I’m 59 and have a sewn-up ‘Barbie butt’After cancer caused my bowels to explode

Lindsay Lambert, sitting on a Maldivian beach, was having the time of her life, taking in every moment.

The 54-year old put down a sore stomach that threatened to ruin her fun.

Lindsay Lambert had been on holiday when she started having issues with her bowel


Lindsay Lambert was on holiday when she began having problems with her bowel.Lindsay Lambert Credit
The now 59-year-old is trying to end the stigma attached to people who have stoma bags


Now a 59-year old, the woman is trying to get rid of the stigma associated with people who have stoma bag.Lindsay Lambert Credit

However, the mother-of-two was scared when she felt compelled to run to the loo. She noticed that her stools were now black after wiping.

“My heart was racing and I thought, ‘that’s not normal’ but I didn’t want to spoil our holiday,”She told Central Recorder.

Lindsay refers to her bum affectionately, many years later, as she remembers her horrific ordeal. ‘Barbie butt’After bowel cancer surgery.

Lindsay forgot about her shock for the rest of the holiday.

She felt unwell when she returned home with her husband Kev (58), in April 2016.

The now-59-year-old was a permanent make up trainer and technician. She was determined to keep going.

But, days later, on a shopping excursion, her worst fears were realized.

“I ran into the toilet and just exploded, there was blood everywhere and I think I spent more time cleaning it up than I did actually on the toilet,”She spoke.

“I felt so weak and Kev just said, ‘I’m taking you home right now’.

“We didn’t speak all the way home in the car and it was then that I knew it was something serious.”

Lindsay, a mother to eight grandchildren saw a doctor May 2016 who said she had bowel cancer symptoms.

It is the second deadliest form of the disease in the UK, but it can be cured if it’s caught early enough.

Early diagnosis is key to saving lives. This is why Central Recorder launched No Time 2 Lose campaign, which called on the Government to lower its screening age from 60 to 50 for the disease.

For Lindsay, who was 54, screening wasn’t an option at the time.

Isn’t it enough that I had cancer, it feels like I’m being punished for my condition


She had an extensive operation in June 2016 called an abdominoperineal (or abdominoperineal) resection. She explained what that meant. “removing everything in the bottom area”.

She was placed in a stoma. It was informed that she had stage 2 cancer.

“I had everything removed including my anus, rectum and lower bowel and then had my bottom sewn up to make a Barbie butt,”She spoke.

“I didn’t really understand what any of it meant, I didn’t know what a bag was or what a stoma was.

“The cancer had been low in my bottom which is why oncology wasn’t able to remove it. But luckily I didn’t have to have chemotherapy,”She continued.

KNOW THE SIGNS: What red flags are there for bowel cancer?

Although screening is an effective way to detect the disease early, there are other ways that people can reduce their chance of getting it.

It is important to be aware of the symptoms and signs of bowel cancer. This can help you save your life and get checked with your GP.

Don’t be embarrassed if you see any of these signs. The majority of patients suffering from bowel problems are seen by doctors.

These are the five symptoms that indicate bowel cancer.

  • Bleeding from your back passage or blood in the poo
  • You may want to change your toilet habits. For example, you might go more often.
  • A lump or pain in your stomach
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Losing weight

Bowel tumors can cause bleeding, which can lead to anemia, or a shortage in red blood cells. It can lead to tiredness, and even breathlessness.

Bowel cancer in some cases can cause a blockage of the bowel. This is called a bowel obstruction.


Nobody likes to hear the words “it’s cancer”Lindsay stated that she was afraid when she received her diagnosis from doctors.

“I thought I was going to die. “I was very ill, and I just want life.

“I am facing the most difficult battle of my entire life. Although I survived, it was a frightening diagnosis.

“When they told me I just screamed, I can’t remember a lot of it, I can’t remember leaving the hospital, I just remember pushing it to the back of my mind.”


Lindsay was able to beat the disease, but there were still aspects of it that she had to deal with.

Lindsay now wants to end the stigma around stomas and says it’s something no one should be ashamed of having.

“The hardest thing is finding clothes to wear”She replied,

“It sticks out all the time, whatever I wear, I either look frumpy or pregnant.

“It’s not just the clothes, sometimes people look at me funny for using a disabled toilet and it’s really not fair.

“Because it’s not visible, people tend to question me a lot and there have been times that I have had to show security guards the bag just to be able to go to the toilet – I even had to show it at the airport once.”

Lindsay explained that not all disabilities can be seen and that sometimes people need to have a greater understanding of invisible conditions.

She said: “Isn’t it enough that I had cancer, it feels like I’m being punished for my condition”She replied,

“I suffer from leaks and feel unclean and conscious that I smell.”

Lindsay mentioned that Kev has been her rock during the battle as well as through the coronavirus lockdown.

“My husband is amazing, it can be difficult being a lady and having to deal with this sort of thing and he is so supportive.”

She claimed that she calls her stoma her “bag for life”.

“Brits are so conservative, but having a poo shouldn’t be a taboo.

“It’s a natural thing and everyone does it, even the queen”She replied,


She said that she was unable to concentrate during lockdowns because, even if she and Kev took a walk, all the public toilets were closed.

“I had to change my bag in the back of a car or in a bush – the disabled toilets should have been left open and it’s things like that that really got my back up during that time.”

Seven months after Lindsay’s operation, Kev had a stroke on January 22 2017 – but that didn’t stop him taking care of his wife.

Lindsay stated: “It’s been a tough time for us but we are alright. I’ve got the all clear now and it’s such a relief. It’s just strange as with every year that passes, the one reminder is the bag”.

Lindsay is now urging others to get their symptoms checked as soon as they can, as she says if she would have left it any longer she wouldn’t be alive today.

“The main thing to look out for is if your bowel habits change, don’t ignore it and get to the doctors.”

Lindsay is supporting Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work. You can help by supporting vital research to beat cancer. cruk.org.

Lindsay is urging others to not ignore the symptoms of bowel cancer and to be mindful that not all conditions are visible


Lindsay urges others not to ignore symptoms of bowel cancer, and to remember that not all conditions can be seen.Lindsay Lambert Credit
The grandma is now supporting Cancer Research UK in their latest campaign


Cancer Research UK’s most recent campaign has the grandma supporting them.Credit: © Richard Walker / ImageNorth
Deborah James claims she has a new fire and is determined to enjoy every day while she fights stage 4 bowel carcinoma on Lorraine

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