Need Help with Sexuality


I'm thirty-six. I'm currently in treatment for Leukemia. I'm married and having some physical and psychological problems with sex.

My body has changed a lot. I was in great shape before treatment. I've gained weight and lost muscle due to steroids and chemo. I've also lost all my hair. When I look in the mirror I see a chubby teenager. I also have neuropathy in my fingers that makes my fingertips numb and clumsy. And I have a Hickman line hanging out of my chest. I feel weak and horribly unattractive.

I'm sexually functional, but I feel too unappealing and inept to attempt sex. I've always tried to be a generous and competent lover. I'm scared that I'll no longer be able to please my wife. I know she wants sex, but I just feel useless. I don't know what to do. I think, in the back of my mind, I've sort of been planning to avoid sex until my treatment is over and I can fully regain my physical conditioning. That could take years. It's probably a terrible plan, and now I'm starting to realize I may never get my body back.

I don't know what to do. I feel like I'm neglecting my wife. She's been so helpful and supportive through my illness. She deserves to have her basic needs met. I want to at least please her, but my fingers are almost useless and I don't think she'll let me give her oral sex. Even though my counts are okay, she won't even let me drink from the same glass as her.

I'm starting to feel urgency to address this, but I feel completely stuck. I don't have any options.


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