Nov 03, 2003 - 6:45 pm
I need some advice regarding intimacy with my boyfriend. I have tried to broach the subject with my doctors but they deflect and avoid my questions. I don't really know if it's because they are not used to dealing with ppl. my age (I'm 21) or if they are simply insensitive. Anyways, in my experience cancer survivors are often more helpful than medical professionals! My boyfriend and I are high-school sweethearts and we have been together for over three years. Before my diagnosis last January, we had a solid relationship. Since my diagnosis, I feel that we have drifted and I feel like he is more of a good friend than romantic partner. We have not been intimate in over a year and I am beginning to feel his frustration. I am physically healed from my major course of therapy and could be physical with him, however it is very hard. I have a colostomy which has made me somewhat self-conscious. In terms of physical obstacles, I have been through menopause and radiation in my pelvic region. I also had a partial vaginectomy, so anatomically it is very difficult to be intimate. We have tried on two occasions to be intimate, however it did not work. The situation is upsetting and I simply feel like less of a girlfriend and woman. I am hopefully going to be on treatment soon for metastases in my lungs and liver. However, I do not know what kind of effects the treatments will have and I assume I will not feel as well as I presently do. If there is anything I have learned by having cancer it is to do what you want TODAY because tomorrow may never come. I would like to bring back the intimacy to our relationship, for him, myself and to strengthen our relationship so we can face the progression of the disease together. Does anyone have any suggestions concerning body image or what to do after a partial vaginectomy? Also, after seeing me so sick and taking care of me at times, does he still view me as attractive?