Randy Henniger
  • 58, Male
  • So Lake Tahoe, CA
  • United States
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Profile Information

First Name
Last Name
South Lake Tahoe
US State or Territory
How did you hear about My CCA Support [select all that apply]
Colon Cancer Alliance Website
Race and Ethnicity [select only one]
White (non-Hispanic)
What is your connection to colorectal cancer [select only one]
Were you or your loved one diagnosed within the last 6 months with colorectal cancer [select only one]
Type of Cancer [select only one]
Colon Cancer
What stage at diagnosed [select only one]
Stage 3
Chemotherapy Received
About Me
28 year colon cancer (Stage III) survivor, and ostomate. I had surgery to remove the rectal tumor along with the rectum and lower portion of my colon, resulting in a permanent colostomy. The treatments caused ED, which we resolved with a penile implant in 1987. Radiation treatments (no chemo for Stage III at the time) caused bladder damage resulting in frequent UTIs and neuropathy in my foot. Don't let that or living with an ostomy get in my way of living life to the MAX with joy and gratitude for every day I'm still on the planet. Loving my wife and sons, family and friends. Surfing, biking, hiking, swimming, kayaking, rafting, doing Bikram hot Yoga daily.

I am 58 years young, surfer and husband for 30+ years to my incredible wife, Patricia. We have two sons, Jeff (30) and Josh (28). We live in Northern California near Sacramento in Folsom. Our son, Josh is a Purple Heart recipient from his service in the Army in Iraq in 2005. Jeff is a computer/internet wiz and lives in the San Francisco area.

In January 2014, I had surgery for a second ostomy (urostomy) to resolve issues caused by the pelvic radiation I experienced during treatment in 1986. More at www.activeostomates.com

I have been cancer free for 28 years and most enjoy sharing my experience of hope and understanding with others on their path to beating cancer and enjoying our survivorship. TOGETHER WE CAN BEAT CANCER!

Randy Henniger's Blog

Perineal Urethrostomy needed to eliminate chronic UTIs

Posted on October 29, 2013 at 1:22pm 5 Comments

This is the surgery I had last week at UCSF by Dr. Breyer and Dr. Sanford. Surgery went well, was released the same day. Hoping to be able to void my bladder completely after the catheter is removed this Friday. Will post…


Doing well after surgery

Posted on October 28, 2013 at 1:43pm 2 Comments

Thanks to everyone for the prayers, emails and FB posts. The surgery went well and I'm home recovering.…


Two bag ostomate!

Posted on September 30, 2013 at 11:08am 0 Comments

Supre-pubic diversion surgery on Friday to let my urethra…


When is a 4th opinion is needed? On my birthday!

Posted on June 2, 2013 at 2:30pm 3 Comments

When a Fourth Opinion is Needed

June 1, 2013 (my 58th birthday) and I’m sitting in my hospital room recovering from surgery to remove the penile implant that was put in back…


Latest Activity

Pamela Caputo and Randy Henniger are now friends
12 hours ago
Randy Henniger replied to Harry's discussion Social Security Disability
"Harry, Thanks for posting...very helpful! Randy"
19 hours ago
Randy Henniger replied to Randy Henniger's discussion Celebrating 28 years cancer free
"Thanks, Deb! "
19 hours ago
Deb E replied to Randy Henniger's discussion Celebrating 28 years cancer free
"Thanks for sharing Randy, what a great story of hope. "

Colostomy or not to Colostomy? It's an easy choice!!!

I thought it would be good to post that having a colostomy is really NO BIG DEAL. It is certainly better to be living with a colostomy than to die without one.
What I mean to say is that if you are facing a choice of a treatment program that has less chance of survival by keeping your original plumbing, don't be stupid! Take the route that has the best chance of long term survival. If that includes the removal of your rectum and leaves you with a permanent colostomy, then do it!
I have lived without limitations for 25 years with a permanent colostomy, and with a little planning and with the right ostomy supplies, a reasonable diet and regular exercise, I live a completely NORMAL life.
I surf, I've hiked to the top of Mt Whitney (twice!), I've SCUBA dived, I do yoga, I enjoy intimacy with my lovely wife of 33 years, we've raised two fine sons which included a lot of wresting and physical activity.
Would I prefer to have my original plumbing, of course, but not at the cost of my life or chronic pain and discomfort.
If a colostomy is the best way for you to beat cancer and have good colon and overall health, I highly suggest you do it. Get a good ostomy nurse, try all the products on the market from Convatec (my favorite), Hollister and others. Take charge of fight to beat cancer and to make the best of whatever amount of time God gives us on this planet.
Stay strong!Randy

Comment Wall (314 comments)

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At 3:05pm on April 9, 2014, MrsStewy said…

Thank you for the message. My Dad had his colon resection on 3/7 and started Chemo on 3/31. Looking forward to using this website as a resource and for support. 


At 11:53am on April 8, 2014, sandra said…

Hi thank you,

I got the bad news 3 weeks ago yet it like yesterday, I start my radio 22/04/14 then I have an op on the 7th May. They have found a small spot at the bottom of my back in which I go for another MRI scan next Tue, my consultant doesn't think its any think to worry over, but I can help myself I guess I wouldn't be human.

It like me being on a big roller a coaster and I don't like them lol. I will keep up dating how I feel and question I feel that I hope people can or have been or going through. I am in the uk, but have family back in A/L. 

At 10:52pm on April 7, 2014, EMTKitten said…

hi Randy, thank you for your warm welcome.  to answer your question, when I had cancer in 2000, the chemo almost killed me, but my children were very young and fighting this demon was the only option.  Every day we went to treatment, I would cry the whole way there.  I hated knowing I was putting poison into my veins.  

When we found out I had lynch in 2011, I knew that one day, the cancer would come back, we didnt know when or where, but I know it would be back.  We made up our minds as a family, that we would love our lives as full as we could and make each day count.  We didnt know in 2 years, this demon would come with a vengeance, but it did.  We talked to many specialist and their answers were all the same, 6-18 months without chemo, 18-24 months with.  

We, as a family, have chosen quality over the quantity.  I did have the largest colon tumor removed and ended up with a colostomy the end of Jan which ended almost all pain.  I never thought I would say I am happy to have my colostomy, but shockingly, it has given me my life back in many ways.

I did have post surgical complications in that I had strep and MSSA in the incision, so they had to reopen and I have been on a wound vac for just over a month.  I am healing very well now.  

I talk to my children, husband and family almost daily and we talk about where we are with thinks emotionally.  The cancer, while a sad and difficult thing, will not take over our lives.  We go about our days very much the same as before, the only difference is I am on LTD with my job.  

I spend as much time as i can making memories with my kids and teaching them that they will always lead their destiny.  My youngest son has tested positive for Lynch, my daughter tested negative, my oldest son is working up the courage to find out.   

If it wasnt for the amazing people in my life, maybe my choice wouldnt have been as easy as it was, but through all the negative, we are as positive as we can be!





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