SEX during/after CANCER

We are very private people and have never been all about talking about SEX. I have to ask the question, have you all ever encountered the CAN YOU STILL HAVE SEX QUESTION? I tried going out with friends for the first time in a very long time thinking it might be fun and I needed to get out and WHY people brought up Ben and asked me about him. I was honest and told him how he was that day. And then they jokiningly...asked about him and asked if he could still have sex? I was appauled. In front of many people I didn't know too. I was like that is private...dont' ya think a little rude? And then I'm like my husband had brain surgery, radiation, has seizures, and takes so many f'n meds NO things are not the same.

We are going through a very difficult time and how do I help my husband, 32 deal with everything he's lost? I'm feeling pretty lost. I get how important sex is to men, and my husband is no different. He's very depressed.

Anyone?

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  • DMMDMM Community Member
    Autumn Dale;1822 said:
    We are very private people and have never been all about talking about SEX. I have to ask the question, have you all ever encountered the CAN YOU STILL HAVE SEX QUESTION? I tried going out with friends for the first time in a very long time thinking it might be fun and I needed to get out and WHY people brought up Ben and asked me about him. I was honest and told him how he was that day. And then they jokiningly...asked about him and asked if he could still have sex? I was appauled. In front of many people I didn't know too. I was like that is private...dont' ya think a little rude? And then I'm like my husband had brain surgery, radiation, has seizures, and takes so many f'n meds NO things are not the same.

    We are going through a very difficult time and how do I help my husband, 32 deal with everything he's lost? I'm feeling pretty lost. I get how important sex is to men, and my husband is no different. He's very depressed.

    Anyone?

    Wow! That was rude of them regardless if it was just a joke or if it was a serious question. After my hysterectomy, I was asked a couple of times if I could still have sex by some really rude people. I usually just responded, thankfully the doctor was able to get all of the tumor and I am now in good health and any other information about me is none of your business, then I would just walk away.

    A few years ago I was asked by two older women I knew who were about to have hysterectomies at the time because of fibroids and with them I had no problem having candid discussions about sex after surgery.

    Unless it was with someone I was going to be in a serious relationship with or another person going through a similar surgery, I just flat out tell them their question is very inappropriate and that it is none of their business.
  • That would have made me REALLY angry! Although I'm not a man, I am married to one. Sex is important to them how they feel about themselves and you and the relationship. That being said, I guess it is a matter of what he can and what you are willing to do. You need to talk to him and find out where he is in all this. If this is something that is bothering him, then get creative and work through it together.

    For me, I can't get my head in the game, so to speak. Sex is the furthest thing from my mind and feel about as attractive as a 600lb woman with a skin rash. But I'm a woman and for us it starts in our heads. He may not be so complicated, or maybe he is. You have to talk to him and find out where he is.
  • Thanks girls! I agree all in my head right now. I've seen Ben go through so much it's hard to go there...we have but we are both changed people mentally all of it. I think some healing and time things will get better or I hope. I'm just curious...no one ever talks about this part of it and being young it's a big part of it I'm sure for a lot of men and women. As a voluntary subject of course! Not to be asked! lol :) Thank you though! I appreciate your posts!
  • You're definitely not alone. At the OMG summit, the Sex and Intimacy panel is very popular. Also, our sexuality themed episodes of the Stupid Cancer Show are always extremely popular. I would recommend checking the podcasts out to see what has been said. When we saw this post, Kenny and I realized that the topic definitely deserved its own section, because it is that important to many young adults dealing with cancer.

    Also, I agree, that nobody should really ask. Maybe if it's a really close friend asking in terms of lending support, that's one thing, but people just asking about it is definitely out of bounds in my book.
  • Absolutely Jason thank you so much! I will check them out! I wish I could get Ben on here...
  • I am often amazed at the nerve and stupidity of people! I'm sorry that happened to you. As a nurse navigator sex and intimacy is something i get into with patients and often I'm told I was the only one who said anything to them. You've gotten good advice here. It's really important to communicate with each other and not be afraid to be honest. Many of my patients are waiting for their partner to make a move and the partner is afraid to "hurt" them after surgery, neither one says anything to the other it just spirals into a terrible mess. There are many ways to be intimate other than intercourse, sometimes the intimacy of snuggling and really talking is amazing. So,talk to each other, explore and be understanding with each other. Feel free to contact me at [email]rtrupp@nconn.org[/email] if there's anything I may be able to help with.

    Becky your friendly nurse navigator
  • Thank you Becky! It is very difficult for Ben to talk to me about this, he'd rather pretend there isn't a problem. We've been working on that. You are right, if we don't deal with it it will get worse. I have hope and thank you!
  • DMMDMM Community Member
    Sexuality in Cancer Survivorship - internet radio show episode today at 1pmPST/4pmEST

    Tune in today at 1pm PST/4pm EST for CSC’s newest internet radio show episode focusing on cancer and sexual issues. Several panelists will discuss the impact that cancer and treatment has on one’s sexuality and quality of life.

    http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/52049/sexuality-in-cancer-survivorship

    Kim Thiboldeaux, President and CEO of the Cancer Support Community is joined by Dr. Leslie Schover, clinical psychologist with a special focus on cancer and sexual problems, Tamika Felder, cervical cancer survivor and Founder and President of Tamika and Friends, and Jennifer Sinclair, Program Director of Cancer Support Community Greater Lehigh Valley, to discuss the impact of cancer on one's sexuality and quality of life. Kim and her panelists will bring varied perspectives on the importance of addressing sexual issues that may arise as a result of a cancer diagnosis and related treatments.
  • I just listened to that radio show on sex...and ok...so we need to talk more about this issue with our Dr. which one where should I start and how do I get Ben on board? He has a counselor, neuro(med writer), surgeon, oncologist, primary???! Which one? Not sure if Ben would even go there?! He says he's fine one second...
  • CareyCarey Community Member
    I discuss my issues with my counselor and both oncologists. It helps that they're all on the same age and they can compare notes and discuss amongst themselves if need be, but also I believe that everyone should be at least aware of everything thats going on in all areas so they can factor that into their plans.
  • You are right, I guess there is a time and place for everything...focusing on surviving all this crap takes up so much time and energy alone. It's hard to deal with things because so many come up all at once. All I can do is push the fears aside and try to remind myself that Ben is still Ben. He has changed somewhat. And our time is precious. So we should make the most of it. Whatever happens.
  • Thank you. I think there is no problem in having sex.

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