shared a graphic image of her ostomy to raise awareness of living with a disability after undergoing cancer surgery.
Patients who are unable to use their bladder fully can have a stoma created, which is an opening in the abdomen that connects to the urinary system so that waste can be drained from the body and emptied by hand.
Last year, the 58-year-old artist underwent a series of major surgeries after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of bladder cancer. This included a full hysterectomy, as well as the removal of her urethra, bladder, lymph nodes, and part of her vagina and intestines.
Emin, who is open about her experience following diagnosis and treatment, often speaks about the physical and psychological effects of the urostomy pouch she will have to wear for the rest of her life.
Emin shared a picture of the stoma on Wednesday (April 20) and wrote: “This is my stoma. Most people have never seen one. It’s something I should hide forever. It’s part of my gut that’s attached to the outside of my body.
“Without it being there and functioning properly, I will die,” continued the British artist. “[It’s] living flesh. Fragile and delicate. Surrounded by scar tissue and swollen fatty flesh.
“I have almost total muscle wasting in my core abdomen, stomach. My body will never be the same again. To be honest, I find carrying the bag quite depressing,” she added. “Nothing cool about lugging around a bag of piss. But it’s life.. my life now. Many disabilities are not visible. But I thought I’d show you mine.”
Many people shared kind messages on Emin’s post.
Actor and Turner Prize 2021 judge Russell Tovey, who is a noted fan of Emin’s work, wrote: “So much love and admiration for you always.”
Journalist Dylan Jones said, “So powerful, so important, so moving.”
English fashion designer Alice Temperly wrote, “Sending love Tracy, you are strong and beautiful.”
Eminhas has previously discussed the reason why “a urostomy pouch is quite a disadvantage for many reasons”.
“It’s something that most people want to keep secret,” she said The guard last year. “It’s a very private thing, because basically a part of your bodily functions takes place outside of your body.
“It leaks and things happen. I could be out in public anywhere and it could happen — and people would just think I pissed on myself or thought I was drinking.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/tracey-emin-stoma-instagram-b2061441.html Tracey Emin shares a graphic image of her stoma on Instagram: ‘My body will never be the same’